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Microsoft rubberstamps Windows XP Mode

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Microsoft has put the finishing touches on Windows XP Mode, the virtual version of XP for those looking to run legacy applications after the switch to Windows 7. The final bits were released to manufacturing today, and the company says the tool will be available from Microsoft.com on October 22, the day Windows 7 officially arrives.

PC manufacturers, Redmond says, will offer XP Mode on their machines as their schedules allow.

"We expect many Windows XP applications to be compatible [with] Windows 7," reads a blog post from Microsoft, "however Windows XP Mode is meant to serve as an added safety net so small and mid-sized businesses can migrate and run Windows 7 without any road blocks."

First announced in April, Windows XP Mode runs atop Windows 7 Professional, Windows 7 Enterprise, or Windows 7 Ultimate. It also requires an additional gigabyte of RAM, 15GB of available disk space, and specialized virtualization hardware that must be activated in the system BIOS. Even if you have the virtualization, your new PC may or may not do the activation bit. ®

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