Microsoft has released Windows XP Mode to manufacturing, and will make it available as a public download when Windows 7 launches on October 22.
MS says the minimum system requirement for running XP Mode is 2GB of RAM and 15 gig of disk space and a CPU capable of handling virtualization.
XP Mode is aimed at SMBs with legacy or custom-built applications and enables users of the venerable OS – it’s eight years old, remember – by providing a virtual XP SP3 environment under Windows 7.
Microsoft hopes the availability of a full-featured version of XP will encourage its more ludditic customers to quite literally get with the program and move to Win 7. Those purchasing Windows 7 Professional, Enterprise or Ultimate will get XP Mode as a free download.
The software behemoth is still smarting from SMBs staying away from Vista in droves, as few perceived any real benefits were to be gained by moving to the somewhat unfairly detested OS. They're more likely to be attracted by what most observers so far reckon to be a far better operating system.