Microsoft announced today via its Windows Blog that it has released Windows XP Mode (and presumably, Windows Virtual PC--these guys never explain anything correctly) to manufacturing. The final version will be delivered to customers on October 22, the day of the Windows 7 launch.

We're happy to announce that Windows XP Mode has RTM’d today. We expect to make the final release of Windows XP Mode available via the Microsoft Download Center on October 22nd. OEMs will be able to offer Windows XP Mode on their PCs based on their manufacturing schedules.

Windows XP Mode is designed to provide small business and mid-sized businesses running Windows 7 Professional (or higher) the ability to run Windows XP productivity applications that may not be natively compatible with Windows 7. We expect many Windows XP applications to be compatible Windows 7 however Windows XP Mode is meant to serve as an added safety net so small and mid-sized businesses can migrate and run Windows 7 without any road blocks. Windows 7 Professional is designed to meet the needs of small and mid-sized businesses.

Notice there isn't a single mention of Windows Virtual PC in there. Microsoft? [knock, knock] Anyone home?