Back here, I touched on the fact that Windows 7 XP mode for Windows 7 is now available to registered users and no longer requires hardware (CPU visualization) support ... but does require 'reasonable' system resources.
There are some excellent features with this implementation, specifically the ability to launch and run programs in an XP based window and / or full screen directly from the Windows 7 start menu without any coding.
Literally an instant virtual desktop which absolutely comes in handy.
In essence, Microsoft is giving Windows 7 users a copy of Virtual PC 2007 and a copy of Windows XP Professional.
But .... and this can't be by design ???!! ....
The copy of XP provided is original and 'virgin' .. meaning .... if you go to Windows Update from within the XP window (screen), you're going to find over 50 updates (Yes, you read that right). Depending on your broadband speed and the amount of ram your system has allocated to the virtual machine (by default), you may be in for a few hours of updating.
Somehow this doesn't seem realistic, especially since many sites (Hulu, Google Reader ....) no longer support IE6 with more being added each day.
Despite the fact that tens of thousands of corporate embedded PCs are still running IE6 (Yes, you read that right), the old browser is, for most uses, is dead out of the box. Microsoft would most likely agree.
I went through the curve. One of the 'suggested' updates is IE8 and you can add Firefox or Chrome with no problem. I'm even launching a copy of Ubuntu 10.04 for Windows using it :)
The bottom line. If you have the ram and a relatively recent CPU ... it's worth the install but go through the updates first ...