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Windows XP Overview

Windows XP Professional gives you the freedom to focus on your business and your customers. Learn how Windows XP Professional can help you be more productive.

More Reliable

Q.You can Rely on the New Windows Engine

Windows XP Professional is built on the core software code used in Windows 2000 and Windows NT Workstation. This code, known as the NT kernel, or the new Windows engine, makes Windows XP more powerful, secure, and stable than Windows Me, Windows 98, or Windows 95. If you've used those systems in the past, you'll notice a dramatic advantage: even if a program crashes, in most cases your computer will keep running.

In addition, when you install new software, you usually won't need to reboot Windows XP, as was often required with earlier versions of Windows.

Q.If Something Goes Wrong, Rewind

Windows XP Professional helps prevent problems that can arise if important system files are changed, or incompatible programs are installed. In addition, if serious problems do occur, Windows XP makes it easier to restore your computer to its normal operating state. Options for rolling back to a previous state include:

Device Driver Rollback: Drivers are the bits of software that come with your digital camera, keyboard, or other device to communicate with your system. If you upgrade a driver and it disrupts your system, in most cases Windows XP can reinstall your previous version of the driver.

Last Known Good Configuration: If you change your hardware or software, then have trouble starting your computer, this feature can help. Windows XP saves your configuration settings after each successful startup. Then, if your system won't start, it uses these 'last known good' settings to start your computer and lets you troubleshoot the new hardware or software

System Restore: This feature works like the Undo command in a word processing program. System Restore automatically monitors and records key system changes. If you change a system setting and then discover a problem, you can easily reverse the change.

Q.Your Critical System Files are Always Safe

Poorly written programs and defective device drivers are common causes of computer problems, but Windows XP Professional helps you avoid these problems by protecting important system files. Your system files are protected by:

Windows File Protection: Windows XP protects core system files from being overwritten when you install new programs. If a file is overwritten, Windows File Protection will restore the correct version.

Defective Driver Blocking: Microsoft's Windows Update website maintains a regularly updated database of device drivers with known issues. Visit Windows Update before you install new hardware, and the Defective Driver Blocking feature in Windows XP will prevent installation of drivers that are known to cause problems.

Q.Get the Latest Updates Delivered to Your Desktop

Few things change faster than software. And most likely, your computer contains software from a multitude of different sources. Updating your software with the latest and best new code can improve your system performance and reliability, but updating your software can also become a chore. Windows XP Professional makes it easier. Keep your system up-to-date with:

Windows Update: This online extension of Windows XP provides a website for product enhancements, such as service packs, device driver updates, and system security updates.

Dynamic Update: An option in Windows XP Setup, Dynamic Update allows you to download updates from the Windows Update website, and install the most current software during Setup instead of installing the versions on the Windows XP Setup CD.

Automatic Updates: Updates can be downloaded in the background while you surf the web with minimal impact on your network connection. Once the update is downloaded, Windows XP asks if you want to install it.

Q.Use the Latest Hardware and Devices

Windows XP Professional makes it easier to install and use new devices, and it supports the latest standards in hardware technology. That means you can spend more time working and less time configuring and troubleshooting when you install new hardware.

Q.How Windows XP Makes it Easier to Install Devices

Few things change faster than software. And most likely, your computer contains software from a multitude of different sources. Updating your software with the latest and best new code can improve your system performance and reliability, but updating your software can also become a chore. Windows XP Professional makes it easier. Keep your system up-to-date with:

The Plug and Play feature of Windows XP will detect a new device and install a driver. Windows XP includes drivers for hundreds more devices than Windows 2000 Professional.

The AutoPlay feature of Windows XP determines what sort of content is stored on new devices or media such as Zip disks or CDs. Whether the content is pictures, music, or video, AutoPlay starts a program that can work with that content.


High Performance

Q.Start Your Computer and Log On Faster

When you turn on your computer running Windows XP Professional, it will be ready to work much faster. Between the time you push the power button and the time you start to work, your computer goes through several steps, such as initializing the basic input/output system (BIOS), loading the operating system, initializing devices, and prompting you to log on with a password. Windows XP speeds up these steps so that in many cases your computer will be ready to work in 30 seconds or less.

Q.Resume from Hibernate or Standby in Seconds

If you use a laptop, you can take advantage of the Standby and Hibernate features in Windows XP, which reduce the drain on battery power when you leave your laptop running. With Windows XP your laptop can enter Standby and Hibernate faster, and it will return to full power much more quickly as well. Standby and Hibernate can also help you save energy in the office by reducing power to your desktop machine when you aren't working.

