Windows XP is the latest, greatest Microsoft Windows version for personal computers. It replaced Windows 98, Windows Me and Windows 2000 for home and business computer use.
While Windows XP has been available for several years, it will be at least another year until the next version of Windows is available — and it will require much, much more powerful hardware.
Windows XP is definitely a good and reasonable upgrade from either Windows 98, Windows Me and Windows 2000. Surprisingly, Windows XP is actually faster on the same computer than either Windows 98 or Windows Me. Plus, the stability increase is huge — no more routine crashes of Windows You also get the ability to install most software without subsequent reboots (unless the software forces it, which most do not now). Windows XP keeps the Registry in memory as well as on the hard drive, as do the earlier versions — however, Windows XP keeps them in synchronization. Earlier Windows versions only read the Registry as they booted — that’s why you were often required to reboot after installing software.
Windows XP is available in both Windows XP Home and Windows XP Professional editions. The major differences are price ($100) and some networking functions. I have both Windows XP Home and Windows XP Professional versions running on machines at my house. Either would be ok. I recommend picking one or the other and not mixing (that is an esthetics
- Why Windows XP? Stability and speed. XP is faster and more stable Windows 98 and Windows Me.
- Windows XP Home or Windows XP Professional?
- Pre-installed on your new computer, or upgrading?
- "Fresh install" or "upgrade over Win98 or WinMe"?
Stability–it stays up and recovers more effectively from
- Fewer reboots needed–most program installations do not need
- It runs faster than Win98, with enough memory
- Ability to segregate users data–can protect it from other
- More robust when the computer crashes from non-Windows issues,
e.g. power loss
- Ability to use HPFS or FAT32 for hard drive partitions
- Restore Points
- Windows Update
- Recovery utilities on the Windows XP cdrom
- Service Pack 2
- The WinXP Special Interest Group
- Product Activation
- Computers shipped with recovery partitions or recovery disks,
instead of real Windows XP cdroms
- Computers with one big HPFS C: drive
- Computers with insufficient memory — While it will run on 128MB, WinXP really wants at least 256MB, preferably 512MB or more. With more memory, WinXP will be able to avoid "swapping" memory to the hard drive’s "virtual memory."
- Some of the Windows XP default settings
- Networking: www.practicallynetworked.com,
especially, for Windows XP troubleshooting —www.practicallynetworked.com/sharing/troubleshoot/
- WinXP tweaking:www.winguides.com
- Install guides for Home and Professional versions, Services
information & configuration, FAQ, recommendations: www.blackviper.com/articles. BlackViper’s site is down for some reason but will hopefully be available again. For now, it can be found via the Internet Achive’s Wayback Machine
- Lots of sites on the web have WinXP tips
- Get your Windows Updates regularly. You want to have all the security fixes that Microsoft has released as soon as you can get them.
- No matter what operating system you use, you need to run an antivirus program and a firewall program. No, the operating system (e.g., Windows XP) won’t protect you. No matter who told you (the guy at the computer store, your best buddy, the tech at your ISP, the cable/dsl installer, or whomever) that you don’t have to have a firewall, you do! It’s not a technical requirement–it is a necessity to protect you, your equipment and your data. No one can do it for you.
- No, there is not an antivirus program built into Windows XP. I recommend VIPRE Antivirus Premium
- Yes, the built-in Windows XP firewall is better than no firewall. WinXP Service Pack 2 includes an improved version of the Windows Firewall. However, this still only blocks inbound connection attempts. I recommend the Sunbelt Personal Firewall or the firewall in VIPRE Antivirus Premium. SPF has a two-way firewall that lets you control "outbound" communications from your computer, in addition to inbound ones coming to your computer.