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Windows XP Preview

You've probably heard about the next operating system from Microsoft called Windows XP. Sit back and relax as Sevan gives us a run down of Windows XP and what it means for us all. Should we take it or leave it? Read on and find out as Sevan tells us all we need to know!
@TweakTown
TweakTown Staff
Published Mon, Aug 20 2001 11:00 PM CDT   |   Updated Tue, Apr 7 2020 12:25 PM CDT
Manufacturer: none

Windows XP Preview -

Introduction & HistoryWindows Whistler. That's what the previous name of Windows XP was, when rumors of a new OS were heard. Whistler is the code name for the next version of Windows. The Windows Development Team put Neptune and Odyssey into one product. In other words, Whistler is the next generation of Windows and will be based on Windows 2000, not the older Windows 9x kernel. Windows XP, as the desktop versions of Whistler, will ship in Professional Edition for businesses and power users, as well as a new Home Edition for consumers that will end up replacing Windows Me.Before Whistler, Microsoft had planned to develop its future consumer and business versions of Windows separately (what an idea!). A consumer product named "Neptune" was already in the works, while a business-only follow-up to Windows 2000 called "Odyssey" was in the planning stages. On Friday, January 21, 2000 Microsoft had consolidated these two products into Whistler. Due to all the media coverage, Microsoft was forced to make a public acknowledgement that Whistler was, indeed, the code-name for the next version of Windows.Quick FAQQ: What editions will Windows XP include?A: Windows XP will include a Home Edition for consumers and a Professional Edition for business and power users. Windows XP will also appear in a 64-bit version for Intel Itanium processor-based systems, which will be called Windows XP 64-bit Edition. Interesting...Q: what's the difference between Windows XP Home Edition and Professional Edition?A: Windows XP Home is designed as an upgrade for Windows 9x and will ship with the same type of consumer features found in Windows Me, suited for the home enviroment. The biggest difference is processor support. Windows XP Home will support only one processor, while Professional supports two. This is something good for you server admins out there...Q: Will I be able to upgrade Windows Me to Windows XP? What about Windows 95 and Windows 98?A: Windows XP is an upgrade for almost every 32-bit version of Windows (this excludes Windows 3.1 and DOS!). Windows 95 and Windows NT 3.51, or earlier, are not supported for upgrading. You will be able to upgrade Windows 98, 98 SE, and Me to Windows XP Home Edition or Professional. You will also be able to upgrade Windows 2000 Professional to Windows XP Professional as well, but not to Home Edition (beware gamers!)Also: Windows 98, 98 SE, and Me users will be able to uninstall Windows XP if the upgrade doesn't work out for some reason. This capability will not be made available to Windows NT 4.0 and Windows 2000 upgraders. Q: Is Windows XP the same thing as the "Whistler" speech recognition software that Microsoft Research is (was) working on?A: Unfortunately, no. Microsoft has been working on a speech to text translator project "Whistler", along with a speech recognition engine called "Whisper," for some time now. But don't be confused about this. They have nothing to do with each other. However, Windows XP does include speech technology.Q: Is Windows XP 64-bit, 32-bit, or a 16/32-bit system like Windows 98?A: Windows XP is based on the NT kernel in Windows 2000 and is therefore a 32-bit system. However, Windows XP Professional will also ship in a 64-bit version called Windows XP 64-bit Edition. But Windows XP is not the 64-bit version of Windows 2000: The company decided to cancel this project due to the impending release of Whistler.Q: When will Windows XP be released? (Most important question?)A: Microsoft is planning to release all editions of Windows XP on October 25, 2001. As of now, Microsoft is still working on fixing small bugs.Q: what's with the code-name "Whistler"?A: They were "Odyssey," "Neptune," "Mars", and before that they were using city names "Chicago," "Detroit," "Memphis". But now they've turned to mountain names: Whistler and Blackcomb are popular ski resorts a few hours from Seattle, located in British Columbia. However, the space names continue with other projects: The new Whistler user interface found in Windows XP was code-named "Luna." Hmm, Luna...who is that?Q: I read somewhere that Windows XP will feature a new feature to finally cure "DLL hell". Is this true? (Good news for gamers)A: It is. Back in the early days of Windows, before hard drives were even widely available, Microsoft introduced the concept of a shared code library called Dynamic Link Library, also known as "DLL". The point was that each program that needed certain amounts of code could get that code from a single location and thus save hard drive space. Over time, however, this became one of Windows' biggest weaknesses: Applications would "upgrade" these shared libraries with their own copies, causing other applications or even Windows itself to fail. In Windows XP, applications will think they're copying their files as usual, but the OS will manage the process so that they don't actually overwrite any existing files. Then, each time the application is run, Windows XP will ensure that it only uses its copies of the files, ensuring that all apps run correctly and none of them are able to get in the way of other applications. Microsoft says that this feature will "isolate applications from each other, providing users with a 'run once, run forever' environment. Hmm, wow?Q: Windows XP Release Candidate 2 (RC2) was released. what's new?A: RC2 is simply a bunch of bug fixes. No changes were made to the user interface at all, though Internet Explorer was added to the Windows Componenets section Add or Remove Programs.

