Windows XP Good Features
After a somewhat rocky start with Windows XP, I have used
it for 3 months to perform my everyday computer tasks. Below is a list
of the main things I like about Windows XP.
1. Less Crashing. One of the best improvements
in Windows XP -- it's much more crash proof than earlier versions of
Windows. After using it for three months for various tasks, it locked
up twice (mainly due to my experimentation with power saving settings).
Compare this to Windows Me run on the same computer, which would lock
up at least once or twice a week.
2. Faster Internet Performance. The Professional
series of Windows has always operated faster on the Internet than the
consumer series of Windows. <Remember that Windows XP is a souped
up version of Windows 2000>.
Windows XP is much more robust on the Internet than Windows Me e.g.
Windows XP download files about 2-4 times faster over DSL.
When I upgraded Windows Me to Internet Explorer 6, the difference was
not as extreme.
Hint: If you aren't going to upgrade to Windows
XP (which contains Internet Explorer 6), do yourself a favor and upgrade
to Internet Explorer 6.
3. Better Photo Handling and Printing. Windows
XP has very nice photo managing and printing utilities. If you buy Windows
XP you will no longer need your photo managing software unless you want
to do touch ups or effects.
The Windows XP photo printing utilities will let you choose pictures
to print and then it lets you lay them out on the page. It is very straightforward
and your biggest decision is to tell it what quality you desire and
the type of paper you are using. I have printed a lot of digital pictures
with Windows XP and I am very pleased with the results.
4. Hibernate/Game Saving Mode. Windows XP has a
great little feature called "hibernate". Hibernate saves the
state of your desktop before it shuts down your computer.
When the computer is rebooted it bypasses the normal startup and loads
your computer's hibernate save into memory. Presto! Your desktop is
just the same as when you saved it with all programs running!
Microsoft calls Hibernate a power saving feature, however I think this
is a great game saving feature. Anytime you want to stop playing a game
and resume playing exactly where you left off, put your computer into
hibernate mode by popping out to your desktop and select Start/Shutdown
then press "Shift". This will change "Stand By"
on the shutdown menu to "Hibernate". Select "Hibernate"
and your computer saves your desktop to C:\hiberfill.sys then shuts
Note: You must have power saving features turned on in your BIOS
and in Windows XP to use the hibernate function.
5. Treats a CD-RW like a real drive. You can put
a blank CD-R in the drive, drag a file onto your CD-RW icon, and Windows
XP will write the file to the CD-R disk. Finally an easy way to copy
multiple files to a CD-RW! No more formatting CD-RWs.
6. System Restore. Originally appeared in Windows
Me (sold commercially as GoBack). It is basically a Windows Registry
saver and restorer. Used correctly you can restore your Windows Registry
to an earlier "working version".
I highly recommend using this feature especially when you are changing
network settings. It isn't much fun to bring a whole network down due
to bad or corrupt network settings.
7. Registration. Originally,
I thought this was a bad thing because it was a pain. Now I think it
might be a good thing.
I can't help but think that we all have a vastly improved product (Windows
XP) which should really cost twice as much. Registration helps keep
pirating down which lowers the price of the software. Lower prices are
a good thing!
8. The Windows XP Professional Edition has other useful
added features. Summarized
The Not-So-Good Things About
1. Compatibility Issues. Some of your hardware
and software may not work with Windows XP.
Hardware and software that is compatible with Windows 2000 has a very
good chance of working with Windows XP.
Many games do not run under Windows XP and some of your older peripherals
will not work with Windows XP. There have been complaints about print
drivers not working or not available for Windows XP.
Windows XP does have a "compatibility mode" for running
older programs, but I haven't tried it as I run all misbehaving software
on the Windows Me side of my computer (remember I dual-boot so I can
run either Windows Me or Windows XP).
Testing Your Computer's
Hardware and Software for Windows XP Compatibility
If your computer is more than 1 year old, I suggest you use Microsoft's
Windows Catalog to see if your hardware and software are compatible
with Windows XP. You can also run Microsoft's
Compatibility Advisor. The advisor will check your hardware
and software and tell you if you can upgrade to Windows XP Professional.
Software that has to be Upgraded
for Windows XP
Virus checkers, hard drive utilities, and Internet
firewall programs usually must be upgraded to work with Windows
2. You need a Robust Computer to Run It. A 2 or
3 year old computer that uses Windows 95 or Windows 98, probably will
require upgrading to use Windows XP. <The recommended requirements
to run Windows XP include 128 MB of RAM and 1.5 GB of free hard drive
The older your hardware and software, the more compatibility issues
you will have. For older computers you would be much happier keeping
your current version of Windows until you retire it.
3. Networking with Non-Windows XP Computers. Networking
Windows XP computers is much improved, however it's still a challenge
to network Windows XP computers with older Windows computers.
4. Registration. Changed to a good
Past Registration Should
You Upgrade? >>