Moving to Windows XP

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                                          YOUR SOURCE FOR INFORMATION ON COMPUTER TECHNOLOGY

                            Moving to Windows XP
                           Now that Windows XP is available, what can you do with this new
                           operating system from Microsoft? In this edition of Focus, we examine the
                           new features of Windows XP and also look at some of the major changes
                           from older Windows versions, including ease-of-use enhancements and
                           customization tips.We’ll also look at what’s involved with the new product
                           activation feature, and give you advice on how to deal with it effectively.

     Recommendations for                               One thing that has changed is support for device
                                                       drivers. Earlier 16-bit device drivers for Windows
     upgrading                                         3.x,Windows 95,Windows 98, and Windows Me
Windows XP is the unified operating system             were based on the virtual device driver (VxD)
OS that represents a tremendous evolution for          model. This is not supported in Windows XP
Microsoft: it joins the stability and reliability of   Professional. If your existing population of PCs
the NT/2000 line with the consumer-oriented            make use of VxDs, then you are better off
popularity of Windows 95/98 into a single              purchasing new machines to run Windows XP.
code base. Now that Windows XP is here,                How do you know? See the TIP box below:
corporations looking to upgrade, install, and
migrate need to understand what is new, what
                                                         TIP: How can you tell if you are                      TABLE OF CONTENTS
is improved, and what is compelling about this
new operating system.                                    running any 16-bit programs?
                                                         Right-click the program’s executable                  Upgrades . . . . . . . . . . . . 1
Microsoft is recommending at least a 300MHz              file and then choose Properties. If you
                                                         see a Version tab, it’s a 32-bit program.             Versions . . . . . . . . . . . . . 2
Pentium II processor to run Windows XP,
                                                         If you don’t, then it is a 16-bit program.
along with 128MB of RAM, a 2GB hard disk,                                                                      Network Connections . . . 3
and a graphics subsystem with at least 8MB of
                                                                                                               Network Tour . . . . . . . . . 4
memory. Obviously, the more system RAM,                Microsoft also recommends that if you are going
the better Windows XP will run—and for                 to perform an in-place upgrade, you should              Remote Sharing . . . . . . . 4
Windows XP Professional installations running          remove any antivirus programs and other file-
                                                                                                               XP Activation . . . . . . . . . . 5
multiple programs, corporations should install         dependent utilities before doing the upgrade,
at least 256MB of RAM on their machines.               particularly when upgrading from NT to                  Changes to Desktop . . . . . 6
The good news is that the resource require-            Windows XP. This is because Windows XP uses             Wizards . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 7
ment for Windows XP hasn’t increased much              a slightly different version of the NT file system
from the original specifications for Windows           (NTFS) than NT, so the NT-based versions of             Reference . . . . . . . . . . . . . 7
2000 Professional.                                     these tools will not work.


                The following features and applications      right version of Windows XP depends              function works without any
                cannot be upgraded properly to               on whether you want some of the                  operator intervention, other than

                Windows XP Professional, and should          additional features found in the                 checking the encrypt box by
                be removed before upgrading:                 Windows XP Professional package.                 right-clicking and choosing

                                                             Windows XP Professional (along with              Properties |Advanced. Windows
                    • Applications that depend on file-      the 64-bit version) is a superset of the         XP automatically selects the
                      system filters—for example,            Home version, and includes the                   encryption and decryption key
                      antivirus software, disk tools, and    following additional features:                   pairs, and does everything for
                      disk quota software.                                                                    you. Selecting this option will
                                                                 • Internet Information Serves                protect your files from being
                    • Custom power-management                      (IIS) and other Web-related                accessed by other users logging
                      solutions and tools that don’t               services. Like Windows 2000                in on the same machine, along

                      suppor t     the    Advanced                 Professional, Windows XP                   with anyone else who has

                      Configuration and Power Interface            Professional includes several Web          network access to your shared
                      (ACPI) or Advanced Power                     services, such as a File Transfer          folders. This is a very useful
                      Management (APM) features.                                                              feature, especially for corporations

                                                                   Protocol (FTP) service and
                                                                   Simple Mail Transport Protocol             where PCs are shared among
                    • Custom Plug-and-Play solutions.              (SMTP) service, among others.              several workers.
                                                                   While a company shouldn’t run
                    • Fault-tolerant options, such as              its entire Web site on the Windows
                      disk-mirroring products.                     XP Professional version of IIS, it is
                                                                   useful for ad hoc collaboration
                    • Software that manages uninter-               and assembling quick workgroup

                      ruptible power supplies.                     Web servers.