Q.Your Programs Will Start Faster

Programs that took a particularly long time to start using previous versions of Windows will launch up to 50% faster in Windows XP. The same performance improvements that make your Windows XP-based computer start faster when you turn it on also make programs start faster when you're ready to use them. After you start a program a few times, Windows XP learns the code and data required to launch it. It stores that information where it is easily accessible, so the system wastes no time searching for it the next time you start the program.

Q.Perform Several Tasks at One Time, Without Missing a Beat

Windows XP Professional manages your system resources, such as memory, CPU time, and file operations, in a way that keeps your system running as quickly as possible when you are working with several programs at the same time.



Q.Protect Your System from Viruses

Software restriction policies in Windows XP Professional help protect your computer against viruses and other malicious code that can spread through e-mail and on the Internet.

You can set software restriction policies on your computer to:

Make software strictly managed, which lets you decide how, when, and where code can be run.

Make software unmanaged, which prohibits specific code from running on your computer.

Isolate untrusted code in a segregated area, known as the sandbox, until you verify that it's safe. This allows you to use new software, while preventing it from harming your system until you verify it as safe.

Q.Keep Your System Secure While You Are on the Internet

Features such as Internet Protocol Security, and Internet Connection Firewalls means you can use the Internet for essential business functions without having to worry about making your network or data vulnerable.

Improved Cookie Management features also allows you to set the level of privacy you want when browsing the web. You specify whether a website can collect information from you through cookies. You can prevent all cookies, prevent specific cookies, or allow all cookies, depending on your personal preference.


Easy to Use

Q.Keep Your Frequently Used Items Close at Hand

Windows XP Professional contains a range of new visual features to help you get the most out of your computer. These include:

The redesigned Start menu

Groups your most frequently used applications for easy access.

Displays your five most-used programs first.

Makes your default e-mail and web browser always available.

Gives one-click access to your documents, printers, network connections, Help and Support, and tools to configure your system.

Allows you to personalise the Start menu to suit your needs.

Taskbar grouping keeps your taskbar clean and organised, saving you time. In Windows XP, when you open files, the system groups them according to application type. For example, if you open eight Microsoft Word documents, they are grouped under one taskbar button labelled (8) Microsoft Word. You can click on the button to see a menu of the titles, or right-click and close them all at once, cascade, tile, or minimise them all.

The status area of the taskbar, the area next to the clock, is less crowded thanks to a status area cleanup feature in Windows XP. Software restriction policies also protect against infected e-mail attachments.

Q.Enjoy Simplified Searching on Your Computer, Network, and the Internet

Searching for files or information on your computer, your local network, or the Internet should be quick and easy. The Search Companion in Windows XP Professional improves the search process by consolidating search tasks, optimising searches for the most common scenarios, and offering suggestions for refining your search.

Q.Work the Way You Want

Windows XP Professional makes it easier to find the information you need and perform the tasks you want in a way that works best for you.

Control Panel: Your computer's Control Panel has a new design and organisation, the Category View. This makes it easier to find common settings and tasks, and it integrates the Help and Support Centre with the Control Panel interface. If you prefer the classic Control Panel, it is always just a click away. The new Category View highlights common and problematic tasks, and it displays 10 top-level categories, along with a clear navigation path to the settings you want to change.

My Documents: When you open a folder and select a file in Windows XP Professional, the operating system intuitively presents a list of appropriate tasks that you may want to perform with that file. For example, if you select a PowerPoint presentation in the My Documents folder, a list of tasks will appear, with options such as Cut, Paste, Copy, Print, E-mail, or Publish This File to the web. You can click on the task you want. You no longer have to remember which menu, or which keyboard commands, are required to perform the task.

File and Folder Management: Windows XP Professional provides several new ways for you to arrange and identify your files when viewing them in folders such as My Documents. You can group your files by any detail of the file, such as name, size, type, or date modified.

Thumbnails view displays the images a folder contains on a folder icon.

Filmstrip view in picture folders shows your pictures in a single row of thumbnail images.

Icons view displays your files and folders as icons.

List view displays the contents of a folder as a list of file or folder names preceded by small icons.

Details view Windows lists the contents of the open folder and provides detailed information about your files, including name, type, size, and date modified.

Q.Adjusts to Meet Your Needs and Preferences

You can adjust the appearance and behaviour of Windows XP Professional to enhance accessibility for specific vision, hearing, mobility, cognitive, and seizure-related needs.


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