Windows XP Mode is a free Windows XP virtualisation software for Windows XP and Windows 7 with rudimentary support for other Windows operating systems. It is provided by Microsoft and it is free to download, though it still requires a Windows XP licence key to use. Windows XP Mode is notable for being faster than many competing virtual machines on the same operating system.
The Fast and The Featureless
It's not quite right to say that Windows XP Mode is featureless, but it is far from fancy. It is only supported for a handful of operating systems, there is little in-built help, and setting it up can require significant effort by the standards of typical consumers. On the other hand, it is relatively secure, with proper protection for the host operating system, and it is also features a wide variety of hardware compatibility: it's on par with Windows XP itself in terms of usability with different keyboards, mice, printers and other peripherals. Most notably, it is fast: quite a bit faster in our tests than other VMs.
The Right Mode
Overall, Windows XP Mode provides a fantastic and fast virtualisation option on compatible machines, with sufficient hardware support to perform most routine virtualisation tasks. Despite some quibbles with the interface, it is reasonably easy to use all of XP Mode's features, though a lack of tech support can leave users relying on the documentation or on themselves.