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Newbe software archetcture conundrum

I have recently been blessed with a brand-spanking new windows 7 ultimate 64 bit laptop, well spec'ed up. Our network require and support only windows XP. My question is around the best software construct. I want to keep the windows 7, but not as the primary OS, I will have to put XP Pro on. Do I need a 64 bit version of XP Pro to maximise the potential? I would like to install a virtual environment to run the windows 7, Ubuntu, and other virtual software, for work and testing. I am willing to try imaging the laptop to an ISO for restore to this environment and have XP-Pro and Ubunto ISO's ready and in the wings. I am looking for advice from the profesional developer builders as the best place to start, and of course what prat fall to be aware of.
3 Solutions
If you have more than 4GB of RAM, keep the Windows 7 64bit as your primary OS so you can take advantage of all the RAM, which you will need if you have 2 virtual machines.  Since the 32-bit version of XP is more compatible with most drivers, you should probably stick with that, but if you install it as your primary OS, you can't take advantage of more than 4GB or RAM.  You can then put 32-bit Windows XP and any version of Ubuntu in the virtual environments using VirtualBox or something.
here is how to have a dual boot with xp : http://forums.techarena.in/tips-tweaks/1114826.htm
Do you need XP all the time, or is it just for a few apps?  Win 7 Ultimate will let you virtualize XP apps in an XP virtual machine (for which Microsoft provides a license for Win 7 ultimate).  That way you would have compatibility through the XP layer but still have all the advantages of the Win 7 64 bit OS, which will maximize the use of your RAM.  As mentioned above, this is a much better solution than a dual-boot.
gavin_dAuthor Commented:
All solutions would work, however I selected joshbula's. I have currently installed a VM desktop and running Ubuntu. Now virtualising the XP box to run within VM. Thanks for all the input.

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