With the advent of Windows 7, Microsoft introduced a range of virtualization features and capabilities previously unavailable in Windows client platforms. The latest iteration of Windows supports Boot from VHD, has its own virtualization technology that integrates seamlessly with Windows Explorer, namely Windows Virtual PC, and even allows users to access a free, activated copy of Windows XP SP3 via Windows XP Mode.
However, in certain scenarios, such as virtual-machine duplication, the default resources offered by Microsoft put users through unnecessary pain. XP-More is a free tool offered through CodePlex, designed to simplify the duplication of XP Mode items, but also additional VMs for Windows 7.
“Have you started to utilize Windows 7 XP Mode to get past Application Compatibility issues? This is a great tool for SME customers but one of the issues some people experience is setting up the VM’s for each user with the required applications on them, installing virus scan, etc.
A great little application was released on CodePlex that will allow for the simple duplication of the VM’s for distribution around the office to all the users. With a couple of quick clicks, you have a copy of the VM ready for use. XP More is a great example of the open source community for Microsoft products at work,” Microsoft’s Will Craddock noted.
An open source project, XP-More is available for download via CodePlex under the GNU General Public License version 2 (GPLv2). Both Windows Virtual PC and Windows XP Mode are also available as free downloads for customers running Windows 7 Professional, Enterprise and Ultimate. Recently, Microsoft released an update to XP Mode, removing limitations that previously restricted the solution to machines with the hardware virtualization technology.
“The built-in VM management capabilities are quite basic. If all you’re looking for is an XP environment, you can make do with that. However, if you’d like to duplicate existing VMs, there’s some delicate manual work you’ll have to do. That is, unless you have XP-More,” an excerpt of the tool’s description reads.
“XP-More is a free and portable tool, which helps you manage your virtual machines. Want a new environment where you can test-drive the latest VS2010 RC? Want to create a backup of an existing installation before you make some changes? Just click a button, and you’re done.”
XP-More is available for download here.