Windows XP Preview -

Difference in Windows XP VersionsWindows XP Home Edition OverviewWindows XP Home Edition includes a number of enhancements over Windows 2000 Professional. These include: • Improved software (application) and hardware compatibility • Simplified security • Simplified log-on featuring new "welcome" screen • Fast user switching • A new "Whistler" user interface featuring context-sensitive Web views • Enhanced support for digital media (movies, pictures, music) • DirectX 8.x multimedia libraries for gaming Professional Edition: Superset of Home EditionAt its most basic level, Professional is a business-oriented superset of Home Edition. Because of this, most features found in the Professional version wouldn't fit in a Home PC use orientation. The most obvious difference is security, which is vastly simplified in Home Edition. Each interactive user is assumed to be a member of the Owners local group, which is the XP equivalent of the Windows 2000 Administrator account: This means that anyone who logs on to a Home Edition machine has full control. Likewise, the Backup Operators, Power Users, and Replicator groups are missing from Home Edition, and a new group, called Restricted Users, is added. Administrative shares are unavailable in Home Edition. "Professional Edition is a strict superset of Home Edition," confirmed Chris Jones, Vice President of the Windows Client Group. "Everything you can do in Home Edition, you can do in Pro. We think there are home users who will buy Pro."

Windows XP Preview -

Installation & SetupSwitching to normal language...please wait...done.The new operating system....tada! Windows XP, short for experience, is the shortly upcoming OS that everyone is waiting for. Unfortunately, XP talk is focused on product activation, and it's negative. The majority of those are gamers, being amazed by the NT kernel performance in applications. Sit tight back because we will be going through a vortex!
Let's start off with a very important sentence. "I need a super fast PC". That simply being said, lets continue. Recommendations:• 650 Mhz (Higher very highly recommended)• 256 MB RAM (More preferred)• NOT a 3dfx card (Nvidia preferred)• Asus or Abit Motherboard Recommended• Creative Live! Soundcard or better (Philips preferred)My system that I installed Windows XP RC 2 (Professional 2002) on was:• Pentium 3 Coopermine 750 Mhz • Abit BE6-II Motherboard• 512 SDRAM PC-133• Voodoo 3 3000 AGP Retail• Creative Soundblaster Live! X-Gamer 5.1• Microsoft Explorer 5 Buttons USB Mouse• Lots of patience...er, 17' Monitor (Generic)• HP 8x/4x/32x Burner and Creative CD Ripping CD-ROM
Before I could install Windows XP RC 2, I could check my system for compatibility with the current applications installed on my computer. I did the test and a results test back, which you can see below.
After the test, I uninstalled the programs that would not be supported in Windows XP. They were:• 3dfx Tools (Voodoo 3 utility)• Audio CD Mp3 Studio (CD ripping tool)• Java Plug-in 1.3.1 (Installed by Opera browser)• Liquid (Winamp plug-in)• Norton Systemworks (Including any Norton Antivirus scanner)• AdsOff• Cacheman 5.0

Windows XP Preview -

Setup and UseWindows XP feels very much like Windows 2000. It runs programs quick, responds quickly, but your playing sounds (mp3's) may skip if you do open big programs. Here are some screenshots of the Windows XP environment.
I know you guys like my girl....so here she is. If you want the wallpaper then ICQ me at 127686736 and I will send it to you as soon as you can hold it.
Conflicts & RecommendationsI then proceeded in installing Windows XP by running the setup. The installation took about 70 minutes. Beware that Windows XP will need a Windows 2000 version for a storage controller, not Windows 98. As for mine, a Highpoint Tech 366, I was asked for drivers and when it recognized the controller successfully, I could go on with the setup. Wonder if other problems might arise on your computer? Very possible.
I use Powerstrip to set my monitor's refresh rate higher than 75. I was not told about any compatibility problems with this program when I did the compatibility test. With this, know that the test will not tell you 100% that your computer is ready. Have Windows 2000 drivers ready when needed. However, if you do get any notices like the above, what you can do is reinstall the program.
Services & Other
Something new, and not discussed in other previews is .NET passport. This "service" will allow you to use online services such as chat and personal homepages. Some might not want this after reading the 'privacy' statement. Why? Just an idea because of the trust that very, very few people have seen to Microsoft. You know...Still, do not give up. Windows XP has some awesome advantages over Windows 9x.1) NT Kernel, meaning stability and performance,2) New look and feel3) Time for gamers to make a move who want 1) and 2)!When people think about new, they think about excitement and entertainment. Games is the word. Don't be too happy because it will be some time until there will be some good drivers are out for video and soundcards. Remember the old Windows 95 days when there rarely were any drivers out for any hardware but slowly the process of building up came? We are going through that again, but after 6 years of development.

Windows XP Preview -

ConclusionWhat can I say, I can't wait to uninstall Windows XP and I think you will be doing the same as well when you can't get games to run. However, for the first time, Microsoft is offering an OS upgrade that's equally acceptable to newbie Windows 98 users and Windows NT/2000 power users. This release is so feature rich it's hard to wrap one's mind around it all, and no amount of description can outdo the benefits of actual use. As you use Windows XP, you will find yourself discovering new features again and again, and you'll wonder how you ever got along without it.Not that there aren't problems, of course. There are small graphical glitches, such as when the once-rounded corners of the Start menu, for example, are straightened out with little black triangles. This seems to happen to me with each install, eventually, and maybe it's just my video card. The little balloon help that appears when a new program has been installed doesn't seem to want to go away, and it appears almost every time I log on. The tray icon hiding feature resets each time you reboot, rather than working as you'd expect each time you turn on the system. And even though you can change Start menu links to be menus, they don't cascade out past the upper level. So, for example, if you change My Documents to be a menu, you can see the contents of the My Documents folder from the Start menu, but you can't drill down further than that without opening a window. Also, my sound sometimes would skip when playing music. I believe these are caused from the old and buggy Windows 2000 Storage Controller.None of these complaints are showstoppers, and I expect many of these issues to be addressed before Windows XP is out. Most actually might be fixed already! But overall, Windows XP is of surprisingly high quality for a product that's been in development for little over a year. Folks, this is the real thing: Windows XP is the version of Windows we've all been waiting for. Just don't hurry so much if you do not have the newest hardware. Let Windows XP go through some updates before you grab it from the shelves for about $300!

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