Re: Another option (if you really want to stick with Windows)...
Would that still work?
Don't VMs access the CPU (essentially) directly anyway?
i.e. If your host is a 3rd gen i7, then your VM also see's a 3rd gen i7. All the 'user' can usually do is manage things like how many cores are available to the VM, not what type of CPU the VM gets to see.
Therefore wouldn't trying to run Win 7 in a VM, on a host that was running on a new CPU, still have the same compatibility issue?
Genuine question. As my experience with various VM environments (desktop, not server), don't allow you to change the 'type' of CPU available to the VM, they always see whatever the host has installed.