Intel playing virtual silly buggers
Potential 'Vista Capable' disaster all over again
Opinion You're supposed to be able to run an x86 app on any Intel x86 (or AMD x86) processor. That's what x86 compatibility means, right? Wrong: Windows 7 XP Mode won't run on many multi-core Intel processors because Intel is arsing about with its Intel VT feature.
For a PC to run Windows 7's XP Mode, the system must support either Intel Virtualisation Technology (Intel VT) or AMD Virtualisation (AMD-V) and have such support enabled in the BIOS. Several, in fact many, Intel multi-core CPUs don't support Intel VT despite other CPUs in the same family supporting it.
So a key Windows 7 operating system feature is not consistently supported across all Intel's X86 processors because Intel VT is not part of the x86 instruction set.
It darn well should be and Intel should stop messing about.
The Core 2 Quad Q8200 does not support Intel VT, although other Core 2 Quad CPUs, such as the Q9400, Q9550 and Q9650, do. If you go ahead a buy a Windows 7-supported PC, there is no way you can be sure that Windows 7's XP Mode is supported unless you research Intel's CPU web pages or the manufacturer specifically says so.
This could be reminiscent of the Vista Capable fiasco where PCs running Intel graphics chips could not use use Vista's then new Aero interface because they weren't capable enough, although the PCs were branded Vista Capable. Microsoft didn't want to irritate Intel by including Aero support as a key requirement for being Vista Capable.
We need to be told by manufacturers whether specific PCs are XP Mode-capable or not, as millions, tens of millions or more, of desktop and laptop users are still using XP and need their XP applications supported if they move to Windows 7. If Microsoft is serious about supporting legacy applications then it needs to define Windows 7 support for any PC as including XP Mode support.
If Intel complains then Redmond should tell it to take a hike and fix processors in its range that are missing Intel VT support. What's more important; end-user quality and loyalty or keeping processor suppliers with inconsistent Windows 7 XP Mode support sweet and happy?
Supporting Intel with the Vista Capable brand weakened Vista's brand image and caused ongoing law suits. Here's a question for Steve Ballmer: "Does Redmond listen to its ultimate customers and take their concerns seriously or not?" ®
Intel's problem ?
As microsoft's own Virtual PC 2007 runs fine on windows 7 (even additions works well) it is surprising that XP mode *requires* VT support on the CPU. One would assume it must be a new feature such as USB support (to allow direct printing presumably) not in VPC 2007 that needs it.
Whatever the reason it would seem more sensible to allow a cut-down XP Mode to work on hardware with no VT support (just as VPC 2007 does) but without those features that require it, which makes this a microsoft problem / solution. Stopping the install completely seems rather lazy on microsoft's part.
On the other hand, given the way the WDM memory footprint 'enhancment' over Vista only works if you have DX10 hardware & WDDM 1.1 drivers, it seems microsoft aren't interested in fixing core problems (ie. removing the read-back dependency in WDM) - they would rather throw new hardware at problems to solve them. So not much new there, really.
Blaming Intel is to follow microsoft's lead in ignoring the core issues; Microsoft's coding requires a non-standard feature of modern CPU's, compounded by Intel's patchy support for said feature. Which could/should be fixed ?
Intel are more to blame here than MS
I think the article and a lot of the comments miss the point. Intel have basically disabled VT on a lot of chips that otherwise are capable of it. The policy is not at all transparent and seems to exist for no other reason than to make punters who need the feature part with more money.
I've been a happy AMD customer for years and they are much more straightforward about this. The rule there is that VT is enabled on pretty much all chips, except maybe single core semprons.
I've been stung by this Intel policy once and it will be a long time before I buy another Intel processor.
It's 2009 and Intel is shipping QUAD-CORE PROCESSORS without VT? Are you kidding me? Here's a tip for HR, find out what idiot made that decision and can their ass. Moron.
whine whine whine
Wow, what a bunch of whiners. How many of you who are complaining about XP Mode and VT ... actually have a use for XP Mode? 3? 5? 10? Face it, the rest of you are just whining just because you need a reason to bash Microsoft. I bet a number of you don't even know what you'd seriously do with it.
Ah yes. Blame Intel for a design fault created by Microsoft? How positively 90's of you.
Virtualization done by competent companies works whether or not the chips have the specified tech. If it has it, it uses it, if it doesn't, it works around it. Yet for some reason Microsoft was so incompetent they couldn't do what dozens of other companies are doing every day?
And this is somehow the fault of AMD or Intel, rather than the fault of the people writing the software?
WTF drugs is Microsoft, and their shills, snorting these days?