I first thought that VirtualPC will be needed to run WinXP compatible programs -- which sounded ridiculous, I'l leave it at that, to spare sarcasm. Today, I read that this support for virtualization is far more native to the processor you are running on than earlier VirtualPC versions. This means, that the VirtualPC that ships with Windows 7 requires either an Intel processor with VT support OR an AMD processor with a V tag, where V stands for virtualiation in both cases. This gives user having such a processor the advantage of running Windows XP applications just like a normal Windows 7 application, without having to bring up VirtualPC or anything. This is a more interesting proposition than I earlier thought...BUT....the requirement for a specific Intel model puts the plans to rest for good.
My laptop processor, a Core 2 Duo one, does not support VT.
So, even if I would have been wooed to upgrade to Windows 7 going by rave previews and post-release reviews, this one disability would undo all of my wilful enthusiasm.
So, until something really nasty happens to my laptop, I am not looking at Windows 7 for some time to come...