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Table of contents
1.
Introduction
2.
History of Windows XP
2.1.
Editions
2.1.1.
Home Edition
2.1.2.
Professional Edition
2.1.3.
Media Center Edition
3.
Features of Windows XP
3.1.
Remote Desktop Support
3.2.
Request for Help
3.3.
Device Driver Rollback
3.4.
Internet Connection Firewall
3.5.
CD Burner
3.6.
Fast User Switching
3.7.
Clear Type Font Rendering Mechanism
3.8.
Side-by-Side Assembly Sharing
3.9.
Themes
3.10.
GDI+
4.
Frequently Asked Questions
4.1.
What are the types of Windows XP?
4.2.
Is Windows XP more popular than Windows 11?
4.3.
Is Windows XP more popular than Mac OS?
5.
Conclusion
Last Updated: Mar 27, 2024
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Features of Windows XP

Author Nidhi Kumari
0 upvote

Introduction

The most vital component of computer software is the operating system. It controls the computer's hardware and software as well as the memory and processes. The Windows XP operating system is a significant update to Microsoft's Windows NT system. You can utilise various software and programmes with the Windows XP operating system. 

This article will uncover various essential features of Windows XP.  We will start with the history and various editions of Windows XP.

Features of Windows XP

Also see: Multiprogramming vs Multitasking and Open Source Operating System

History of Windows XP

Due to its simplicity, speed, and stability, Windows XP is regarded as one of the most popular versions of Windows. Microsoft integrated its different Windows products under a single brand with the 2001 release of Windows XP, providing a variety of editions for customers, enterprises, multimedia developers, and other groups. So, a major update to Microsoft's Windows NT operating system is Windows XP. 

The XP in Windows XP stands for eXPerience. At launch, Windows XP was available in two significant editions: "Home Edition" and "Professional Edition." There is one more special type, known as "Media Center Edition."

Editions

Before discussing the features of Windows XP, we will discuss the three editions mentioned above in detail.

Home Edition

As its name implies, Windows XP Home Edition is the version of Windows XP explicitly designed for use at home supporting basic features. It is a simple Windows XP product offering users fundamental security support. 

The platform also has built-in peer networking functionality. However, it can only support networks of up to five machines at the same time. One can also find the backup tool in Windows XP Home, but it is not initially installed with the operating system.

Professional Edition

Windows XP Professional Edition is an advanced version of the home edition. You can find all features of Windows XP Home in Windows XP Professional. While regular users and small business owners utilise the Home Edition, this version of Windows XP is most frequently used by professionals with larger businesses. 

As a result, Windows XP Professional comes with a bundle of extended security support for users of the same computer. Peer-to-peer networking on this platform is more advanced and assists users who want to join a Windows NT domain. The backup tool is initially installed with the operating system.

Media Center Edition

This edition was created especially for manufacturers with media centre PCs in mind. Initially, it could only be purchased as a bundle with one of the editions mentioned above and was not offered independently. 

It was first modified in 2003 to become "Windows XP Media Centre Edition 2003 "with new features like FM radio tuning. In 2004 and again in 2005, the first version was made available to System Builders, and updates were released.

Also see, Difference Between Bit and Byte

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Features of Windows XP

Some of the essential features of Windows XP are as follows:

Remote Desktop Support

The remote desktop support features of Windows XP help the user to enable remote assistance and troubleshooting. One can operate the system and access the features remotely.

Request for Help

To use this feature, the user must fill out a form and email that to the Help Desk. The form was related to the REQUEST FOR HELP option. 

The user was required to enter a password and an activation period on the form. The email message enabled the support team to connect to the user's PC to assess and resolve the issue.

Device Driver Rollback

The most common use of the driver rollback feature is to "reverse" a problematic driver update. With the Roll Back Driver ability, a hardware device's current driver can be removed, and the previous driver can be automatically loaded.

You can only roll back a driver once with this. In other words, just the most recent driver installed is retained by Windows. It doesn't save a backup of every driver that has ever been installed for the device.

Internet Connection Firewall

The Internet Connection Firewall, an essential feature in Windows XP, safeguards your computer's security and privacy. It restricts the connections that can be made via your Internet connection, both incoming and outgoing connections.

