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Doug's Mailbag: XP Mode, Windows 7, More

After Sophos recently voiced its concerns about XP Mode (which it said can leave Windows even more vulnerable to attacks) Joseph raised a few questions of his own:

While I can see why in some specialized circumstances XP Mode may be necessary, I think releasing it as a generally available add-on is a mistake. There are many questions I have regarding licensing especially around security software, such as whether the host AV will be able to protect the VM or if I'll need to pay for two separate AVs -- one for the host and one for the XP VM.

Also, what about updates? Does this mean MS will continue to issue patches for as long as the XP Mode add-on is available? And what kind of support will be available since we are now in the extended support phase of XP Pro, according to MS' lifecycle chart?


Analyst firm Directions on Microsoft likes Windows 7's business prospects, but Doug is still having a few issues with the new OS. Here are some of your thoughts:

As far as what Directions has to say about Windows 7, they are right on the ball. Windows 7 is fast, sleek and very stable -- what Vista should have been from the very beginning. I am currently running the RTM version that I downloaded from our Software Assurance site, and have it installed on three of my machines. I do not have any problems going into or coming out of sleep mode, everything works much faster, and the battery life on my laptop has gone from roughly four hours to about six! I believe that you are experiencing a bug in the RC release (I experienced the same problem with the RC), and my suggestion to you is move to the RTM ASAP.

As far as moving everyone in my company to Windows 7, I will possibly move some of my laptop users due to the benefits of better performance and battery life, but wait for our next hardware refresh and bring in Windows 7 with new machines as they come in. Moving 45 machines to Windows 7 is just too much work for this already over-worked IT manager!


I am a technician that has to use IE 7 because of HP CSN and other software that won't work in IE 8 because it uses Java scripting, which IE 8 reports it doesn't support. Other than this one issue, I love Windows 7 RTM.

Finally, is Hyper-V's price tag Microsoft's ace in the hole? Here's what a few of you had to say:

I run VMware vShpere Enterprise 4 on seven resonably large servers, quad-socket, quad-core with 128GB RAM per host. We have 85 guest servers mainly running Windows. It cost a large amount to purchase VMware for this setup which, if possible, we would like to avoid in the future.

I have done a very close look at Hyper-V's latest release versus VMware and found them to be significantly closer in features. Hyper-V has all the features of VMware Enterprise except for DRS and 8 virtual CPU support. It even has a portal feature which you would need to purchase to get in the VMware environment and, most of all, it's all free. My conclusion is that for 80 percent of businesses, Hyper-V is more than adequate now. I am going to find it very hard not to use Hyper-V on my next host purchase.

Regarding your comment about the cost of 1TB of RAM on M$'s $119,000 sound? Or you could go non-OEM, like Kingston, and drop the price down to $73,000.

Tell us what you think! Leave a comment below or send an e-mail to [email protected]

Posted by Doug Barney on 09/11/2009 at 1:17 PM


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