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Dated: Aug. 13, 2004

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Windows XP

By Najmi 


The launch of the new Microsoft Windows XP operating system on October 25, 2001, was a major event for the computing industry. Windows XP's robust, easy-to-use operating system and new usability enhancements are changing the way home and office user's computer.

Microsoft Windows XP is the first operating system to combine the advantages of the Windows NT core with the ease of use and flexibility of the Windows 9x series. Windows XP was internally referred by Microsoft as Neptune at first and later renamed Whistler before finally becoming 'XP'.

"Whistler Embedded" delivers all the richness, innovation and reliability of the next generation of Windows in a componentized version, enabling embedded developers to select specific technology components required for a wide range of unique Windows Powered devices. Beta 1 is focused on delivering embedded client scenarios, including Windows-based terminals, advanced set-top boxes and retail point-of-sale kiosks.

Microsoft called the release its most important product since Windows 95. Along with a redesigned look and feel to the user interface, the new operating system is built on the Windows 2000 kernel, giving the user a more stable and reliable environment than previous versions of Windows. The operating system also utilizes the 802.11x wireless security standard.

Windows XP offers dramatically faster startup and resume times, highly responsive applications, and other new features such as Fast User Switching and an enhanced user interface. Windows XP is on average 34% faster than Windows 2000 and 27% faster than Windows 98 SE. Improvements in Windows XP runtime performance are evident in application startup and time and resource management. For example, average application startup on Windows XP is 25% faster than Windows 98 SE and equivalent to Windows 2000 Professional.

With the strengths of Windows 2000 Professional and the best business features of Windows 98 and Windows Me, Windows XP Professional is the best desktop operating system for business.

Windows XP

Core of Windows XP:

Microsoft Windows XP is based on the acclaimed Windows 2000 core that has proven an unrivalled level of dependability and reliability since its availability. So basically we can say Windows XP is what Windows 3.1 was to Windows 3.0. Microsoft Windows XP is a 32 bit operating system that doesn't use a mixed 16-32 bit core like Windows 9x does (only to support old Windows 3.1 applications) providing the ultimate rock solid platform for home users and workstations.

Just like Windows 2000 the architecture of Windows XP offers a fully protected memory model. Each application runs in its own dedicated memory space that way if an application crashes the rest of the system isn't affected since only the allocated memory space is reinitialized. Microsoft Windows XP is a real pre-emptive multitasking operating system letting users run several applications at the same time while ensuring a reliable system response. Windows XP core is much more protected than the one of Windows 2000, so essential system data isn't overwritten by drivers or software you'll install. Plus DLL are now stored side by side on the hard disk so each program will use its own DLLs. It ensures a widely enhanced reliability over Windows 2000.

Microsoft Windows XP supports modest PCs as well as high-end workstations since the system is designed to run with multiprocessor configurations (two dual CPUs can be handled by the Professional version). It can also manage memory up to 4GB for the most exigent users. One of the main reproaches frequently addressed about computers is the fact they take an incredible long time to start.

The Fastest OS of World:

Windows XP is probably the fastest booting OS of the world. Compared to previous Windows versions the boot time of Windows XP has been dramatically reduced. Before a regular system would take two minutes to load, now Windows XP will be loaded in less than 1 minute. Obviously those times depend on the configuration you have since SCSI cards and other devices which can lengthen those delays.

The 64-bit versions will only work on newer Intel Itanium based hardware. The 32-bit versions will work on all x86 compatible hardware (such a Pentium III, 4,etc...). 

What is New in Windows XP?

Microsoft is aiming to combine the features of Windows Me for the consumer, and reliability of Windows 2000 for businesses and power users into one new operating system. This operating system in its' different flavors will have new features for gaming, multimedia applications, audio, etc. in addition to features for networking, development, etc. for businesses and power users.

WPA (Windows Product Activation) Technology:

As you know, Microsoft Windows XP is the first operating system to feature the WPA (Windows Product Activation) technology. The activation process is supposed to reduce piracy since the activation will create a unique ID for your machine (based on a savant combination of the hardware you have) that matches your product key. That way, Windows XP will only work with your computer. It'll be locked if you install it on another computer thus ensuring the strict respect of the licensing terms. You have 30 days to activate Windows XP, and after this grace period the system won't be usable anymore and you'll be forced to activate. Activating the OS over the Internet is quite simple: in a few seconds your licence's authenticity is checked and your copy of XP is unlocked. For users with no internet connection, it remains possible to activate Windows XP by phone.