                                                                 • Remote deskop sharing.
                     Which version is                              Microsoft’s answer to programs like

                     right for you?                                pcAnywhere and Carbon Copy, any
                                                                   Windows machine (running either
                Windows XP comes in three different
                                                                   XP or an earlier version) can control
                versions: Home, Professional, and 64-
                                                                   another Windows XP Professional
                bit. The latter is available on a limited
                                                                   PC across the Internet or over a
                number of high-end workstations and
                                                                   modem connection (see a more
                servers from Hewlett-Packard and
                                                                   detailed explanation on page 4).
                IBM, among others; and runs with the

                new 64-bit Itanium processors from
                                                                 • Off-line        file-browsing.

                Intel.The 64-bit version supports up to
                                                                   Continuing a feature that was
                16GB of RAM and can handle files
                                                                   introduced in Windows 2000
                larger than 2GB, appropriate for large

                                                                   Professional, users can disconnect
                computer-aided graphics and database
                                                                   from a network file server and
                server applications. It is appropriate for                                                 WINDOWS XP OFF - LINE BROWSING
                                                                   still have access to their shared
                technical workstation users who                                                            OPTIONS.   NOTE THE CHOICE TO ENCRYPT
                                                                   files. Saving files off-line is
                require improved floating-point and                                                        OFF - LINE FILES—THIS IS A FEATURE FOUND
                                                                   useful for those with notebooks
                calculation performance—for examples                                                       ONLY IN THE PROFESSIONAL VERSION.
                                                                   that want to take their files on
                those working with CAD and engi-
                                                                   business trips. There are various
                neering applications.
                                                                   options for synchronizing files

                                                                   automatically when disconnected

                All three versions are really desktop              and reconnected to the network,          • Support for dual-processor
                OSes—not server-specific OSes like                 as shown in the screen shot.               machines. Windows XP Pro-
                Windows 2000 Server and Advanced                                                              fessional will support these

                Server. If you are running any NT 4.0            • Automatic file encryption.                 powerful desktops, while
                Server applications, you probably don’t            Windows XP Professional can                Windows XP Home will work
                want to upgrade to Windows XP yet.                 automatically encrypt each file            on only uni-processor PCs. Both
                Microsoft will have new server-                    on your hard disk, including any           versions will support multiple
                oriented versions sometime next year.              of the files saved with the off-line       monitors attached to a single
                But for your desktops, choosing the                file browsing feature. This                PC, however.

