Product Reviews: Windows XP

By: Richard Lowe

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

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 paragraphComputer Technology Articles, 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 operating
system should work.

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