XP Mode is one brilliant feature introduced with Windows 7. Available in Professional, Enterprise and Ultimate editions, this feature enables users seamlessly run virtualized programs alongside regular applications. A very handy feature if you want to run Windows XP compatible programs in Windows 7.
The major advantage of XP Mode over some virtualization software is that it lets you open virtualized programs within Windows 7. That is, for instance, if you have installed TeamViewer software in Windows XP virtual machine, you will be able to open it in your Windows 7 Taskbar, just like software installed in Windows 7.
Computer users who have upgraded from Windows 7 to Windows 8 might have already discovered that Microsoft has dropped XP Mode feature from its newest version of Windows. As of now, there is no workaround present to get XP Mode in Windows 8 but users who really want to get the feature in Windows 8 can check out our guide to get XP Mode like functionality in Windows 8 with the help of VMware Player.
Step 1: Download and install the latest version of VMware Player on Windows 8. VMware Player is completely free but you need to register (free) with VMware to download the setup.
Step 2: Next step is to install XP in VMware Player. Most of Windows users know how to install an operating system in VMware player. If you have no idea, launch VMware, click Create a New Virtual Machine, browse to your Windows XP ISO file or your CD/DVD drive, enter a name for your new virtual machine, select a location to save the virtual machine, specify virtual disk size and finally click Finish button.
Step 3: Select the newly created virtual machine, click Power on to start installing Windows XP. Follow the simple on-screen instructions to complete Windows XP installation.
Step 4: Once Windows XP is up and running, you need to install VMware Tools. In your VMware window, click Player, click Manager and then click Install VMware Tools to begin the installation.
Once done, you will be asked to reboot your Windows XP.
Step 5: Download and install applications in your newly created XP virtual machine (programs that don’t support Windows 8).
Step6: You are almost done. Click Player and then click Unity. When unity feature is enabled, you can manage all installed programs in your Windows XP virtual machine right from your Windows 8 Taskbar. This feature also lets you launch programs from Windows 8 Taskbar area without having to open the virtual machine.
When Unity is enabled, simply move the mouse cursor to the extreme left of Windows 8 Taskbar to see cascading Windows XP Start menu just above the Taskbar area (see picture). The program will start in your Windows 8 desktop and you can close, minimize and maximize it from Windows 8 taskbar.
You might also like to know how to install Windows 8 in VMware virtual machine.