Another Intel 915 scam? Some Intel chips don't support Windows 7 'XP mode'
A small brouhaha is erupting over Windows 7 and Intel processors. The
hubbub is centered on which Intel processors will not support "XP mode" in
Windows 7 and, by extension, which PCs will not support XP mode. Retail
laptops may be one of the most prominent segments affected.
What is XP Mode? Here's how Ina Fried of CNET News describes it: "XP mode
consists of two things, the Windows Virtual PC engine and a licensed copy
of Windows XP Service Pack 3 as a packaged virtual machine. Although
neither piece will be included in the Windows 7 box, XP Mode will be a
free download for those who have a license to Windows 7 Professional,
Windows 7 Enterprise, or Windows 7 Ultimate."
XP Mode (XPM) is aimed at businesses that have Windows XP-specific
applications that they need to run on Windows 7. XPM allows XP
applications to run seamlessly on Windows 7, according to Microsoft. The
catch: Intel processors must have Virtualization Technology, or "Intel
VT," in order to run XPM. (I won't cover Advanced Micro Devices processors
here but will address AMD in a later post.)
Ed Bott's Microsoft Report says that "some of the most popular PCs on the
market today...won't be able to use the vaunted Windows XP mode in Windows
Bott lists Intel desktop and mobile processors that will and will not
support XP Mode here and here, respectively.
Intel mobile processors may be the most problematic in supporting XP mode;
not because of the raw numbers--most newer Intel mobile processors do, in
fact, support Intel Virtualization Technology--but because a
disproportionate number of those that do not have VT (and therefore don't
support XP mode) are laptops sold at retail. (And, undoubtedly, some small
businesses purchase laptops at retail.)
In the Core 2 mobile camp, the P7350/7450, the
T5200/5250/5270/5300/5450/5470 series, and the T6400/6570 do not support
VT, according to Bott's blog. And this can be confirmed on Intel's Web
A quick glance at Best Buy shows a somewhat lengthy list of laptop SKUs
(models) with, for instance, the T6400 (non-VT) processor. The list
includes Dell Studio, Toshiba Satellite, HP Pavilion, Sony Vaio, Asus, and
In the $600 to $899 laptop range, I found about 30 different SKUs with
T6400 processors, though it should be noted that some of these SKUs are
simply models with slightly different configurations.
And a quick search on CNET Shopper turns up a number of consumer models
with the T5270. The point? To state the obvious, consumers will have to
verify which processor their laptop has.
Intel, in a statement, had this to say. "Intel introduced its
Virtualization Technology in 2005 and has shipped over 100 Million chips
with the feature. Windows XP Mode is targeted for business customers. It
is available on the mid to higher end versions of Windows 7 and is
supported in hardware by many Intel processors."
Intel continued: "Intel vPro technology PCs are required to have an Intel
VT capable CPU and Intel VT capable BIOS. They are the best platforms for
testing and deploying Microsoft Windows Virtual PC and Windows XP Mode."
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