XPM has RTM’d writes Mr LeBlanc (October 09) , an enthusiastic online presence who writes about Microsoft technologies and has many good things to say about them.  He also works for Microsoft, so would you expect him to say anything else?  I’ll leave that one for you to answer.

Anyway, I digress.  XPM is a “feature” of Windows 7 that allows you to run XP software on Microsoft’s new operating system. You can read the blog entry here by Mr LeBlanc.

Before anyone gets excited though a few points need mentioning.  Firstly XPM is allegedly available to purchasers of professional, Ultimate and Enterprise versions of Windows 7, so if you are thinking that the home PC you will be buying from your local Comet will come with this feature you will probably be disappointed.  Secondly if you are considering spending even more money and purchasing this feature with dreams of running that XP piece of software, consider the following comment by Mr LeBlanc:

help ease the migration process to Windows 7 by providing additional compatibility for their older productivity applications.

Source: Mr LeBlanc – on this site.

What it doesn’t say is that if those “older productivity applications” rely on Direct X you are allegedly out of luck since its been reported that there is no DX compat with XPM.

As they say in some cheap commercials….”wait! theres more!” you also have to keep in mind that even if your XP app doesn’t need DX AND you’ve spent more money getting the feature with the more expensive versions of Windows 7, you had better have a decent, modern chipset or the whole exercise is pointless.  Lets now look at what is required for XPM:

15 GB of available disk space, and processor capable of hardware virtualization with AMD-V or Intel VT turned on in the BIOS.

15gig of HD space?  Is that for the Windows 7 OS as a whole or simply for XPM?  I would really hope XPM does not require 15gig, even the original, full OS could be installed for less than that.  Are most users PC’s even able to meet the other requirements?  I’ll let you look at your own systems to decide and then consider if XP compat is so important have you seen the Wine compat list? or failing that what about XP in a VM? or indeed dual boot?  The options are numerous and judging by whats being said I question the value of XPM and if XP software is so important to you, as I said in my previous article, why upgrade at all?

As we rapidly approach the release of Windows 7, I will be looking at many of these “features” I challenge anyone to present to me why users should continue to pay for proprietary platforms when there is a free alternative.  I would honestly like to hear.

In the meantime you can keep up with further writings of Mr LeBlanc on his Twitter account here (you never know he may give an answer)

Goblin – bytes4free@googlemail.com