Flavors of Windows XP:

TMicrosoft Windows XP is available in two different flavours:

  • Windows XP Home Edition
  • Windows XP Professional Edition

Windows XP comes in two versions, Home and Professional. The company has focused on mobility for both editions; the features of Windows XP Home and Pro are very similar. Windows XP Home Edition is a smarter, simplified operating system that lets you stay connected to what's important to you, from friends and family to the Internet. With the new Windows engine, Windows XP Home Edition offers greater reliability and dependability than ever before in a home operating system.

Most home users have no need to the Professional version. Windows XP Pro has support for multiple processors and an encrypted file system. The professional edition adds some extra business oriented features over the Home edition with the support of SMP systems, Active Directory and IIS Web server.


According to Microsoft the minimum requirements for using/Installing Windows XP are:

  • PC with 300 megahertz (MHz) or higher processor clock speed recommended; 233-MHz minimum required;* Intel Pentium/Celeron family, AMD K6/Athlon/Duron family, or compatible processor recommended.
  • 128 megabytes (MB) of RAM or higher recommended (64 MB minimum supported; may limit performance and some features)
  • 1.5 gigabyte (GB) of available hard disk space.
  • Super VGA (800 × 600) or higher resolution video adapter and monitor
  • CD-ROM or DVD drive
  • Keyboard and Microsoft Mouse or compatible pointing device
  • Network adapter (required for network installation)

Additional Requirements:

For videoconferencing, both parties also need:

  • Windows XP.
  • Video conferencing camera.

For Remote Assistance:

  • Both parties must be running Windows XP and be connected by a network.

For Remote Desktop:

  • A Windows 95 or later-based computer, and the two machines must be connected by a network.

For DVD Video Playback:

  • DVD drive and DVD decoder card or DVD decoder software.
  • 8 MB of video RAM.

For Windows Movie Maker:

  • Video capture feature requires appropriate digital or analogvideo capture device.
  • 400 MHz or higher processor for digital video camera capture.

Actual requirements will vary based on your system configuration and the applications and features you choose to install.

Manufacture's Price:

  • Microsoft Windows XP Home OEM (Full version) $199.
  • Microsoft Windows XP Pro OEM (Full version) $ 299.

Windows XP Compatibility:

Windows XP delivers a host of great features, including improved reliability and security, along with great experiences in real-time communications, mobile support, home networking, digital photos, digital video, and digital music. The new Windows Catalog will showcase thousands of products that make the Windows XP experiences even better, and Windows XP is also driving new standards in software and hardware quality.

As a result of these higher standards, you may see some compatibility issues with your computer systems and software programs. In most cases, however, you can expect those problems to be at an absolute minimum. Here'swhy!

How Does Windows XP Help?

Windows XP includes these features to help you resolve quickly any compatibility problems that you might encounter:

The Program Compatibility Wizard gives you an easy tool to run software programs built for earlier versions of Windows. The built-in Windows XP Help and Support Center provides several Hardware Troubleshooters to help you with your computer systems.

At the How to Build Quality Software and How to Build Hardware that Qualifies Web sites, developers can find numerous tools and advice to help write quality applications and drivers for Windows XP.

Windows Update is a built-in Windows XP tool that regularly prompts you to download updates, patches, and drivers. To access Windows Update, click Start, point to All Programs, and click Windows Update.

You can use the Windows Upgrade Advisor to check your system hardware and software to see if it is ready for upgrade to Windows XP.

When launched later this year, the Windows Catalog will showcase thousands of applications, devices, and computers that provide the best Windows XP experiences.

Hardware Devices:

Windows XP is compatible with the majority of computer systems released in the past two years. In addition, Windows XP supports 12,000 devices (before any updates), including over 5,900 new devices released since the launch of Windows 2000.

There are, however, a great many devices, and many more are being released all the time. In balance, Windows XP offers good device compatibility, but individual user experiences will vary depending on the different kinds of devices.

The built-in Windows XP Help and Support Center provides several Hardware Troubleshooters to help users. To access Hardware Troubleshooters, click Start, click Help and Support, click Hardware, click fixing a hardware problem, and then, under Fix a problem, click Hardware Troubleshooter.

