XP Mode on Windows 10



  • Since Windows 10 doesn't include an XP mode, is it possible, on a new PC that includes a Windows 10 OEM licence with Windows 7 downgrade rights, to install Windows 10 and then install Windows 7 as a virtual machine under Windows 10? And then use XP mode within the Windows 7 virtual machine.

    Or to put it another way, does the OEM licence allow you to install both Windows 10 and Windows 7 on the same machine (one as a virtual machine), or can you only install one or the other.

    Failing that, what are the alternatives for licencing a Windows 7 or XP VM on a Windows 10 PC?

    I've never understood Windows licencing.



  • @Carnival-Boy said in XP Mode on Windows 10:

    Since Windows 10 doesn't include an XP mode, is it possible, on a new PC that includes a Windows 10 OEM licence with Windows 7 downgrade rights, to install Windows 10 and then install Windows 7 as a virtual machine under Windows 10? And then use XP mode within the Windows 7 virtual machine.

    Or to put it another way, does the OEM licence allow you to install both Windows 10 and Windows 7 on the same machine (one as a virtual machine), or can you only install one or the other.

    Failing that, what are the alternatives for licencing a Windows 7 or XP VM on a Windows 10 PC?

    I've never understood Windows licencing.

    The easy approach to this would be to enable hyper-v on windows 10, and create a XP VM inside of that. Of course you still need licensing.

    Volume keys I believe are the only keys allowed for this. I may be wrong though.



  • @Carnival-Boy said in XP Mode on Windows 10:

    Since Windows 10 doesn't include an XP mode, is it possible, on a new PC that includes a Windows 10 OEM licence with Windows 7 downgrade rights, to install Windows 10 and then install Windows 7 as a virtual machine under Windows 10? And then use XP mode within the Windows 7 virtual machine.

    Or to put it another way, does the OEM licence allow you to install both Windows 10 and Windows 7 on the same machine (one as a virtual machine), or can you only install one or the other.

    Failing that, what are the alternatives for licencing a Windows 7 or XP VM on a Windows 10 PC?

    I've never understood Windows licencing.

    No, just cannot have installed two OEM licence in the same computer.

    Xp Mode is just for Windows 7, It's not "legal" to install it in Windows 10.



  • @Carnival-Boy said in XP Mode on Windows 10:

    Since Windows 10 doesn't include an XP mode, is it possible, on a new PC that includes a Windows 10 OEM licence with Windows 7 downgrade rights, to install Windows 10 and then install Windows 7 as a virtual machine under Windows 10? And then use XP mode within the Windows 7 virtual machine.

    This would not be legal. Unless you owned a Windows 7 license for the Windows 7 VM.



  • OEM does not provide any "additional VM" rights, I'm afraid. XP is deprecated completely, even in XP Mode mode.



  • @DustinB3403 said in XP Mode on Windows 10:

    @Carnival-Boy said in XP Mode on Windows 10:

    Since Windows 10 doesn't include an XP mode, is it possible, on a new PC that includes a Windows 10 OEM licence with Windows 7 downgrade rights, to install Windows 10 and then install Windows 7 as a virtual machine under Windows 10? And then use XP mode within the Windows 7 virtual machine.

    Or to put it another way, does the OEM licence allow you to install both Windows 10 and Windows 7 on the same machine (one as a virtual machine), or can you only install one or the other.

    Failing that, what are the alternatives for licencing a Windows 7 or XP VM on a Windows 10 PC?

    I've never understood Windows licencing.

    The easy approach to this would be to enable hyper-v on windows 10, and create a XP VM inside of that. Of course you still need licensing.

    Volume keys I believe are the only keys allowed for this. I may be wrong though.

    You are absolutely wrong that a VL would allow you to install two OSes on the same hardware with a single VL license. And since VL licenses are only upgrade licenses, you'd have to assign to OEM/FFS licenses to the box first, making the VL pointless.



  • So what can I do to make this legal?



  • @Dashrender said in XP Mode on Windows 10:

    @DustinB3403 said in XP Mode on Windows 10:

    @Carnival-Boy said in XP Mode on Windows 10:

    Since Windows 10 doesn't include an XP mode, is it possible, on a new PC that includes a Windows 10 OEM licence with Windows 7 downgrade rights, to install Windows 10 and then install Windows 7 as a virtual machine under Windows 10? And then use XP mode within the Windows 7 virtual machine.

