Windows XP is an operating system produced by Microsoft for use on personal computers, including home and business desktops, laptops and media centers.
The release date for Windows XP
It was first released to computer manufacturers on August 24, 2001, and to the general public on October 25, 2001.
It is one of the most popular versions of Windows, based on the installed user base. The name “XP” is short for “eXPerience”, highlighting the enhanced user experience.
Windows XP was preceded by Windows 2000 and Windows Me and was succeeded by Windows Vista.
On April 8, 2014, Microsoft released the last updates for Windows XP. So, this version of Windows is no longer supported by Microsoft. Still, Windows XP remains a popular operating system among users and there are guides that show you how to use it.
Windows XP Editions
Microsoft provided with seven editions of Windows XP. Still, just the first two from the list below were widely available to the common user:
- Windows XP Professional
- Windows XP Home
- Windows XP Media Center Edition (MCE)
- Windows XP Tablet PC Edition
- Windows XP Starter Edition
- Windows XP Home Edition ULCPC
- Windows XP Professional x64 Edition
The Home edition is for the average user and for more low-cost PCs. So, Windows XP Home is aimed at first-time computer users.
The Professional edition is more enterprise-oriented and it has the capability to join a Windows domain, Internet Information Services, and Multilingual User Interface.
Windows XP main features
As we said before, Windows XP is an easy-to-use operating system. The fact that it is intuitive and user-friendly makes it one of the most popular Windows versions to date.
So, the first new feature for Windows XP is the interface, completely different from previous versions such as Windows 2000 or Windows Me. Microsoft developed a new visual appearance, one more appealing and user-friendly, with visual styles and different effects.
Also, it brought a huge and diverse suite of tools and programs, that makes Windows XP a more secure, reliable and stable operating system than the previous versions.
Few new features are as follows:
- User interface
- Built-in CD burner
- Device Driver Rollback
- Internet Connection Firewall
Windows XP was updated in service packs. A service pack is a cumulative update, somehow similar to the Windows 10 cumulative updates. Still, in contrast to Windows 10, the updates for Windows XP are fewer but bigger.
For example, the transition from Windows XP Service Pack 1 to Windows XP Service Pack 2 is bigger and more complex than the transition from Windows 10 version 1809 to Windows 10 version 1903.
Microsoft released 3 service packs. The third and final one, SP3, was released to the public on May 6, 2008.
Minimum requirements for Windows XP
- Hard Drive: 1.5 GB free space (5 GB Windows XP SP3)
- RAM: 64 MB (recommended 128 MB)
- CPU: 233 MHz (recommended 300 MHz)
- Graphics Card: 800×600 or greater
- CD-ROM or DVD-ROM drive
Fortunately, there are not any computers on the market to come near these extremely modest specifications.
So, if you’re nostalgic, a modern PC would run Windows XP without issues of this sort.
Hardware Limitations for Windows XP
Windows XP Starter is limited to 512 MB of RAM and the all other 32-bit versions are limited to 4 GB of RAM. Also, 64-bit versions of Windows XP are limited to 128 GB.
Regarding the physical processor, the limit is 1 for Windows XP Home and 2 for Windows XP Professional. For 32-bit versions, the logical processor limit is 32 and for the 64-bit version of Windows XP, the limit is 64.