Vendors may elect to provide Microsoft with driver redistribution rights to post drivers on Windows Update for easy user access. Driver availability on Windows Update and the Automatic Update capability in Windows XP ensures that users quickly receive fixes.

Windows Update is a built-in Windows XP tool that regularly prompts you to download updates, patches, and drivers. To access Windows Update, click Start, point to All Programs, and click Windows Update.

You can use the Windows Upgrade Advisor to check your system hardware and software to see if it is ready for upgrade to Windows XP.

When launched later this year, the Windows Catalog will showcase thousands of applications, devices, and computers that provide the best Windows XP experiences.

Software Programs:

Microsoft estimates that over 90 percent of software programs written for Windows 2000 or Windows NT™, and about 90 percent of the most popular software programs distributed in the last three years, will be compatible with Windows XP.

Most customers will be satisfied with the compatibility of popular software programs, but there will be some issues. Some programs will be incompatible because they were written for a specific operating system, such as Windows 98 or Windows NT 4.0. In these cases, a new version of the program is likely to be released.

The Program Compatibility Wizard gives users an easy tool with which to run programs that were built for earlier versions of Windows. To access the Program Compatibility Wizard, click Start, click Help and Support, click fixing a problem, click Application and software problems, under fix a problem click getting older programs to run on Windows XP, and then click the Program Compatibility Wizard link in the instructions.

Built-in Windows Error Reporting offers users an easy way to report problems with applications and devices to Microsoft.Windows Update is a built-in Windows XP tool that regularly prompts you to download updates, patches, and drivers. To access Windows Update, click Start, point to All Programs, and click Windows Update.

You can use the Windows Upgrade Advisor to check your system hardware and software to see if it is ready for upgrade to Windows XP.

When launched later this year, the Windows Catalog will showcase thousands of applications, devices, and computers that provide the best Windows XP experiences.

Windows XP Home edition features:

Built on New Windows Engine:

With Windows XP Home Edition, Microsoft has merged the best features of its consumer operating systems with the power, security, and reliability of the Windows 2000 engine to create a new friendlier, more dependable operating system.

Windows File Protection:

Prevents you or your applications from accidentally changing the core operating system files. This helps protect your system proactively and automatically.

Protected Kernel Mode Architecture:

Your applications do not have access to the software code kernel upon which your operating system is based. This greatly improves the reliability of your system.

Process Separation:

Errant applications will not cause your computer to crash. Each application is in a completely separate, protected memory space.

Side-By-Side DLLs:

These provide you with a mechanism for multiple versions of individual Windows components to run "side by side." Now you won't have to worry that your applications will conflict with each other and cause application instability.

System Monitor:

Analyzes hundreds of different system metrics, including memory, disk and network throughput for you.

Task Manager:

Provides you with useful computer performance and allows you to terminate inactive programs. You can also opt for a reporting mechanism that best suits your specific requirements.

Enhanced Battery Life

Enables you to improve the battery life of your mobile computer by conserving display power in two ways:

Lid Power

When the lid of a mobile computer is closed, the display is powered off.

LCD Dimming

When a mobile computer is running on battery power, the display is dimmed. Upon reconnection to AC power, the original brightness is restored.

Internet Connection Firewall

The Internet Connection Firewall helps guard your computer from intrusion when you are connected to the Internet. Now you can rest assured that Windows XP Home Edition is working to protect you from unwanted attacks over the Internet.

Credential Manager

Credential Manager is a secured store for password information. This feature allows you to input user name and passwords for various network resources and applications (such as e-mail) once, and then have the system automatically supply that information for subsequent visits to those resources without your intervention.

Easy Setup Wizard

An easy to understand tutorial walks you through the installation process for the operating system, prompting you when necessary to enter information that will customize your PC.

Dynamic Update

Provides you with different application and device compatibility updates, some driver updates, and emergency fixes for setup or security issues at operating system Setup to help you keep your operating system current and functioning smoothly.

Personalized Welcome Screen:

The welcome screen can be personalized to allow you to share the same computer with your friends and family. Each individual can create his or her own unique account. These accounts are easily created during Setup or from the Control Panel. By default the accounts are not password protected but you have the option to set a password on your specific account if you desire.