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    • Better installation and manage-         2000 Professional, you can’t migrate to     for an upstream gateway or router, and
      ment functions. Windows XP              Windows XP Home without                     network location awareness to select the
      Professional supports a wide array      formatting your entire disk and starting    correct network connections for
      of remote installation and config-      from scratch.                               sharing and internal networking. (See
      uration policy-management options,                                                  the following section for a tour through
      making it easier for corporations       What strategy should corporate IT           some of Network Setup Wizard’s
      to install across a network and in      departments pursue for the move to          screens and features.)
      large quantities. The Professional      Windows XP? If your existing user
      version is useful in businesses with    population is running Windows 95 or         A big change with Windows XP is the
      managed-computing environments,         98 and you want to deploy XP, you’ll        addition of the Internet Connection
      and includes a series of tools to       probably have to purchase new PCs,          Firewall (ICF) feature. While no
      enable this.The Professional version    unless your existing machines have          software-based firewall can match the
      also supports an encrypted file         sufficient memory, plenty of disk space,    abilities of various hardware products,
      system and offers more control over     and fast enough processors to handle        it is probably worth a closer look. ICF
      individual file-sharing access rights   the upgrade. If you are running NT          is enabled automatically if the
      than the Home version.The Home          Workstation, it makes sense to move to      networking wizard detects an Internet
      version doesn’t support Group           Windows XP Professional and to try to       connection.
      Policies and other access controls      do an in-place upgrade. If you are
      that have been implemented as part      currently running Windows 2000              One issue for corporate support
      of Active Directory services.           Professional and you are having stability   departments is that this personal
                                              problems, can’t run particular              firewall might do too good of a job and
So which version of Windows XP is             applications or have issues with overall    break certain network applications. To
right for your business? While                Wiindows desktop security, you should       turn it off, go to Control Panel |
Windows XP Professional features may          upgrade now to XP Professional.             Network Connections | LAN
be important for some users, it may be                                                    Connections, and right-click on
appropriate for some companies to run                                                     Properties. Then go to Advanced |
Windows XP Home Edition, despite                   The network                            Internet Connection Firewall and
its name and non-corporate image.                  connection                             uncheck the box to enable protection.
Windows XP Home still offers many             There are several new networking            Or, if you know what particular ports or
of the stability and reliability features     features in Windows XP, including a         applications you’ll need to free up, you
that are part of the new operating            personal firewall, wireless support, and    can leave the firewall enabled, click on
system overall, and if your current user      setup options. Let’s examine each one       the Settings button, and configure the
population running on Windows                 to see what has changed, and how            firewall to allow these specific tasks.
95/98 is experiencing frequent crashes        these features will help you implement
and daily reboots, it might be time to        your network.                               Another great feature about Windows
replace their desktops with newer                                                         XP is its ability to detect the
machines running Windows XP.                  One of the first things you’ll notice is    appropriate network adapter and install
                                                                                          drivers automatically, so you don’t have
                                              the Network Setup Wizard. This
If you are running Windows NT                                                             to search for a separate software disk
                                              replaces the previously separate Home
Workstation 4.0 or Windows 2000                                                           from the adapter vendor. This is
                                              Networking and Internet Connection
Professional, you can perform in-place                                                    especially handy when installing
                                              Wizards found in Windows 2000 and
upgrades on these machines to                                                             wireless IEEE 802.11b network
                                              Me. Windows XP uses Universal Plug
Windows XP Professional, while                                                            adapters. Windows XP will auto-
                                              and Play (UPnP) technology to look
keeping your existing programs, settings,                                                 matically search for the fastest network
and disk configurations intact. You’ll                                                    connection available and use that as the
need at least 1GB of spare disk space for                                                 primary network interface. This means
these in-place upgrades. If you are                                                       that if a user has a notebook with both
running any version of Windows 98 or                                                      a standard Ethernet and a wireless
Windows Me, you have a choice of                                                          network connection,Windows XP will
either version of XP to do the in-place
upgrade, provided again that you have
enough free disk space. Keep in mind
that once you install the Windows XP
Professional operating system, you can’t
migrate to Windows XP Home.Also, if
you are currently running Windows

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automatically choose the appropriate                                                Remote Assistance. The two XP
connection for each session. Windows                                                versions differ somewhat in how these
XP will also bridge between two or                                                  programs are implemented.
more network connections, so you don’t
have to configure different TCP/IP                                                  The Windows XP Professional version
subnet addresses for each connection.                                               includes the ability to act as a host that
                                                                                    can be controlled from other Windows
Another change is a new properties                                                  machines, whether they are running
sheet, called Support, that is part of the                                          either version of Windows XP or other,
Local Area Connections Status Control                                               older versions of Windows. This
Panel. On this sheet (see screen shot                                               provides some of the same remote-
below), you’ll see information about             THREE   INITIAL CHOICES FOR        control features that have long been
your TCP/IP network, subnet mask,                NETWORK SETUP.                     found with products such as
DNS servers’ IP addresses, and more.                                                pcAnywhere, Carbon Copy, and others.
This is a great resource for network
administrators who are trying to trouble-                                           Windows XP Home can’t act as a host,
shoot their network difficulties because                                            but does include the Remote Desktop
it pulls together a great deal of infor-                                            Sharing software. If you want to make
mation that was spread around various                                               use of this software on older versions of
places in earlier versions of Windows, or                                           Windows, you’ll need either of the XP
was only available through command-                                                 software CDs. Before any corporation
line utilities.
                                                                                    gets involved in using this software, you
                                                                                    should first be aware of several issues.

