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Windows XP represented the next version of the Microsoft Windows operating system, beyond Windows 2000 and Windows Millennium. Windows XP is the end result of combining the strengths of Windows 2000 (Standards-Based Security, Manageability and Reliability) with the best features of Windows 98 and Windows ME (Plug and Play, Easy-To-Use User Interface, and Innovative Support Services) to create what appears to the best Windows operating system yet.
Windows XP is built on an enhanced Windows 2000 code base, with different versions aimed at home users and business users: Windows XP Home Edition and Windows XP Professional. While the professional version comes with some nice features and expands on Windows 2000 technology, there is not enough differences to entice business users to run make the switch. However, for the home user those who might be running Windows 95, 98 or ME, Windows XP is vastly different but it will be to your liking.
What’s New in Windows XP?
For starters the desktop has been completely revamped. The first change you will notice is the new design, or “dazzling new look.”
Icons, window borders and buttons in the new XP Theme all look more three-dimensional. Believe me, you won’t mistake this for any previous version of Windows.
There is a new start menu, it now has two columns and you can see how Microsoft has made a great effort to improve its functionality.
The left side shows your five (5) most recent applications and will change as you use applications. The right side contains links that open the default document storage folders like My Pictures, My Documents and My Computer.
Windows XP came with a number of other improvements that although the home user may not fully understand, they will appreciate them. Here are some of them at a glance:
- Fast User Switching for Multiple Users of a Computer
- File Grouping
- Search Companion
- Windows Media Player 8
- Windows Movie Maker
- Digital Photo Support
- Improved Device Installation
- Support For New Hardware Technologies
- Native Support for DVDs and CDs
- Application Compatibility Mode
- Encrypting of Offline Files Database
Windows XP was and still is one of the most reliable home user version of windows yet. I will expand on many of these features at a later date. Incidentally the XP is short for eXPerience and you probably thought it stood for eXtra cash in Bill Gates Pockets (smile).
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