Fast User Switching:

This allows you and your family or friends the ability to share a single computer without having to close each other's applications each time you need to access your own account.

Start Menu:

Organizes your programs. It is the primary way to access files, folders, and programs on your computer. Windows XP Home Edition offers an enhanced Start menu. Access to important and frequently used tasks and applications is made easier with a Frequently Used Programs list and prominent positioning of your most critical folders.

Task-Focused Design:

Allows you to view your Windows options as associated with your current task. For example, if you are creating a Microsoft Word document, a dynamic menu appears that lists the appropriate tasks such as cut, paste, and copy for the Word document.

Taskbar Grouping:

The different files that you have open group according to the type of application they are-keeping your taskbar clean and organized.

Desktop Clean Up Wizard:

The Desktop Clean Up Wizard periodically checks your desktop and gives you the opportunity to move your unused shortcuts.

Search Companion:

A search companion identifies what kind of help you need and retrieves search information relevant to the task at hand.

File Management:

You can quickly find what you need by grouping files and folders and using enhanced thumbnail views and organization that makes sense to you. You can view files in alphabetical groups, by file type, size, or date modified.

Indexed File System:

Provides you with the capability of indexing the contents of the file system; this allows you to locate files easily and quickly based on a file name or search string.

Files and Settings Transfer Wizard:

Enables the convenient transfer of files, documents, and settings from one computer to another. The wizard walks you through migrating files, documents, or settings from an old computer to a new one.

System Restore:

The System Restore feature of Windows XP Home Edition enables you to restore a PC, in the event of a problem, to a previous state without losing personal data files. System Restore actively monitors system file changes to record or store previous versions before the changes occurred. With System Restore, you never have to think about taking system snapshots as it automatically creates easily identifiable restore points, which allow you to restore the system to a previous point in time.

Compatibility Mode:

You can enable an application to run within a compatibility mode that helps mimic older versions of Windows using the built-in compatibility technology.


DualView allows two monitors to host the Windows desktop while being driven off of a single display adapter. In the case of laptop computers this could be the internal LCD display as well as an external monitor. For desktops there are a variety of high-end display adapters that will support this functionality.


Supports Microsoft ClearType®, a text display technology that gives you enhanced screen resolution, making it easier for you to read text on your computer screen.


Uninstall provides you with the ability to restore an upgrade to the previous Windows operating system you were using. This feature only applies if you are upgrading your computer from Windows 98 and Windows Millennium Edition (Windows Me). It provides you with the ability to uninstall at any point during Setup.

Help and Support Center:

Your "one-stop" shop for any assistance with your Windows experience. Help has been enhanced for the Windows XP Home Edition. Help now features the ability to search across multiple information sources such as your OEM home page, Microsoft Knowledge Base, etc. In addition, you can now print a chapter from the online documentation. Windows XP Home Edition has also integrated the concept of "Favorites" into the Help subsystem, so you can easily find important passages.

Remote Assistance:

Provides you with the ability to invite a trusted friend or support professional also running Windows XP to be your remote assistant. Through an Internet connection, your assistant can chat with you, observe your working screen, and, with your permission, remotely control your computer.

Extensible Search:

Lets you search across multiple remote and online providers to get the most information for the topic you're investigating.

Remotely Access Help:

Provides a mechanism to easily view server Help content from a desktop computer.

Windows Update:

Windows Update provides new device drivers in addition to application compatibility fixes so you'll have more support than ever before for your devices and applications. Updates downloaded from Windows Update can also be applied to all users on a computer at one time. Windows Update is now integrated with the Help and Support Center in Windows XP Home Edition. The Device Manager will also search Windows Update for new drivers when you insert a new device.

Device Driver Rollback:

Provides the capability of replacing an unstable device driver (does not include printer drivers) with a previously installed version that you knew was working. This helps you focus on a particular device that is causing you problems rather than dealing with your entire system.

Microsoft Incident Submission:

You can automatically submit a report over the Internet on an issue you are encountering so that Microsoft can work on developing a software fix for it. When it's ready, a Microsoft support engineer will contact you.

Windows Messenger:

The easy way to communicate with your friends, family, and colleagues in real time. Can keep you updated with your buddies' online status. Choose text, voice, and video and experience high quality online voice and video quality. Collaborate with your buddies, transfer files, and share applications and whiteboard drawings.

