Windows 7 XP Mode - Sophos error: facts not found

Well, the title is not completely from me – I just quoted another blog post. I wrote recently on Why Windows 7 XP Mode makes sense from a security perspective and was even quoted on the register. The “funny” thing was the history of that blog: I was readying some Tweets and blogs where XP Mode was just questioned. I actually never read Richard Jacobs’ blog post on this. I just wanted to share the process I went through.

However, my post again caused a reply by Jacobs – so he seems to read my blog…

Unfortunately he got some facts quite wrong – but at least he got some attention. If you are interested in the facts, read the James O’Neill’s post called Sophos error: facts not found – where I have the title from.

As I wrote in the first post: XP Mode is here to help our customers to benefit from the undisputable higher security in Windows 7 for 95% of their tasks and removing the migration blocker called “compatibility” by using XP Mode. Let me give you another example:

I helped a SME last weekend to migrate from an XP environment (even their server was on XP) to a state-of-the-art Windows Server 2008 SBS and Windows Vista environment. We failed! Because of one application, which is a 16bit-DOS accounting application which we have been unable to stabilize on Windows Vista and being able to print. Even though we switched on all the compatibility settings, it crashed about every 15 minutes. Migration is not an option as a customer of them is still using this application. So, what are the options:

  1. Fall back to XP
  2. Live with the crashes
  3. Find a solution……

What we did at the end (after several hours of trial and error) was to keep one old XP box and to Remote Desktop to run this DOS application – basically we did XP Mode on a physical level instead of virtually and by far not as transparent as with XP Mode for the user – however, managing the XP box now is definitely harder (or at least as hard) than XP Mode (see James’ post).

So, as I said in my first post on this: It is all about Risk Management.