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Windows XP Upgrade Review Chapters

1. Introduction - Two Versions of Windows XP

2. Dual Booting Windows XP

3. Getting Past the Registration Dilemma

4. The Good Things about Windows XP

5. The Not-So-Good Things About Windows XP

6. Should You Upgrade? - Conclusion

7. Windows XP Information

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Windows XP Upgrade Review

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 down.
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 here.

The Not-So-Good Things About Windows XP

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 Search 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 XP.

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 space.>
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 thing.


<< Getting Past Registration          Should You Upgrade? >> 

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