Home Networking:

Allows you to set up a home network, including physical connections such as for printers or faxes, installing protocols and bridging. Share an Internet connection with all computers on a network and Share resources on a computer.

Home networking is enhanced with the Internet Connection Firewall to help protect your home network from unauthorized access while you're connected to the Internet.

Network Bridge:

Simplifies the configuration and setup of home networks that use mixed connections by linking the different types of networks together.

Internet Connection Sharing:

Allows multiple computers in your home to access the Internet at the same time using the same broadband or dial-up connection. Windows XP Home Edition is now available with the option to remotely disconnect your dial-up connection to use your telephone line and easily resume the connection again.

Internet Explorer:

Microsoft Internet Explorer 6 is the next major update to the award-winning Internet Explorer technologies and provides the most private, reliable, and flexible Internet browsing experience. Internet Explorer 6 includes many new and enhanced features that can simplify the daily tasks that you perform while helping you to maintain the privacy of your personal information on the Web.

Internet-Enabled Games:

Sing the Internet, you can be matched with players from around the world on games like Internet Backgammon, Internet Checkers, Internet Hearts, Internet Reversi, and Internet Spades, or you can invite your friends to play against you in other Internet-based games.

Windows Media Player for Windows XP:

Windows MediaTM Player for Windows XP brings together all of your most common digital media activities in a single, easy-to-access place. Windows Media Player for Windows XP provides you with new features such as: DVD playback, native CD burning, and the ability to export video to portable devices. Also included are new and improved video controls, offline metadata support (for enhanced DVD viewing), and a more streamlined and flexible user interface.

My Music:

Enables you to quickly view a list of music files in a folder and perform basic management tasks such as retrieving, adding, sorting, and deleting music files. My Music is now task-based to help you work more efficiently.


If you insert a CD, ZIP or JAZ disk, or compact flash card, Windows will automatically recognize it and launch the corresponding application. For example, your CDs will begin playing on Windows Media Player for Windows XP.

My Pictures:

Enables you to quickly view a list of photos in a folder and perform basic management tasks like adding, sorting, and deleting picture files.

You have the ability to order prints directly from the Internet:

  • Link to Scanner and Camera Wizard for fast access
  • Look at images sequentially in a large, easy-to-view size

Publish pictures to the Internet
Compress pictures for easier e-mail distribution
Optimize printing your pictures to make the best use of high-quality photo paper

Scanner and Camera Wizard:

Provides you with the ability to:

  • Scan a single image from a flatbed scanner
  • Scan images from a scanner based on a scanner event
  • Scan a collection of images
  • Scan multiple-page documents or images from a scanner into a single image file
  • Scan multiple-page documents or images from a scanner into separate image files

Web Publishing Wizard:

The Web Publishing Wizard walks you through publishing your pictures to the Web quickly and easily so you can share them with others.

Order Photo Prints From the Internet:

With My Pictures, you can order your digital pictures directly over the Internet and have them delivered right to your door.

Windows Movie Maker:

Provides the ability to easily capture, edit, organize, and share home movies. Just plug your analog or digital camera into your PC to get started. Add music, narration, and title cards. Once you're done, e-mail or post your video to a Web site to share with friends and family.

Windows XP Professional Features:

Built on the New Windows Engine:

Windows XP Professional is built on the proven code base of Windows NT® and Windows 2000, which features a 32-bit computing architecture and a fully protected memory model.

Enhanced Device Driver Verifier:

Building on the device driver verifier found in Windows 2000, the Windows XP Professional will provide even greater stress tests for device drivers.

Dramatically Reduced Reboot Scenarios:

Eliminates most scenarios that force end users to reboot in Windows NT 4.0 and Windows 95/98/Me. Also, many software installations will not require reboots.

Improved Code Protection:

Improved Critical kernel data structures are read-only, so that drivers and applications cannot corrupt them. All device driver code is read-only and page protected.

Side-By-Side DLL Support:

Provides a mechanism for multiple versions of individual Windows components to be installed and run "side by side."

Windows File Protection:

Protects core system files from being overwritten by application installations. If a file is overwritten, Windows File Protection will restore the correct version.

Windows Installer:

A system service that helps users installs, configure, track, upgrade, and remove software programs correctly.

