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Product Reviews: Windows XP

By Richard Lowe
Posted Monday, December 6, 2004

Well, Windows XP is finally out. After years of hype and hundreds of articles and lots of promotion, the new and wonderful, world changing operating system is here. Harrah.

For the home user this is a very good thing indeed. The earlier, DOS based operating systems such as Windows 95, 98 and ME were very unstable and had more or less lived out their usefulness.

In fact, I believe most home users will find Windows XP to be a very nice change indeed. The new operating system has many advantages which make it so superior to the earlier versions of Windows as to make it almost heavenly.

Some of the advantages which the home user will see include:

Plug-and-play that really works - In my book, this is probably one of the hugest time-savers of all. Personally, I love to add new hardware from time-to-time, and changes to existing equipment is almost a daily occurrence. The truly superb plug-and-play makes this completely trivial.

Stability - Windows XP is so stable as to be spooky. Don't get me wrong, a crash or two now and then still happens (as with all operating systems and equipment) but it's no longer the daily occurrence that it was with windows 95 or the three-times-daily occurrence with Windows ME.

Well designed networking - I found the networking capabilities of the older operating systems to be difficult and touchy. Windows XP has changed all of that - the networking setups and easy and quick. Combined with plug-and-play for the hardware, you should find adding an XP machine to the network to be so simple as to be freaky.

Better device support - You will find that Windows XP supports more types of devices than ever before straight out of the box. CD/RW, DVD, USB and many others simply just work.

On the downside, though, are the following:

Older programs and games - While Windows XP does make a strong effort to be compatible with the older operating systems, you will probably find that many games and other programs simply no longer work.

Older hardware - You may have difficulties if you attempt to install windows XP on older hardware or use older equipment. Windows XP does need much more power (CPU, disk and memory) than the earlier Windows operating systems. In fact, don't believe the promotional materials about minimum configurations - get plenty of memory, a fast CPU and as much disk as you can afford.

To sum it all up in a simple paragraph, Windows XP seems to work almost perfectly out of the box. It is stable and performs well given plenty of hardware. And that's the way a home operatingsystem should work.

About the Author
Richard Lowe Jr. is the webmaster of Internet Tips And Secrets at ( - Visit our website any time to read over 1,000 complete FREE articles about how to improve your internet profits, enjoyment and knowledge.


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