As most people are aware by now Windows 7 will be having the ability to run a virtualised version of Windows XP within it. Scott Hanselman has a good post up on it (see here), even Karl bounced a post about it.
Personally I'm not that interested in it, in fact I think that the idea is very bad, by adding this it's essentially preventing to EOF of Windows XP.
Windows XP is 8 years old this year, that's a long time in computing years. As Jeff Atwood points out in his post, the specs of an average XP release pc was archaic by todays standards.
Sure it's true that by having the virtual XP it'll improve backwards compatibility, but this is something that I believe is hurting Microsoft as well.
Apple is notorious for not caring as much about backwards compatibility, particularly with their iPod range, simply stopping to support architectures, stuff like that.
It allows Apple to have less worries in a new version, the old stuff doesn't "half work", it simply doesn't work.
Sure you'll piss people off, their software no longer works so they have to invest in making it work, but doesn't active development like that ensure that software doesn't become stagnate?
But really, my main issue with the virtual XP can be seen in this image.
Virtual XP will increase the life of IE6, if an organisation can roll out Win7 but still have their shit IE6-designed internal software still used via virtual XP, why bother upgrading it, we may as well keep it around for a while longer.
As a web developer I am waiting for the day when IE6 is no longer among us, but now it looks like that day is a lot further away than I'd like.