Enhanced Software Restriction Policies:

Provide administrators a policy-driven mechanism to identify software running in their environment and control its ability to execute. This facility can be used in virus and Trojan horse prevention and software lockdown.

Preemptive multitasking architecture:

Designed to allow multiple applications to run simultaneously, while ensuring great system response and stability.

Scalable memory and processor support:

Supports up to 4 gigabytes (GB) of RAM and up to two symmetric multiprocessors.

Encrypting File System (EFS) with multi-user support:

Encrypts each file with a randomly generated key. The encryption and decryption processes are transparent to the user. In Windows XP Professional, EFS can provide multiple users access to an encrypted document.

IP Security (IPSec):

Helps protect data transmitted across a network. IPSec is an important part of providing security for virtual private networks (VPNs), which allow organizations to transmit data securely over the Internet.

Kerberos Support:

Provides industry-standard and high-strength authentication with fast, single logon to Windows 2000-based enterprise resources. Kerberos is an Internet standard, which makes it especially effective for networks that include different operating systems such as UNIX.

Smart Card Support:

Smart card capabilities are integrated into the operating system, including support for smart card logon to terminal server sessions hosted on Windows .NET Server-based (the next-generation server platform) terminal servers.

Fresh Visual Design:

While maintaining the core of Windows 2000, Windows XP Professional has a fresh visual design. Common tasks have been consolidated and simplified, and new visual cues have been added to help users navigate their computers more easily. Administrators or end users can choose this updated user interface or the classic Windows 2000 interface with the click of a button.

Adaptive User Environment:

Adapts to the way an individual user works. With a redesigned Start menu, the most frequently used applications are shown first. When you open multiple files in the same application, (such as multiple e-mail messages in the Microsoft Outlook® messaging and collaboration client) the open windows will be consolidated under a single task bar button. To remove some of the clutter from the notification area, items that are not being used will be hidden. All of these features can be set using Group Policy.

Working with Windows Media Player:

Windows Media™ Player for Windows XP is the first player to combine all of your common digital media activities into a single, easy-to-use player. The player makes it easy for you to:

  • View rich media information, for example, virtual company meetings or "just-in-time" learning.
  • Receive the best-possible audio and video quality, because the player adapts to network conditions.
  • Tune in to nearly 3,000 Internet radio stations.
  • Create custom CDs up to 700 percent faster than other solutions.
  • View DVD movies.

Context-Sensitive Task Menus:

When a file is selected in Windows Explorer, a dynamic menu appears. This menu lists tasks that are appropriate for the type of file selected.

Easily Publish Information to the Web:

Files and folders can be easily published to any Web service that uses the WebDAV protocol.


A single computer desktop can be displayed on two monitors driven off of a single display adapter. With a laptop computer, a user could run the internal LCD display as well as an external monitor. A variety of high-end display adapters will support this functionality for desktops.

Remote Desktop:

Allows users to create a virtual session onto their desktop computers using the Microsoft Remote Desktop Protocol (RDP).

Credential Manager:

A secured store for password information. It allows users to input user names and passwords once, and then have the system automatically supply that information for subsequent visits.

Offline Files and Folders:

A user can specify which network-based files and folders she needs when she disconnects from the network. Offline folders can now be encrypted to provide the highest level of security.


A new text display technology that triples the horizontal resolution available for rendering text through software.

Offline Viewing:

Makes entire Web pages with graphics available for viewing offline.

Synchronization Manager:

Lets users compare and update their offline files and folders with those on the network.

Improved Power Management:

By intelligently monitoring CPU state, Windows XP Professional can reduce the amount of power it is using. The operating system will provide more accurate data on the amount of power left; this will prevent the system from shutting down prematurely. Also, by allowing for the system to wake up as the battery nears a drained state, the computer can be put into hibernation, and save work in progress. Power management can now be set for each computer, or each user on a computer.


Lets you dock or undock your notebook computer without changing hardware configuration or rebooting.

Advanced Configuration and Power Interface (ACPI):

Provides the latest in power management and Plug and Play support.

Wireless Networking Support:

Provides secured access, as well as performance improvements, for wireless networks.

Network Location Awareness:

Provides an underlying service that allows the operating system and applications to determine when a machine has changed network locations.