    Or to put it another way, does the OEM licence allow you to install both Windows 10 and Windows 7 on the same machine (one as a virtual machine), or can you only install one or the other.

    Failing that, what are the alternatives for licencing a Windows 7 or XP VM on a Windows 10 PC?

    I've never understood Windows licencing.

    The easy approach to this would be to enable hyper-v on windows 10, and create a XP VM inside of that. Of course you still need licensing.

    Volume keys I believe are the only keys allowed for this. I may be wrong though.

    You are absolutely wrong that a VL would allow you to install two OSes on the same hardware with a single VL license. And since VL licenses are only upgrade licenses, you'd have to assign to OEM/FFS licenses to the box first, making the VL pointless.

    I meant (and clearly didn't explain it) that you'd need XP licensing.



  • @Carnival-Boy said in XP Mode on Windows 10:

    Failing that, what are the alternatives for licencing a Windows 7 or XP VM on a Windows 10 PC?

    You could purchase a full license of Windows 7 or XP, install that as VM on Windows 10. Then you would be legal.



  • Can you still buy full Windows 7 licences. (I assume "full" means retail, here)?



  • @Dashrender said in XP Mode on Windows 10:

    @Carnival-Boy said in XP Mode on Windows 10:

    Failing that, what are the alternatives for licencing a Windows 7 or XP VM on a Windows 10 PC?

    You could purchase a full license of Windows 7 or XP, install that as VM on Windows 10. Then you would be legal.

    Yes, only a full license of either XP or a version containing XP Mode will allow for XP on Windows 10. Also, it cannot be access by anyone other than the main user or it needs VDI licensing as well. Also, this is nested virtualization if you use XP Mode so be prepared for potential headaches there.



  • @Carnival-Boy said in XP Mode on Windows 10:

    Can you still buy full Windows 7 licences. (I assume "full" means retail, here)?

    Correct. You really do want to find an XP license instead, as Scott mentioned you want to avoid the VM inside a VM thing.



  • Why would you want to run anything in Windows XP? That is the real problem here. If your software doesn't support anything higher than Windows XP, then you need a new vendor.



  • @IRJ said in XP Mode on Windows 10:

    Why would you want to run anything in Windows XP? That is the real problem here. If your software doesn't support anything higher than Windows XP, then you need a new vendor.

    This is far more important than people realize. Instead of trying to find XP Mode or XP licensing, let's back up and ask... How can we eliminate a need for Windows XP?



  • @scottalanmiller said in XP Mode on Windows 10:

    How can we eliminate a need for Windows XP?

    Get someone to rewrite the 20 year old bespoke programs we use. But that's more of a long term objective.

    Can you still buy Windows 7 or XP licences?



  • @Carnival-Boy said in XP Mode on Windows 10:

    @scottalanmiller said in XP Mode on Windows 10:

    How can we eliminate a need for Windows XP?

    Get someone to rewrite the 20 year old bespoke programs we use. But that's more of a long term objective.

    Can you still buy Windows 7 or XP licences?

    Windows XP is just getting more and more vulnerable each day. You might as well just find a solution now instead of waiting another 20 years.



  • Of course we all (in this forum at least) want to be on the current version of software.

    Sadly, many businesses (mostly small, but definitely not exclusively) buy into things that have a longer life than the software around which they operate.

    Two examples:
    A print shop that has a $100K printer that only works with XP - the vendor never bothers to produce new drivers, the vendor wants you to buy a new printer instead.

    Medical equipment (specific case - Toshiba CT machine). Even when installed in 2007 it came with Windows 2000. It was the only "FDA certified" option at the time. Now I have to assume there were Linux OSs that were certified, but of course Toshiba wasn't programming for those. To this day, still running on Windows 2000.

    A replacement machine would only be stepping up to Windows 7 at this point.



  • @Carnival-Boy said in XP Mode on Windows 10:

    @scottalanmiller said in XP Mode on Windows 10:

    How can we eliminate a need for Windows XP?

    Get someone to rewrite the 20 year old bespoke programs we use. But that's more of a long term objective.

    Can you still buy Windows 7 or XP licences?

    The sooner you fix that problem, the faster you get a better program with fewer problems like getting XP running 🙂 Working on issues like this increases the cost of old bespoke problems that are no longer supported.

