Microsoft has released an updated release candidate (RC) version of Windows Virtual PC (VPC) and Windows XP Mode (XPM) for Windows 7. Windows Virtual PC is a new virtualization runtime engine for Windows 7 which requires hardware-assisted virtualization (how to check if system supports hardware VT), while Windows XP Mode, formerly known as Virtual Windows XP (VXP), provides backward-compatibility for older applications, especially proprietary software used by corporates and businesses.

According to Windows 7 Team blog, the following new features have been added and changes have been made to Windows XP Mode RC since last release of Windows XP Mode Beta.

  • You can now attach USB devices to Windows XP Mode applications directly from the Windows 7 task-bar. This means your USB devices, such as printers and flash drives, are available to applications running in Windows XP Mode, without the need to go into full screen mode.
  • You can now access Windows XP Mode applications with a “jump-list”. Right click on the Windows XP Mode applications from the Windows 7 task bar to select and open most recently used files.
  • You now have the flexibility of customizing where Windows XP Mode differencing disk files are stored.
  • You can now disable drive sharing between Windows XP Mode and Windows 7 if you do not need that feature.
  • The initial setup now includes a new user tutorial about how to use Windows XP Mode.

Windows Virtual PC RC and Windows XP Mode RC is available for free download at Windows Virtual PC homepage, or download the setup installer using the following direct download links:

Download Windows Virtual PC RC (VPC version 6.1.7234.0)

32-bit (x86): Windows6.1-KB958559-x86.msu
64-bit (x64): Windows6.1-KB958559-x64.msu

Download Windows XP Mode RC (XPM version 1.2.7235.0)

English: WindowsXPMode_en-us.exe
Arabic: WindowsXPMode_ar-sa.exe
Chinese (Simplified): WindowsXPMode_zh-cn.exe
Chinese (Traditional): WindowsXPMode_zh-tw.exe
French: WindowsXPMode_fr-fr.exe
German: WindowsXPMode_de-en.exe
Japanese: WindowsXPMode_ja-jp.exe
Korean: WindowsXPMode_ko-kr.exe
Spanish: WindowsXPMode_es-es.exe

Uninstall Windows Virtual PC Beta and Windows XP Mode Beta (if applicable) before you install the RC release. Windows Virtual PC RC requires Windows 7 Home Basic, Windows 7 Home Premium, Windows 7 Professional, Windows 7 Ultimate, Windows 7 Enterprise, and Windows XP Mode RC requires RC or RTM version of Windows 7 Professional, Ultimate or Enterprise. It also requires additional 1 GB of RAM, 15 GB of available disk space, and processor capable of hardware virtualization with AMD-V or Intel VT turned on in the BIOS.

Update: Windows Virtual PC and Windows XP Mode Final (RTM)