Easier Remote Access Configuration Wizards:

Guide users through the steps for setting up remote access to a network or virtual private network (VPN).

Improved Help and Support Services:

The Help and Support Center combines features users are familiar with from previous versions of Windows (such as Search, Index, and Favorites) with content from the World Wide Web to give users more chances to get the help they need when they need it. If the content in the Help and Support Center doesn't answer their question, it can be used to contact a friend, a support community, or a professional to get assistance.

Tools such as My Computer Information and System Restore are also available to diagnose and fix common problems.

Remote Assistance:

Remote Assistance enables a user to share control of his or her computer with someone on a network or the Internet. An administrator or friend can view the user's screen, and control the pointer and keyboard to help solve a technical problem. IT departments can build custom solutions, on top of published APIs using HTML, to tailor Remote Assistance to their needs, and the feature can be centrally enabled or disabled.

System Restore:

The System Restore feature enables users and administrators to restore a computer to a previous state without losing data. System Restore automatically creates easily identifiable restore points, which allow you to restore the system to a previous time.

Recovery Console:

Provides a command-line console for administrators to start and stop services, format drives, read and write data on a local drive, and perform many other administrative tasks.

Device Driver Rollback:

When certain classes of new device drivers are installed, Windows XP Professional will maintain a copy of the previously installed driver, which can be reinstalled if problems occur.

Windows Messenger:

The easy way to communicate with your customers, partners, friends, and family in real time. Will keep you updated with your contacts' online status. Choose text, voice, or video and experience the best online voice and video quality. Collaborate with contacts, transfer files, and share applications and whiteboard drawings.

Internet Connection Firewall:

A firewall client that can protect small businesses from common Internet attacks.

Network Setup Wizard:

Makes it easy for a small business owner to set up and manage a network. The wizard walks through key steps, such as sharing files and printers, sharing the Internet connection, and configuring the Internet Connection Firewall.

Network Bridge:

Simplifies the setup and configuration of small networks that use mixed network connections (such as Cat-5 Ethernet and wireless) by linking the different types of networks together.

Internet Connection Sharing (ICS):

Connects a small office network to the Internet, using a dial-up or broadband connection. Windows XP Professional can provide network address translation, addressing, and name resolution services for all computers on a small business network to share a single connection.

Peer-To-Peer Networking Support:

Enables Windows XP Professional to interoperate with earlier versions of Windows on a peer-to-peer level, allowing the sharing of all resources, such as folders, printers, and peripherals.

Application Compatibility:

We've provided fixes to hundreds of applications that didn't run on Windows 2000 Professional to run on Windows XP Professional. As new application fixes are published, we will make them available via the Windows Update service.

In addition to the application fixes, Windows XP Professional has a mechanism that allows the user or IT administrator to specify if an application needs to run in either Windows NT 4.0 or Windows 95/98 or Windows Me compatibility mode. In this mode, Windows XP Professional system DLLs provide appropriate responses to the running application, allowing it to execute appropriately without a noticeable loss of performance.

User State Migration Tool:

Helps administrators to migrate a user's data and application/operating system settings from an old computer to a new Windows XP Professional desktop computer.

Automatic Updates:

With the user's permission, Windows XP Professional automatically downloads critical and security updates in the background when the user is connected to the Internet. These downloads are designed to minimize the impact on Internet browsing, and the update automatically resumes upon reconnection if the computer is disconnected before the download is complete. Once the update has been downloaded, the user can choose to install it.

Windows Update Improvements:

As application compatibility updates, new device drivers, and other updates are released for Windows XP Professional, they become available on the Windows Update Web site. (Users can also find critical and security updates here, if they choose not to use automatic updating.) Administrators can disable user access to Windows Update.

The Windows Update Catalog is provided for administrators to download updates and deploy them as appropriate in their organizations.

Support for Latest Hardware Standards:

Windows XP Professional supports the latest hardware standards. It supports UDF 2.01, the latest standard for reading DVD discs. It also supports the formatting of DVD-RAM drives with the FAT32 file system. Microsoft DirectX® 8 API support will be included, and Windows XP Professional fully supports standards for Infrared Data Association (IrDA), Universal Serial Bus (USB), and the high-speed bus known as IEEE 1394.

Setup with Dynamic Update:

The Setup routine ensures that the operating system files are up to date. Before any files are installed, Windows XP Professional checks the Web for critical system updates and downloads them for installation.

