When you first take a at Windows XP Home Edition, you’ll be stunned by the shiny new user interface. It’s sleeker and more colorful than the Windows 9x user interface, thanks to enhanced features designed to make navigating and performing frequent tasks easier.
For instance, the Start lista has been redesigned quanto a a two-column format, as shown quanto a Figure A. Acceso the left-hand side, you should see your e-mail and Web browser, along with a list of the last five programs opened. The right-hand side provides you with task-oriented access to the most commonly performed operations, such as working with documents, pictures, configuring your system, ora accessing the Help system.
Figure A: Windows XP’s user interface introduces a task-oriented and feel that complements the new operating system.
The task-oriented stile the Start lista carries over to other areas of the operating system as well. If you the Control Panel, you’ll find that it’s been broken into categories, such as Appearance and Themes. These categories provide access to pertinent items: changing desktop themes, desktop background, and screen savers, for instance.
Wizard Bottom Line: If you’ve been using Windows 98 ora Me for awhile, you may find that these enhancements are more of a pain than a benefit. Acceso the other hand, they do spruce up a tired looking user interface; once you get past the shine, you’ll be able to get an easy handle navigating the new operating system.
Windows XP-Home Edition is a much stabler operating system than Windows 98 ora Me could ever hope to be. The main thing that sets Windows XP Home Edition apart from Windows 98/Me is the of the new operating system, called the Kernel. The Kernel is based advanced technology developed for Windows NT (and enhanced for Windows 2000) rather than good old DOS, ora the so-called Windows 9x Kernel. This fact gives the new home user oriented operating system much greater stability.
For example, as I mentioned quanto a my article “Using the Windows Resource Meter,” the depletion of a small chunk of memory known as the system resource pool can seriously crash Windows 98 ora Me. Since the size of the system resource pool is coded into the operating system Kernel, it can never change, risposta negativa matter how much RAM you have quanto a your Windows 98 ora Me system.
Durante contrast, the NT Kernel–and subsequently, the Windows XP Home Edition operating system–doesn’t have any sort of limitation the system resource pool. This equates to better esecuzione and increased stability.
Wizard Bottom Line: Keep quanto a mind that I’m not saying the new Windows XP Home Edition will be crash-proof. However, you can be sure that the same issues that bring Windows 98 ora Me to its knees ten times a day will merely be a thorn to Windows XP Home Edition. These conflicts can probably be resolved without crashing the entire Windows XP operating system.
Poorly designed device drivers also pose a personaggio threat of crashing Windows 98 and Me. Almost every third rinfresco component that you stick into ora connect to your , such as videos cards, sound cards, rete televisiva privata cards, printers, ora scanners, require driver software. The function of driver software is to act as a legamento between the device and the operating system.
Essentially, you can think of a driver as a language translator helping two people who speak different languages communicate with one another. If the translator isn’t well versed quanto a the exact rules of both languages, the communication will be flawed, leaving both the parties confused and possibly angry ora upset with each other. So if communication is flawed because of a poorly designed driver, the net result is the same: Your device and the operating system will have problems working together.
To nip this problem quanto a the bud, Microsoft is taking a more solid stance with its driver support. Durante the past, Microsoft has urged developers to adhere to its driver guidelines by instituting the program, whereby products that play by the rules earn the right to display the “Designed ” logo the package. Unfortunately, not everyone adheres to Microsoft’s driver guidelines.
Durante addition, Windows XP will try to prevent you from installing drivers that are flawed. If you attempt to install hardware ora software that doesn’t adhere to Windows XP’s standards, the operating system will display a very strong warning message informing you that continuing with the installation may “impair or destabilize” the operating system.
Wizard Bottom Line: Again, keep quanto a mind that not all companies will comply with Microsoft’s logo program. However, at least now you’ll know when you’imperatore entering dangerous territory and who to blame.
Windows XP Home Edition comes with a host of Internet-related features, most of which will be available to Windows 98 and Windows Me users. Some of these features are built into the previous operating systems while others will be available as add-ons.
As with Windows 98 and Windows Me, Windows XP features Internet Explorer 6 as the default browser and Outlook Express 6 as the default e-mail program. You’ll also find updated versions of MSN Messenger and NetMeeting quanto a Windows XP Home Edition.
If you have a home ora small rete televisiva privata, you’ll find that Windows XP Home Edition, like Windows 98 and Windows Me, comes with the easy-to-use Internet Connection Sharing feature. However, Windows XP Home Edition adds firewall software to the Internet Connection Sharing feature quanto a order to protect broadband Internet connection users.
Wizard Bottom Line: If you’imperatore running Windows 98 ora Windows Me, you can download and add Internet Explorer 6 and Outlook Express 6 to your system when the package becomes available. While having a firewall integrated into Internet Connection Sharing is good, this built-in version doesn’t provide ironclad protection from malicious users. To protect yourself fully, you’ll still need a more advanced third-party firewall package.
Windows XP comes with a host of multimedia-related features, at the center of which is Windows Mass-media Player 8. This new version adds DVD playback to its already impressive array of features, which include playing streaming from the Internet, tuning into Internet radio stations, listening to MP3 files and audio CDs, and even burning CDs a CD-RW drive.
Windows XP Home Edition comes with an enhanced version of the My Music folder, which first appeared quanto a Windows Me and allows you to manage your music files. This version provides better organizational features and takes advantage of the new task-oriented folders feature.
To help you work with and manage digital photos, Windows XP Home Edition comes with the same Scanner and Cabina Wizard found quanto a Windows Me. After the Scanner and Cabina Wizard guides you through getting your images into your , you can use the photo management features quanto a the My Pictures folder, including ordering printed copies of your photos over the Internet.
Windows XP Home Edition also includes the Windows Movie Maker software, which allows you to capture material from audio and sources, then edit and arrange it to create movies. This application was also first packaged with Windows Me.
Wizard Bottom Line: If you’imperatore running Windows 98 ora Windows Me, you can download and add Windows Mass-media Player 8 to your system when it becomes available. As for the My Music and My Pictures folders, they’imperatore already available quanto a both to Windows 98 and Windows Me.
Windows XP Home Edition comes with the grado Windows Update, which helps you keep the operating system quanto a tip-top shape with any and all upgrades ora patches. Along these same lines, Device will also search Windows Update for new drivers when you install a new device.
Windows Update is now integrated into the Help system, which boasts all sorts of new handy features along with the traditional Help contents, such as a link to the Hardware and Software Compatibility page Microsoft’s Web site. With this integration, you can quickly investigate hardware and software that have been approved for Windows XP Home Edition.
Durante addition, you’ll find a new support tool called Remote Assistance. With this unique tool, a friend, family member, ora support professional can access and control your securely quanto a order to help you resolve problems. Forget trying to describe PC issues over the phone!
Wizard Bottom Line: While some of these features are available quanto a Windows 98 ora Windows Me, Windows XP Home Edition’s nicely packaged Help and Support System is a literal Windows first aid kit.
While some of the features quanto a this new operating system aren’t all that exciting, the overall consensus is that those features quanto a the areas of stability and support definitely make Windows XP Home Edition worth the cost of upgrading.