                                                                                    First, the remote-control feature is not
                                                                                    enabled with the default installation—
                                                 OTHER INTERNET   CONNECTION        a benefit for network security. To use
                                                 METHODS.                           the remote-control feature, you’ll have
                                                                                    to turn it on by going to the System
                                                                                    Desktop Panel and choosing the
                                                                                    Remote tab, and then clicking on the
                                                                                    check box next to Remote Control
                                                                                    that says, “Allow users to connect
                                                                                    remotely to this computer.”You’ll also
                                                                                    need to install the Remote Desktop
                                                                                    Connection client software on the
                                                                                    remote PC if that PC is running an
                                                                                    earlier version of Windows.To do this,
                                                                                    you’ll need to use the XP installation
     Network Setup                                                                  CD—choose Perform Additional
                                                                                    Tasks, and then Setup Remote
     Wizard tour                                                                    Desktop Connection.
                                                 READY   TO APPLY SETTINGS
The screens that are displayed in the            AND FINISH THE WIZARD.
Network Setup Wizard show some of                                                   Second, the remote-control feature uses
the new features in Windows XP. The                                                 your standard Windows user access
first screen will present you with three                                            controls and security, and actually logs
choices (see upper right screen shot).                                              into the host machine. However, unlike
Most corporate network installations                                                third-party remote-control products,
will pick the last option, Other. The            Remote Desktop                     the remote-control session completely
second screen details other Internet             Sharing and Remote                 takes over the host, and anyone sitting at
connection methods, and again most                                                  the host machine will just see a mostly
corporate network installations will
                                                 Assistance                         blank screen indicating that a remote
pick the first option, connecting            Windows XP includes two new            program is running. This differs from
through a hub. Once you are finished,        remote-access programs that provide    third-party products that allow people
the wizard presents you with the results     somewhat complementary features,       sitting at the host machine to view what
and sets up your configuration.              called Remote Desktop Sharing and      the remote user is doing.

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Third, if a user is working on the host      The expert can also initiate an offer
when a remote user wants to connect,         to help the remote user. Once con-
the host user will be logged off.This has    nected, users can send text messages
its benefits, especially when a support      and files as well as remotely control the
person needs to troubleshoot problems        host desktop.
with the host PC.The remote user can
immediately see what the host user was       If the expert and the originator of the
doing on his or her desktop, as long as      request aren’t on the same local-area
the remote user connects with the same       network (LAN), Remote Assistance
user name and password as the host           might have some trouble
user. Of course, if the problem has to       working. If one of the
do with network connection, then             computers is behind a                                   mation encoded in the
no remote-control product will work          firewall that has blocked                               original software installation
at all.                                      port 3389 or is using Net-                              CD and on the PC itself.
                                             work Address Translation                                Each software CD contains
Finally, the built-in ICF needs to be        or both, then a network                                 a unique product ID code,
disabled in order for the remote             administrator must open                                 which is a different number
desktop control to function correctly.       this port for outbound                                  from the product key code
                                             traffic on the firewall.                                that is printed on the back
Both XP versions also include a                                                                      of the CD jewel box. This
function called Remote Assistance.This                                                               ID is used to keep track of
is in some ways better than the Remote                                                     which PC the software is installed on,
Desktop Sharing feature in that with                                                       and is combined with a second ID
Remote Assistance you can control a                                                        code that is generated based on the
remote machine and both parties can                                                        actual PC hardware components.
view the screen activity at the same
time. In this case, Windows XP Home                                                        When a user installs Windows XP,
users can act as a host. However, if you                                                   both of these IDs are recorded by the
are running older versions of Windows,                                                     operating system and the activation
this software is not available.                                                            system takes over. A user has 30 days
                                                                                           to finish the process before the
You can initiate assistance sessions via                                                   machine will no longer boot. There
Windows Messenger or via an e-mail                                                         are two ways to complete the process:
invitation, but the latter method can be                                                   either use the Internet if the
a security risk if not used properly. For    To ensure greater security, you can           computer is connected to a network
the e-mail invitations, you’ll need to       restrict Remote Assistance via Group          with Internet access, or place a phone
include a password (which is not sent via    Policies and specify various levels of        call to Microsoft and receive a 42-
e-mail but is typically communicated via     permissions such as only allowing             digit confirmation number that is
a phone call to maintain security) and       Remote Assistance from within the             entered into the computer manually.
you’ll also want to limit the amount of      corporate firewall and between                The Internet method returns a
time (in hours) that an invitation to        computers on the same corporate LAN.          digitally signed certificate that is
control your desktop is extended.                                                          automatically incorporated into the
                                                                                           computer to finish the process within
Remote Assistance has three basic                 XP activation issues                     a few seconds.
steps: First, a person requests assistance   New toWindows XP is a feature called
either by sending an e-mail with a           product activation that will present a        Microsoft has made it clear that no real
specially encoded “ticket” as an             challenge to corporate IT administ-           identifying information about the
attachment or by sending an instant          rators. Microsoft, worried about global       computer is transmitted in the
message via Windows Messenger. The           software piracy, has created this routine     activation process. The hardware ID
expert who answers this request then         to make it more difficult for thieves to      code uses pieces of the CPU serial
needs to click on either the file attach-    steal the software. Unfortunately, it will    number and a portion of the network
ment in the e-mail or the request in         also make it more difficult to deploy         adapter’s Media Access Control (MAC)
the Messenger pop-up box, and then           Windows XP on your corporate networks.        address, but in no way does this ID
agree to the request. Finally, the                                                         code send these values intact to
originator agrees to start a Remote          Activation is different from registration     Microsoft. Instead, the code creates
Assistance session.                          and relies on various pieces of infor-        another unique number based on parts

