One word solution here: VirtualBox. Well that and maybe a boxed copy of XP laying around somewhere. Ah yes, the sacrifices one can make all in the name of running that legacy software. As it turns out, the excitement about being able to run legacy software in Windows 7′s XP mode might have been a little early. Sure, the mode is available… for those who “happen” to be running the right CPU. Yes, you must be running an Intel CPU that happens to support Intel Virtualization Technology. How big is this problem? Let’s put it this way. The following CPUs are a total no go: Intel Celeron, Pentium Dual-Core, Pentium M, and Atom 270 and 280 processors. In addition, those of you with Pentium D, Core, or Core 2 Duo chips will need to check your model number because many of these chips will also not work with Intel VT. Neat, huh?
But the good news is you will be presented with yet another opportunity to purchase a new notebook. Sure, you own one that is practically new, but if you want to enjoy that famed XP mode, you will be needing to pony up some cash to join in the retro-application rush.
If you are still interested in Windows 7, yet have concerns about the compatibility of some of your legacy software, there is a cheaper alternative. Just grab a free copy of VirtualBox and find an old XP CD. More than likely, you have the product key in place anyway. Best of all, it is a LOT cheaper than rushing out just to buy a new notebook just to run your old apps on a new OS.