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XP Mode in Windows 8 is guaranteed... if not from Microsoft, then from other vendors. Virtual machine software is available that will allow you to run Windows XP within a window in Windows 8.

Does Windows 8 support Windows XP mode?

In this excerpt from Answercast #69, I look at running a virtual machine in a new operating system to enable you to keep your old XP alive.

XP mode in Windows 8

You know, that's a good question. To be honest, I don't know the answer to the question you're asking specifically. In other words, is there a free XP mode that you can download from Microsoft for Windows 8 - like there was for Windows 7 when you had Windows 7 Pro or better?

However, whether or not that's available (and I'm not saying it isn't, I'm saying that I haven't seen it in any of the literature yet)... whether or not that's available... it's still available. It's just in a different form.

Virtual Machines

Windows XP mode is nothing more than a virtual machine that happens to be running Windows XP. And there are many virtual machine solutions out there that can run Windows XP within Windows 7 - or Windows 8.

I happen to use Parallels. Parallels works both on my PC and on my Mac to allow me to run different versions of Windows within a window on those other operating systems.

So, for example, when I get Windows 8, it will be installed into a virtual machine that will be running underneath Windows 7. I'll be able to have them both running simultaneously. Similarly, on my Windows 7 machine, I have a virtual machine that's running Windows XP, which is pretty much the same thing as having this Windows XP mode from Microsoft.

So whether or not, it's provided for free from Microsoft, there are definitely virtual machine technologies that are pretty much guaranteed to work under Windows - 8 and will allow you to run Windows XP within a window in Windows 8.

Article C6022 - November 12, 2012 « »

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Leo Leo A. Notenboom has been playing with computers since he was required to take a programming class in 1976. An 18 year career as a programmer at Microsoft soon followed. After "retiring" in 2001, Leo started Ask Leo! in 2003 as a place for answers to common computer and technical questions. More about Leo.

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1 Comment
November 16, 2012 9:22 AM

That's a neat idea that I hadn't thought of! My question, though... what about Licensing? If I have a Windows 8 box, sure, I may be able to run XP and/or 7 as virtuals under it, however, what about the License for XP and/or 7? In other words, especially for a business, but even for indivuduals, could there be any potential legal issues in doing that?

As I think someone else pointed out you would need a license for XP to be legal. If Microsoft isn't providing XP mode (which I suspect they are not) then you'll need to acquire one somehow or re-use one you already have. I do the later.

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