To enable or disable the Internet connection firewall features of Windows XP, you can follow the following steps.
Step 1: Open the control panel.

Step 2: Select the Network Connections option.

Step 3: Right-click on the connections.

Step 4: Go to the Properties section.

Step 5: Select the Advanced tab.

Step 6: Enable the "Protect my computer and network by limiting or preventing access to this computer from the Internet."

CD Burner

Most CD writers can burn CD-Recordable (CD-R) discs with built-in, simple-to-use XP CD burner properties.

Every PC in the past has a CD-ROM drive as a default feature. Nowadays, most brand-new PCs come equipped with a CD burner, a drive that can create new CDs with your own content.

Start by inserting a blank CD into your PC's CD burner if it has one. When you want to copy files to the CD, Windows offers to start a specific CD-burning window that will serve as a temporary holding area for those files.

Fast User Switching

It permits one user to log off without deleting their desktop's open programmes and current state, as well as its current state. That means a user does not need to log off in order for another user to log on, and several users can sign in and rapidly move between their open accounts.

Clear Type Font Rendering Mechanism

Microsoft's application of subpixel rendering technology for text rendering in a font system is called ClearType. By compromising visual quality for more intensity variation, ClearType aims to enhance the text's appearance on specific kinds of computer display screens.

It has been developed to make the text easier to read on Display and comparable devices. 

Side-by-Side Assembly Sharing

Windows XP supports the feature of side-by-side sharing. This features reduces the chances of DLL(Dynamic-link library). The concurrent use of various Windows assembly versions is possible by side-by-side assembly sharing.

Since the new assembly can coexist on the machine with the older one, it enables developers of shared assemblies to release updates to their assemblies without needing to guarantee backward compatibility.

The feature allows users of the shared assemblies to upgrade to the new versions at their pace rather than only when the new assembly has to be installed onto a computer to support a new project.

The manifest file is essential for side-by-side assembly sharing. A manifest is an XML file providing the settings that tell Windows how to treat a programme when it is launched. 

The many objects in an assembly that need to be versioned are described in assembly manifest files. 

There are two types of Manifest files:

  • Files that specify shared assemblies among programmes.
  • Files that describe apps utilising side-by-side assemblies.

Themes

The theme feature of Windows XP provides a simpler way to create custom controls. It is possible to render themes in Windows XP so that their controls match the currently chosen theme.

The following is the syntax for enabling the theme feature:

HTHEME hTheme;


if (IsThemeActive())
  
   hTheme = OpenThemeData (hWnd, L"button")); //Custom control theme.
  
else
   hTheme = 0; // Need to follow the previous theme.

GDI+

GDI stands for Graphics Device Interface. Drawing on several devices, such as a screen and a printer, with GDI allows for accurate implementation in each instance. A collection of class libraries called GDI+ is easier to integrate into C++ programmes. 

With features like gradient brushes, permanent path objects, scaleable regions, and a matrix object for simple transforms, GDI+ offers greater functionality.

You must include the gdiplus in order to use the GDI+ library. Use the gdiplus namespace and include the following file:

#include <Gdiplus.h>
using namespace Gdiplus;

Frequently Asked Questions

What are the types of Windows XP?

Mainly there are two types of Windows XP, the Home edition and the professional edition. The home edition is available for primary home users, whereas the professional edition is available for the advanced feature requirements. You will find one more type in many places, i.e., the media centre edition. It was only made available to computer manufacturers.

Is Windows XP more popular than Windows 11?

There have been numerous additional Windows releases since Windows XP The most recent version is known as Windows 11. A recent digital poll specifically showed that Windows XP, an operating system released over 22 years ago, has more users than Windows 11.

Is Windows XP more popular than Mac OS?

Windows XP is still more popular than Mac OS X despite being outdated and unreliable. Due to its simplicity, speed, and stability, Windows XP is regarded as one of the most popular versions of Windows. Despite Microsoft terminating security support on April 8, 2014, the Windows XP operating system is still used on many PCs worldwide. 

Conclusion

In this article, we extensively discussed the features of Windows XP. We discussed the history and editions of Windows XP. 

We hope this blog has helped you. We recommend you visit our articles related to Operating Systems, such as

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