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									 XP; It’s Not Your Father’s Operating System
        Can you say DOS? Not with Windows XP. This is not
your father’s operating system. Before we get started, yes you do
have to register Windows XP with Product Activation and yes it is a
good upgrade (not a patch like Windows 98 or ME was to Windows
95)! There have always been 2 versions of Windows since its inception of Window NT
and Windows 3.0. One has always been touted for business due to its improved security;
one has always been touted for home due to its gaming performance. Both Operating
Systems have always been developed off different kernels. Windows NT (Now called
Windows 2000) has been developed from a true 32 bit kernel allowing higher
performance. Windows for home (now called Windows ME or Millennium) has been
developed from the original Windows 3.0 kernel with full DOS support allowing for
        Windows XP will be the last time that Microsoft develops 2 separate operating
systems, one for work and one for home. Microsoft is tired of the extra expense by
having 2 different current operating systems that they have to support. To reinforce this
fact, Microsoft’s two new operating systems, “XP Professional” and “XP for Home” are
developed from the same 32 bit kernel. In fact, there are only three main differences
(besides price) between the operating systems.

        “XP Professional” (for businesses) suggested retail price is $299.00, $199.00 for
upgrades. “XP for Home” suggested retail price is $199.00, $99.00 for upgrades. One of
the three differences is upgrade paths. If you are running Windows NT or Windows
2000, you can only upgrade to XP Professional. If you are running Windows 98 or ME
Millennium you can upgrade to either version of XP. If you are running Windows 95 or
an earlier version, you can not upgrade to Windows XP. You will need to purchase the
full version and do a clean install (yes, multi-upgrades are possible but I wouldn’t suggest
it). The other differences are that “XP Professional” is designed with full network and
multi-processor support. Most home users who upgrade will not want or need to spend
the extra $100.00 for “XP Professional”.
        As far as new features, yes they are here! None are earth shattering but all are
welcome. The new migration wizard helps doing a clean install while saving your
installed programs. Yes, you heard me right, a clean install, not an upgrade. Windows
XP now detects what kind of media that you are using. Enter a CD with MP3s and
Windows XP launches the Media Player. Enter a photo compact flash card and Windows
will launch the My Pictures interface with new basic editing features built in! Windows
XP also boots up about 30% faster. The new operating system automatically can review
and maximize the boot sequence of your programs and drivers every three days to keep
the boot-up speed optimized. Windows XP includes basic integrated CD burning
software for CDRs. The wireless LAN setup is easy. Compatibility mode allows you to
run older programs, many that will not run in Windows 2000 (Yea!). For mobile
computing, battery life is extended. For improved security, Windows XP includes NTFS
formatting. For you internet junkies, Windows XP includes a firewall to help protect
your computer from hackers. The email wizard offers to compress or convert attached
pictures to improve speed. Be aware, however, that Java support is not included in
Windows XP so a free patch might need to be downloaded
        The most intriguing new feature of Windows XP is the new Desktop appearance.
Microsoft’s code name for the new Desktop is Luna. As with all new Desktop interfaces,
you will hate it for two weeks and then wonder how you ever lived without it. It was
designed to maximize the higher resolution monitors and video cards. Its redesigned
Start menu replaces a static list of Programs and resorts them regularly based on the
frequency of use. There are many other changes too! Enjoy (maybe) finding them all.
        Finally, everybody keeps asking about the Product Activation. Once Windows
XP is installed, it will only run for 30 days without registering it. The 50 digit
registration number is a combination of the product serial number and a hardware ID
number generated randomly by analyzing the hardware in the system. This new Product
Activation will keep users from buying one copy of Windows XP and installing it on
multiple PCs. Honest people stay honest and dishonest people get free room and board in
Huntsville. Window XP should have a minimum of 128 megabytes of RAM, a Pentium
300 processor and 1 gigabytes of free hard drive space to maximize it’s improved
performance. Windows XP offers the stability of Windows 2000, the compatibility of
Windows 95 and the multimedia of Windows ME, all at a faster speed. I could tell you
more but HAL limits me to 850 words. For a detailed analysis of Product Activation,
review the website For more information on Windows
XP, go to
                                               Todd Rosen
                                               Hal PCs Windows and Internet Instructor
                                               SBC TSM

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