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of these numbers. The company’s              Actually, there are two different types
planning documents state, “Due to the        of pre-activations. Some manufacturers
nature of the algorithms used,               may protect the installation of
Microsoft cannot determine anything          Windows XP by locking the OS to
at all about the original processor serial   specific BIOS information in the
number.We developed the algorithm in         computer. This expands upon a
order to maintain the user’s privacy.”       program that Microsoft has had in
                                             place for earlier versions of Windows.
Windows XP can be installed on a             At boot time, Windows XP compares
computer in three different ways: pre-       the PC’s BIOS information to what it
loaded by a PC manufacturer at the           is expecting, and if there is a match, the
factory; at retail, independent of a         machine continues to boot and no
computer; or via a volume license            further intervention is required by the
agreement with Microsoft. Activation         end user. If there isn’t a match, the user
differs for each of these methods.           has to activate the machine within the
                                             standard 30-day period.
According to Microsoft, activation will
not be required for versions of              The activation system checks every
Windows XP installed via volume              time a PC is booted to ensure that the
licensing agreements. There will be no       hardware remains the same. Microsoft
hardware checking, limitations, or           states that activations on the same PC
restrictions via imaging tools under         using the same product key are               specified that several components of
these circumstances, and Microsoft will      unlimited; however, it may be difficult      the PC would have to change,
supply product with special volume           to determine what is the “same” when         including the network adapter and at
license keys that will bypass any            a PC is upgraded with a new sound or         least four other components (disk drives,
activation routines. This is good news,      graphics card, or another peripheral.        CPU, RAM, and other adapters), before
and may be a motivation for those of                                                      this new configuration would have to
you who aren’t currently covered to          Remember that the design goal of             be reactivated.
consider one of Microsoft’s volume           activation is to reduce piracy—and
license arrangements.                        when someone copies an entire hard                Changes to the
                                             disk image from one PC to another,
The problem is that once a PC is             that’s considered piracy. Microsoft has
activated, that copy of Windows XP can-                                                   Perhaps the most noticeable difference
not be installed on another computer.                                                     between Windows XP and prior
The activation process checks to make
                                                                                          versions of Windows is in the venerable
sure that the product key hasn’t been
used by someone else.This means that if                                                   Windows Start menu, which has gone
you aren’t covered by a volume purchase                                                   through a major facelift. Finally added to
agreement, you’ll have to keep track of                                                   the menu is the ability to turn off the
which CD was installed on which PC                                                        machine directly. The Start menu also
throughout your corporation. The                                                          features a new two-column layout with
situation could become difficult as
                                                                                          many new menu choices, as well as a
computers are moved around depart-
ments and the original software CDs are                                                   simplified organization scheme that is
lost or misplaced.                                                                        more task-oriented, rather than simply
                                                                                          containing shortcuts to your various
The situation is somewhat murkier if                                                      installed programs. Windows XP also
you purchase a PC with Windows XP                                                         now notifies you when you have
preloaded. Microsoft provides its
                                                                                          installed a new program, and highlights
computer manufacturer customers with
the ability to pre-activate Windows XP                                                    that entry in the programs listing, which
at the factory, and the company                                                           makes it easier to find.
estimates that the vast majority of
Windows XP machines will be
delivered via this pre-activation method.

