Microsoft's update to the Windows 2000 Operating System, in part to compete with the Apple's OS X, offering a host of new features, more colorful user interface, and boasting multimedia capabilites. Released October, 2001 in "Home" and "Proffessional" versions.
Some of the new features included:
- CD creation
- Basic Video edition software
- A basic firewall (should not be considered very secure)
- VPN tools (for Professional version)
- An encrypted/compressed file container system (for Professional version), however this system is insecure. See: Hard Disk Encryption for alternatives.
- Optional Faxing capability
- Greater compatability with Windows 98
- Better use of DirectX for gaming, unlike Windows 2000 and NT
- Implimented a profitable but strongly restrictive license. This license prevented installation on more than one computer (such as a desktop and laptop) but also caused headaches for customers who altered their system hardware, especially network interface cards. You also must register your copy of XP within 30 days or lose use of your computer
Windows XP also has higher hardware requirements than Windows 2000. Although a speed increase over Windows 2000 was boasted, some sources claimed it was actually slower. PC gamers, however, almost universally choose Windows XP.
XP Professional vs. XP Home
XP Home edition is essentially a stripped down version of Professional. It lacks many of Professional's features but nothing most basic users would notice.
According to this InfoWorld article "Our tests on a dual-CPU system indicate that both Windows XP and Windows 2000 run better on an SMP (symmetric multiprocessing) configuration with relatively slow CPUs than on a single-CPU system with a screamingly fast processor."
Individuals interested in protecting information on their Windows 2000 computer should not use the included encryption security and not trust the password security as evidence by Advanced EFS Data Recovery (and other tools). This is if (and only if) they have physical access to the computer or hard drive.
(This also affects Windows 2000.)
See: Hard Disk Encryption for alternatives
Press, Web sites
- XP-Antispy - A highly-recommended tool to turn off lots of annoying features in XP, including background programs that interface with Microsoft, and even speed up shutdown. Turn off suspicious, useless, spyware-like stuff that comes in Windows XP by default (and will free up processor time and memory). Note: site requires an e-mail address and will send you spam - use a temporary or barely-used address.
- FreshUI - An untested tool to tap many hidden features of Windows XP. Similar to TweakUI for Windows 95/98/NT/Me/2000.
- X-setup - a tool which allows lots of systems tweaks - similar to tweakUI
- An often-updated list of XP Tips and Tricks
- Securing Windows XP and includes
- IPSec use in Windows XP
- Microsoft: Windows XP Deployment: - http://www.microsoft.com/technet/prodtechnol/winxppro/deploy/default.mspx
- TechTarget: Windows XP Resource Center - http://labmice.techtarget.com/windowsxp/default.htm
- TechTarget: Windows XP Resource Center: Automating Windows XP Installations - http://labmice.techtarget.com/windowsxp/Install/unattend.htm
- Windows XP Service Pack 2 Network Installation Package for IT Professionals and Developers - http://www.microsoft.com/downloads/details.aspx?FamilyId=049C9DBE-3B8E-4F30-8245-9E368D3CDB5A&displaylang=en
- TechRepublic: PC makers: Look before taking SP2 leap - http://techrepublic.com.com/5100-22_11-5344460.html
- CNet: Windows XP SP2 more secure? Not so fast - http://reviews.cnet.com/4520-3513_7-5324906.html
- Application Problems in Windows XP SP2 - http://www.winnetmag.com/Windows/Article/ArticleID/43798/Windows_43798.html
- Microsoft: Windows XP SP2 Support Site for IT Professionals - http://support.microsoft.com/default.aspx?pr=windowsxpsp2it
- Microsoft: Windows XP SP2 Support Site for Consumers - http://support.microsoft.com/windowsxpsp2