    Can you buy? Yes, but generally only from eBay and sources like that.



  • @Dashrender said in XP Mode on Windows 10:

    Of course we all (in this forum at least) want to be on the current version of software.

    Sadly, many businesses (mostly small, but definitely not exclusively) buy into things that have a longer life than the software around which they operate.

    Two examples:
    A print shop that has a $100K printer that only works with XP - the vendor never bothers to produce new drivers, the vendor wants you to buy a new printer instead.

    Medical equipment (specific case - Toshiba CT machine). Even when installed in 2007 it came with Windows 2000. It was the only "FDA certified" option at the time. Now I have to assume there were Linux OSs that were certified, but of course Toshiba wasn't programming for those. To this day, still running on Windows 2000.

    A replacement machine would only be stepping up to Windows 7 at this point.

    When you do bespoke you can generally avoid this, though. This is something that I go on and on about - both using open, standard and proper approaches to give you the best chances of avoiding lock in as well as using modern techniques so that anything that ages at least ages as best as possible.

    Something only twenty years old that is stuck with XP today was not written to an acceptable standard twenty years ago. Twenty years is not that long and whoever wrote it must have known that they were time bombing the system by design - normal software doesn't get locked into an OS version very easily, that normally takes planning or serious incompetence.



  • @Carnival-Boy said in XP Mode on Windows 10:

    Get someone to rewrite the 20 year old bespoke programs we use. But that's more of a long term objective.

    Have we asked this before: What aspect of the software creates the dependency? Is it a library, a .NET thing, is it that it is compiled and only works there? What about XP compatibility rather than XP itself?

    Also, be aware that any use of XP Mode or an XP VM as a server (I'm guessing that this is a service situation) will definitely require VDI.



  • For the simplest current solution, I'd hit eBay and grab XP. I am guessing that XP is getting more expensive these days as people who have a copy know that they control the supply and that no more will ever be available.



  • @scottalanmiller said in XP Mode on Windows 10:

    normal software doesn't get locked into an OS version very easily, that normally takes planning or serious incompetence.

    I'll take serious incompetence for $2000 Alex.



  • @Dashrender said in XP Mode on Windows 10:

    @scottalanmiller said in XP Mode on Windows 10:

    normal software doesn't get locked into an OS version very easily, that normally takes planning or serious incompetence.

    I'll take serious incompetence for $2000 Alex.

    You'd think that, but it is pretty accepted in software circles that you can't reasonably be able to write software and not understand how to avoid this issue. The majority of cases, it is accepted, are that developers see a chance to make something work quickly and easy for minimal effort that then guarantees that the customer will have to keep paying them in the future on a more or less set schedule. Whether most do this or not, lots do. It's a very standard practice and thing to look for where weird, impractical and totally unnecessary "lock in" and "time bomb" features get added to software.

    Are there cases where lock in happens for legitimate reasons? Absolutely. Even if you are writing on Python or PHP on CentOS Linux you can run into this, and almost certainly will. But starting from a good place you normally time out with an average lifespan of something like thirty years, not five.



  • When I was programming I assumed that my programs would be upgraded way soon than 20 years. I never once thought "wait a minute, this is 16 bit, what happens when people can only run 64 bit OSes?". And it's not normally a massive job if you keep the source code and the code is well documented. Problems occur when the source code disappears, for whatever reason, and there is no documentation. So you have to re-write the program from scratch.

    For all I know, people are going through this exact thing with programs I wrote 20 years ago. I'd like to think that my programs were that awesome that they're still in use, but i doubt it.



  • @scottalanmiller said in XP Mode on Windows 10:

    For the simplest current solution, I'd hit eBay and grab XP. I am guessing that XP is getting more expensive these days as people who have a copy know that they control the supply and that no more will ever be available.

    Isn't eBay a bit dodgy? What happens when it won't activate and you phone Microsoft and explain that you bought it off eBay? Are they likely to be sympathetic?



  • I understand that companies need to make money, and make it continuously - but to purposefully timebomb with no option other than complete replacement, seems borderline criminal - and frankly, like a lot of credit.

    The printer in this case, could have sold an upgrade package for the old printer for a few hundred to a few thousand dollars. the same goes for the CT machine - though granted their hands are a bit more tied by the government.