Unattended Installation:

Provides the ability to specify a greater number of options than previous versions of Windows, and allows for a greater degree of security by encrypting passwords in the answer files.

Internet Explorer 6 Administration Kit:

Internet Explorer 6 is more customizable using the Internet Explorer Administration Kit (IEAK 6), so it's easier to deploy and maintain the browser. Version 6 of the IEAK adds control over new features such as the Media bar, Auto Image Resize, and the Personal bar.

System Preparation Tool (SysPrep):

SysPrep helps administrators clone computer configurations, systems, and applications. A single image, which includes the operating system and business applications, can be restored to multiple different machine configurations.

Remote OS Installation:

Windows XP Professional can be installed across the network (including SysPrep images).This feature requires the Active Directory™ service.

Multilingual Support:

Allows users to easily create, read, and edit documents in many languages with the English version of Windows XP Professional. The Multilingual User Interface Pack, an add-on pack to the English version of Windows XP Professional, lets you change the user interface language for each user.

Windows Management Instrumentation (WMI):

Provides a standard infrastructure for monitoring and managing system resources.

Group Policy:

Group Policy settings simplify the administration of users and objects by letting administrators organize them into logical units, such as departments or locations and then assign the same settings, including security, appearance, and management options, to all employees in that group. There are hundreds of new policies available for Windows XP Professional, in addition to those provided for Windows 2000 Professional.

Resultant Set of Policy (RSoP):

Allows administrators to see the effect of Group Policy on a targeted user or computer. With RSoP, administrators have a powerful and flexible base-level tool to plan, monitor, and troubleshoot Group Policy.

Microsoft Management Console (MMC):

Provides a centralized and consistent environment for management tools

Windows XP Utilities:

Here are some useful utilities for Windows XP.

AceReader Pro:

AceReader Pro is productivity and self-improvement educational reading tool that can help anyone become a more proficient reader.

Ad-aware 5.71:

Adware is known by many names--spyware, trackware, or even Big Brotherware. Ad-aware identifies and removes these surreptitiously installed applications.

Backup Plus:

Backup Plus allows you to easily and quickly backup all of your important data. Features include the ability to include files, full folders, wildcards and exclusions in your backup set.

BlackHole Organizer:

Tired of losing your important notes? Have a task to complete? Reminder programs too complicated? Get organized with BlackHole Organizer!


Custom print brochures, day planner pages, greeting cards, and more with ClickBook.

CursorXP 1.0:

Check out this cursor program that allows you to use the new video features of Windows XP.

Edit Buddy 1.3:

This Windows add-on, which converts regular edit fields into drop-down combo boxes, remembers the history of user input.

Emergency Recovery Utility NT 1.0:

Backup the Windows NT/2000/XP registry to a folder of your choice with this utility.

Express Assist:

For Outlook Express users, this backup and restore utility insulates you from hardware failure, viruses, and more. Works with all versions of Outlook Express!

FreeRAM XP Lite 1.03:

Increase your system performance with this RAM cleanup utility.

HelioBar XP 1.5:

Use the full amount of your desktop space with the help of this software.

jv16 PowerTools:

jv16 PowerTools is basically the Tool to control your computer. Until now your computer might had been the one who is in charge, but with jv16 PowerTools you can take the control. The program contains all the tools needed for monitoring, cleaning and controlling the registry, the file system and your Local Area Network.

Now that you've gotten free know-how on this topic, try to grow your skills even faster with online video training. Then finally, put these skills to the test and make a name for yourself by offering these skills to others by becoming a freelancer. There are literally 2000+ new projects that are posted every single freakin' day, no lie!

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Romi's Comment
Correction: Windows XP that built on the Windows 2000 kernel is strong and most reliable, faster boot and less complicated easy to use.
09 Sat Oct 2010
Admin's Reply:

It takes less resources and does the same job faster. There's no doubt in my mind about the superiority of XP.

Romi's Comment
Still I think windows XP that built on core of Win 200 or Win 3.1 .it is fastest, as of Oct 2010. How Windows 7 doing btw..
09 Sat Oct 2010
Admin's Reply:

My personal OS of choice is still XP Pro. I hate Vista but like Windows 7. It's not as good as XP but still kicks Vista.