Microsoft introduced Windows Virtual PC in Windows 7 with new capabilities, such as support for USB (Universal Serial Bus) devices, and seamlessly integrating the Virtual PC applications into the Windows 7 desktop and making them available in start menu. Windows XP Mode is a preconfigured Windows XP virtual image, available in Windows 7 Professional and above, and is specifically designed to help small business users run Windows XP application on Windows 7 in case that the application would not run on a Windows 7 operating system. It’s not designed for IT environments or centrally managed deployments. And this’s where you need MED-V that adds everything to support the larger deployments of [Windows] XP Mode. It includes the provisioning of an IT configured virtual machine, customizing the specific XP environments on the end-devices to connect to the [Microsoft] Active Directory domain and to adjust the settings of the Virtual PC to the specific parameters of the device. So it adjusts them according to the network setting of the device, according to the amount of memory available, and other settings on the PC. Finally, MED-V will also offer monitoring and troubleshooting for all those Virtual PC deployed in the environment.
What is Windows XP Mode, Windows Virtual PC and MED-V?
- 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.
More info: Windows Blog