Windows XP: The Ultimate Comparison Guide, Pros and Cons

Why Windows XP is still relevant in the modern world

by Claire Moraa
Claire Moraa
Claire Moraa
Author
Claire likes to think she's got a knack for solving problems and improving the quality of life for those around her. Driven by the forces of rationality, curiosity,... read more
Reviewed by Vlad Turiceanu
Vlad Turiceanu
Vlad Turiceanu
Editor-in-Chief
Passionate about technology, Windows, and everything that has a power button, he spent most of his time developing new skills and learning more about the tech world. Coming... read more
Affiliate Disclosure
  • Windows XP is an old operating system that has been around since 2001 and has been one of the most popular OSes for many years.
  • Despite being outdated and no longer a recipient of Microsoft's security updates, it still has some fans. Let's find out what's so special about it.

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Windows XP has been around for a long time. It has been the most widely adopted operating system from Microsoft. Since its release in 2001, it has been updated several times. While it had its share of problems like any other OS, people still use it.

Some of the reasons include its simplicity, power, and flexibility. On the downside, Windows XP is no longer supported by Microsoft. The company stopped providing support because it was no longer able to provide security updates for it. Luckily, you can use optimization software to boost its performance.

What are the advantages of Windows XP?

Some of the reasons why Windows XP is still a fan-favorite include:

  • Better hardware support – With Windows XP, you can run many hardware devices designed for older versions of Windows such as Windows 98. This includes devices such as scanners and printers that use parallel ports and serial ports, and are not supported in newer versions of Windows but are still widely used by older peripherals.
  • User-friendly interface – Windows XP has been around for two decades now, which means that many people have used it during their careers. They’re familiar with its layout and functionality, making it easier for them to use without having to learn anything new.
  • Stability – Stable software is software that works consistently and reliably over time. The fact that Windows XP has been around since 2001 means that it has had more time to be tested and debugged than newer versions of Windows.
  • Efficiency – The system requirements for Windows XP are less than those for previous versions of the OS. This makes using Windows XP easier on older computers, allowing users to keep their old computers for longer.
  • Graphics – One of the biggest advantages of Windows XP is that it can run on computers with less memory than previous versions of Windows. This means that even people with older PCs can use it.

What are the main features of Windows XP?

With all the changes made to Windows in recent years, one would wonder, What is the use of Microsoft XP? Windows XP is still being used by millions of people worldwide. It remains popular due to its wide adoption.

Organizations worldwide are still using it because they do not want to upgrade their systems for security reasons or compatibility issues caused by newer versions of Windows. 

1. Support for multiple users

Windows XP includes support for multiple users. Each user has their own desktop or personal area to work in. This allows each user to have their own settings, programs, and files. 

You can also allow guest accounts that do not require passwords so that people can use your computer without having to be authorized by you.

2. Start menu 

This menu opens up when you click on the Windows logo in the bottom left corner of your desktop. When it’s open, you will see all your installed programs listed in alphabetical order so that it’s easy for you to find what you need quickly.

Users can also pin frequently used applications. The Start menu is also customizable where users have the option to remove or add links.

3. Taskbar

This bar appears at the bottom of your screen and allows you to see which programs are running, what they’re doing, and how much memory they’re using. You can also open or close programs from here, as well as minimize, maximize or restore them.

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Another exciting feature is the Taskbar grouping which allows users to click one button and reveal an array of options for a particular program.

4. Media features

Windows XP includes a number of media-related features, including Windows Media Player and Windows Movie Maker. The digital media player allows users to play audio files, view video files, and stream online video content. 

It also has a built-in library so users can organize their media collection easily. Windows Movie Maker lets users edit videos and create simple movies with ease. It also includes tools for adding music tracks and captions.

5. Parental controls

Parental controls allow you to restrict access to games, websites, and content based on ratings that you set up yourself. You can set time limits for when your kids can use their computer and what they can do with it while they’re online or playing games. 

You can even lock down certain programs so they can’t be opened without your permission or control what sites they visit while surfing the web.

What are the limitations of Windows XP?

  • It is not free – Windows XP costs money so it may not be accessible to everyone. When compared to other iterations, users have been able to upgrade free of charge. 
  • Difficult upgrades – Windows XP is very difficult to upgrade from earlier versions of Windows. If you want to switch from say Windows 98 to Windows XP, you’ll have to do a clean install that deletes all files on your hard drive.
  • Complex installation process – It can be difficult to set up a new PC with Windows XP. The installation process can take several hours and requires a CD or DVD drive to install from.
  • Security risks – Windows XP has known security vulnerabilities that can be exploited by hackers to gain access to your computer system or data files stored on it. Luckily, you can secure your system with Windows XP antivirus software.
  • Limited RAM – The system memory only supports up to 4GB. You can either upgrade to Windows XP Professional which comes at a cost or a newer Windows version.

Having explored all that Windows XP has to offer, it brings us to the age-old question: Which is better, Windows XP or Windows 10? The two operating systems are very different from each other, but they do share some similarities. 

Ultimately, there are a lot of trade-offs when it comes to upgrading to Windows 10. Some people will consider the upgrade, especially if they use a compatible computer, but others may not even bother. 

It all boils down to the activities you use your PC for. If you are doing basic stuff then by all means continue using Windows XP. This just means that you’ll have to take measures such as hiding your IP in Windows XP to minimize the security risks.

However, if you are looking to explore more modern features and overall enhanced performance, Windows 10 is.

We’d love to hear your stance on Windows XP and whether you’d consider using it in the comments section below.

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