Running XP on a MacBook Pro

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Actually it has for years. I've been running XP in Parallels and then VMWare Fusion on my MacBook Pro. At my place of employment, we've been using XP on VirtualBox for a couple of months and it lets us use those "Built for IE" websites that we sometimes have to use, as well as our Windows Quickbooks. Some designers even check their websites in IE on Windows XP inside a virtual box on a Mac.

As with everything else (so it seems), this new 'XP Mode' feature that Microsoft is touting has been on Apple products for awhile.

Now, I know that you've been able to run Virtual Machines on Windows and Linux longer than you have been on Macs.   What is amusing is that Windows users are now having to use a virtual machine to use XP just like Mac users always have.

Another interesting quandary: If Windows XP is so important, and Windows 7 can only replicate it in a VM, why not just run Windows XP natively? XP mode is only supported on higher-end Intel chips and with top-end Microsoft Windows 7 OS products.

Netbooks are far and away the fastest growing area of PCs and will be for the foreseeable future. Most, if not all, netbooks won't be able to run Windows 7 and then XP mode on top of that. They can run XP on VMWare on top of Windows 7 if they choose, but the question still remains: Why run Windows 7 at all?

It seems that Microsoft is happy selling Windows XP for $15 a pop. Why would somebody pay a premium for Windows 7 which can't do everything that XP does? On top of that, there is speculation that Microsoft will only allow three concurrent applications to run on the base model of Windows 7 Starter edition.

Don't get me wrong, I've tried Windows 7 and it runs very well, especially when you compare it to Vista. But that's on a high-end MacBook Pro. With netbooks gaining all kinds of momentum, Microsoft may be selling all of its netbooks with XP mode - the type of XP mode that you get from native Windows XP.

Meanwhile, I'll run Windows 7 mode on my Mac.

This story, "Running XP on a MacBook Pro" was originally published by Computerworld.

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