Essay Preview: Windows Xp
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In 2001, Microsoft introduced Windows XP (codenamed “Whistler”). The merging of the Windows NT/2000 and Windows 95/98/Me lines was achieved with Windows XP. Windows XP uses the Windows NT 5.1 kernel, marking the entrance of the Windows NT core to the consumer market, to replace the aging 16/32-bit branch. Windows XP is the longest version of Windows ever released between upgrades, from 2001 all the way to 2007 when Windows Vista was released to consumers. The Windows XP line of operating systems were surpassed by Windows Vista on January 30, 2007.
Windows XP is available in a number of versions:
“Windows XP Home Edition”, for home desktops and laptops (notebooks)
“Windows XP Home Edition N”, as above, but without a default installation of Windows Media Player, as mandated by a European Union ruling
“Windows XP Professional”, for business and power users
“Windows XP Professional N”, as above, but without a default installation of Windows Media Player, as mandated by a European Union ruling
Windows XP Media Center Edition (MCE), released in November 2002 for desktops and notebooks with an emphasis on home entertainment
Windows XP Media Center Edition 2003
Windows XP Media Center Edition 2004
Windows XP Media Center Edition 2005, released on October 12, 2004.
“Windows XP Tablet PC Edition”, for tablet PCs (PCs with touch screens)
Windows XP Tablet PC Edition 2005
Windows XP Embedded, for embedded systems
“Windows XP Starter Edition”, for new computer users in developing countries
Windows XP Professional x64 Edition, released on April 25, 2005 for home and workstation systems utilizing 64-bit processors based on the x86-64 instruction set (AMD calls this AMD64, Intel calls it Intel 64)
Windows XP 64-bit Edition, is a version for Intels Itanium line of processors; maintains 32-bit compatibility solely through a software emulator. It is roughly analogous to Windows XP Professional in features. It was discontinued in September 2005 when the last vendor of Itanium workstations stopped shipping Itanium systems marketed as “Workstations”.
Windows XP 64-bit Edition 2003, based on the Windows NT 5.2 codebase.
Windows XP has many features not found in previous versions of Windows. Windows XP provides new and/or improved drivers and user interfaces for devices compared to Windows Me and 98.
On old versions of Windows, when users upgrade a device driver, there is a chance the new driver is less efficient or functional than the original. Reinstalling the old driver can be a major hassle and to avoid this quandary, Windows XP keeps a copy of an old driver when a new version is installed. If the new driver has problems, the user can return to the previous version. This feature does not work with printer drivers.
Windows XP includes a new set of visual themes, known by its codename, Luna. Available in three schemes, the interface is more task-based than the basic one included since Windows 95, with options available in Explorer windows to interact with each file. It also includes other modifications, such as grouping of related programs, hiding of taskbar icons, and many other elements.
Fast User Switching: Fast User Switching allows another user to log in and use the system without having to log out the previous user and quit his or her applications. Fast User Switching