There has been a significant amount of buzz and hot discussion regarding the forthcoming Windows XP Mode in Windows 7 and how it will relate to future versions of MED-V.  The Windows Team recently posted a blog post regarding the integration of MED-V v2, Virtual  PC 7, and Windows XP Mode in Windows 7.

It is important to read this information as in recent days, there have been articles regarding how MED-V fits into the Windows 7 future containing key gaps in information.

The key elements to remember:

  • Windows Virtual PC is a type II hypervisor in Windows 7 – i.e. it enables users to run multiple instances of Windows on a single device.
  • Windows XP Mode leverages Windows Virtual PC and a preconfigured Windows XP image to create a virtual Windows XP environment
  • MED-V is the management layer for IT professionals on top of Virtual PC.
  • Windows XP Mode does not replace MED-V.

So what does Windows XP Mode give you?

Windows XP Mode gives you the ability to have applications compatible on Windows XP running inside a virtual machine running within the Windows 7 virtualization engine (VPC7.) For the end user running Windows 7, these applications running inside the virtual machine can then be published to the host's Desktop and/or Program Menu. This provides seamless integration and gives the Windows 7 user the legacy application compatibility they need, in essence extending that application's lifecycle.

So what does MED-V give you?

MED-V gives you much more than just Windows XP Mode. It gives you an enterprise-ready management solution for the configuration, deployment, and maintenance of these virtual workspaces. It gives you tools for establishing and generalizing virtual image workspaces for distribution throughout the enterprise. These options can be through a MED-V server-based infrastructure or even the option to pre-stage these workspaces through other software distribution methods. MED-V also gives enterprise administrators a set of policies to control image use including which users will have access to specific applications within these images.

Note: This information was originally contributed by Steve Thomas, Senior Support Escalation Engineer, on the MED-V Team blog:

Further Reading: