Advantages Friendly and adaptive menuing and improved EZ startup networking and improved multimedia and recording support.
Disadvantages Driver support, excessive system requirements compared to Win9x and Win2k.
Windows XP, 2002 or NT5.. I'm not sure which version of the name you'll been familiar with, but heck.. its all the same to me.. :)Anyway, this version, XP Professional (along with Home edition) is what Microsoft have threatening to release for years. In theory, it's the product line that would finally see the back of the horrors and sins that were Windows 98 (versions 1&2), and finally bring the added parts of ME into the field of NT stabilty.
If only life were that simple. What you get, basically, is a promise of true backward compatibility with the Win9x series of OS's, the stability of NT4 & Windows 2000, with the added features from NT regarding networking and communcations facilities.. and an adaptive GUI...I'll not bore you with the full run-down of what's on offer, since MS have already probably gone full-swing on that side.
Anyway, i didnt take part in the public beta testing but did take advantage of being able to evaluate the Pro edition a week before release through an MS Partner program.My benchmark for the product wasn't, despite all logic, Win9x series. I used Windows 2000 Professional for most characteristic testing comparision and took note of where ME features had crept in.
Firstly, an important note. The price of upgrading to XP can be high, or to use an industry term - the TCO (Total Cost of Ownership) can be high.Where Win2k Pro had a minimum requirement of a P166MMX and 64Mb of Ram, and around 640Mb of HD space for installation, XP has upped the ante to a need for a PII233, around 1.5Gb of HDD storage, and a massive 128Mb of Ram. Ok, its fair to say that the extra 64mb is a peanuts upgrade cost today, but since Win2k would work fine in 64Mb, why does XP need twice as much..??
The OS 'cripples' itself to strip visual features where onboard memory is below the 128Mb mark. In practise, you'll find that the extra visual effects are not entirely worth the extra memory, so fit the RAM and shut the effects down. Use the extra 64 Mb wisely as environment space instead :)The biggest issue with Windows XP, for me, isn't the benefits promised by functionality. Having been through the entire MS OS series, i looked forward to this product since i did have hopes to finally bin the win9x disks and have XP on board, after it was proven good, to have my preferred NT and 9x compatibillity.
In practise, its quite easy to get a lot of older software to work under XP, and the Compatibility Wizard helps here. But Windows 2000 wasn't bad on account of compatibility with Win9x and Win 3.1 software, so the benefits to a Win2k Pro user are minimal... and MS recognise that fact.The stability is maintained by using a 'sandbox' type process for implementing drivers and software. Using NT5/Win2k as the core and middle of the new versions, XP provides a System Restore and driver rollback facility to revert critical system files and drivers after you have a mishap. Bar System Restore, this was the case in Win2k, but you had to restart after restoring the previous drivers.
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