  • @Carnival-Boy said in XP Mode on Windows 10:

    @scottalanmiller said in XP Mode on Windows 10:

    For the simplest current solution, I'd hit eBay and grab XP. I am guessing that XP is getting more expensive these days as people who have a copy know that they control the supply and that no more will ever be available.

    Isn't eBay a bit dodgy? What happens when it won't activate and you phone Microsoft and explain that you bought it off eBay? Are they likely to be sympathetic?

    If you have the certificate of authenticity, then they can't really question you besides to provide proof of purchase (which is the certificate of authenticity).



  • @Carnival-Boy said in XP Mode on Windows 10:

    When I was programming I assumed that my programs would be upgraded way soon than 20 years. I never once thought "wait a minute, this is 16 bit, what happens when people can only run 64 bit OSes?". And it's not normally a massive job if you keep the source code and the code is well documented. Problems occur when the source code disappears, for whatever reason, and there is no documentation. So you have to re-write the program from scratch.

    For all I know, people are going through this exact thing with programs I wrote 20 years ago. I'd like to think that my programs were that awesome that they're still in use, but i doubt it.

    I get it, you write with the assumption that someone is going to be continuously or semi-continuously maintaining it. But building in unnecessary obsolescence is different. That takes work, in most cases. But when writing for the SMB, the assumption basically always has to be that source will be lost and not even understood and that no one will maintain it. Maintaining software is extremely expensive - unless you are the creator of it. Which leads us back to the core problem - that programmers often design software around getting the customer to require them to maintain it.

    But.... writing software hasn't required, for business software at least, you to be tied to any bit level going back many decades. And good source is considered to not need documentation, and why would you not have source code unless you were running something compiled and that alone could be (not saying "is") a source of problems. Pretty much any appropriate business language going back a really long time isn't compiled. A few are, but they come with massive caveats that twenty years ago definitely were known and would be included in locking in in most cases. You don't do normal business application programming in things like C, for example, but normally Python or PHP (long ago.) Go back far enough and of course, you did, but that's going really, really far back. Even languages like C# don't get compiled under normal business deployment and that replaces languages that are not compiled. So if you were to be a Microsoft devotee for example and followed the MIcrosoft "way" from the late 1990s or later, you'd be good and not have the issue. So I'm certainly not saying that MS tools or even .NET are a problem, those would work fine if done properly even on the oldest original technology.



  • @Carnival-Boy said in XP Mode on Windows 10:

    @scottalanmiller said in XP Mode on Windows 10:

    For the simplest current solution, I'd hit eBay and grab XP. I am guessing that XP is getting more expensive these days as people who have a copy know that they control the supply and that no more will ever be available.

    Isn't eBay a bit dodgy? What happens when it won't activate and you phone Microsoft and explain that you bought it off eBay? Are they likely to be sympathetic?

    XP is a bit dodgy at this point, that's the state of things. Any copy of XP today (that isn't already deployed) is coming from someone selling something used or found in old stock. All current stock sold long ago. eBay is dodgy, but probably the least dodgy option. ANd no, MS is not going to be sympathetic as they provide channels to ensure authenticity of their products and you are now outside of them. If the copy of XP is not genuine, you will be out of luck outside of eBay's fraud controls, but at least eBay has those.



  • @Dashrender said in XP Mode on Windows 10:

    I understand that companies need to make money, and make it continuously - but to purposefully timebomb with no option other than complete replacement, seems borderline criminal - and frankly, like a lot of credit.

    It should be considered criminal but generally people get it signed off on to protect themselves. And doing it often sounds casual to non-programmers. If you've ever heard someone say something like this "We're going to just use Visual Basic because it is what I know and not going to do some fancy web application but just make a basic desktop application to keep things simple..." you just heard a standard sales pitch for timebombing. They took something enterprise capable (VB) and are using it in a compiled non-enterprise (non-standard enterprise at least) mode and removed the controls that would generally protect the company. Does anything in that statement alone time bomb the code? Nope, but it all sets it up for it. It's using archaic and/or non-standard libraries and such that really does it, but doing legacy apps in a compiled way with less than standard methods or tools makes the development process harder while basically guaranteeing that simple software that could easily last decades will stop being supportable very quickly.

    On the other hand, write something in PHP with a web interface and while it might time bomb it is unlikely to do so for an extremely long time, and even if it does the chances are extremely high that fixing it will be quick and easy. It also guarantees that the source code will be available as long as the system is running.


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