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Also changed is the color scheme and              • Better management of image,          Outlook,Dial-Up Networking,Favorites,
layouts of the various screen elements              sound, and video files.Windows       and more. If you have run out of disk
such as task bar, title bars, and controls.         XP’s Explorer icons have changed     space to perform an in-place migration,
                                                    so you can get a better preview of
All will take some getting used to and                                                   or if you want to transfer settings from
                                                    your image and videos: you can
some training, especially for Windows               browse your folders and see          one computer to another, then this is
95/98 users.                                        thumbnails of pictures before ever   one way to do it.
                                                    opening the files.While Windows

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There are many other improvements,                  2000 and Me had this ability, it     The transfer wizard probably isn’t the
including:                                          has been improved significantly      best solution for deploying multiple

                                                    in Windows XP. For example,
                                                                                         desktops across an enterprise. A better

                                                                                                                                          W I N D O W S
                                                    the thumbnail view is displayed
     • Windows XP now detects                                                            method would be to use either
                                                    in file-opening dialog boxes.
       when you have pressed the                                                         Microsoft’s Remote Installation Services
       Caps Lock key while you are
                                                  • New Media bar as part of             or one of the third-party disk imaging
       typing in a password, and
       brings up a small warning dialog             Internet Explorer. Part of better    and duplication services, such as Altiris’s
       box. This is a useful feature,               multimedia management tools is       Migration Toolkit or Symantec’s enter-
       particularly for those who use               the ability to play music and        prise Ghost products.
                                                    videos from within Internet

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       case-sensitive passwords.
                                                    Explorer, so you don’t have to
     • NetMeeting and MSN Messen-
                                                    open another application to see            Reference section

                                                    and hear this content. The
       ger have been combined into a                                                     How to use Remote Desktop Assistance:
                                                    metadata properties of individual

                                                                                                                                          W I N D O W S
       single product called Windows                                           
                                                    media (such as song titles and
       Messenger.This is also the key to                                                 p r o / t e c h i n f o / d e p l oy m e n t /
                                                    artist and album names) can be
       the .NET suite of services, and                                                   remoteguide
                                                    edited with just a right-click of
       users will need to set up a Hotmail
                                                    your mouse.
       account to take advantage of                                                      How to use Remote Desktop:
       Messenger’s voice, video, and text                                      
       -chatting functions.Windows XP             • Improvements to Help system.         pro/using/howto/gomobile/
       will ask you, after it has been              Windows XP features a new Help       remotedesktop

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       installed, if you want to convert an         and Support Center, which
       existing Hotmail or MSN user ID              includes access to the Remote        Production activation issues, along with

       over to its .NET Passport-                   Assistance software.Other improve-   information about volume purchase
                                                    ments include integration with

                                                                                                                                          W I N D O W S
       oriented service, and will tie this                                               agreements:
       user ID to your Windows login                various online support tools and
       ID. The defaults are to launch               Windows Update, tours of new         xp_activation.asp
       Messenger automatically and                  features, and searchable indexes
       notify you if you have any unread            of Help screens.                     Index to numerous Windows XP
       e-mail. This notification, along                                                  Professional technical articles:
       with the automatic launch of               Using the Files and          
       Messenger, can be disabled.                                                       pro/techinfo/articleindex.asp
                                                  Settings Transfer
                                                                                                                                          X P
     • A new shortcut to the System
                                                  Wizard                                 Paul Thurrott’s review of Windows XP:            •
       Control Panel. You can get there       This new feature will allow you to
       quickly by pressing the Windows                                                   windowsxp_rc1.asp
                                                                                                                                          W I N D O W S

                                              migrate documents and settings from
       and Break keys simultaneously.
                                              your old computer to your new one
       Control Panel menu choices have
       been reorganized into functional       easily, via floppy disks or a network
       areas, although users can revert       connection. For example, the wizard
       back to the classic Windows 2000       will migrate settings and files from
       view of these items if they wish.      Internet Explorer, Outlook Express,
                                                                                                                                          X P

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                                                                    N o v e m b e r   2 0 0 1



        Moving Forward with
         Windows XP
                  How to migrate from older Windows systems
                  Resources required and
                  new networking features
                  Using new remote-control features

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