While keeping some likenesses to previous variants, Windows XP interface was renovated with a fresh visual appearance, with a heightened use of alpha compositing effects, drop shadows, and “visual styles”, which totally alter the look of the operating system. The quantity of effects empowered are discovered by the operating system by the processing power of the computer, and can be enabled or disabled on a case by case basis. XP additionally added ClearType, a fresh subpixel rendering system designed to enhance the look of fonts on liquid-crystal displays. A fresh set of system icons were introduced.
The Start menu got its first significant overhaul on XP, changing to a two-column layout with the skill to list, pin, and screen frequently used programs, recently opened documents, and the conventional cascading “All Applications” menu. The taskbar can group windows opened by an individual program with a popup menu, into one taskbar button. The notification area also conceals “inactive” icons by default. The taskbar may also be “locked” to prevent inadvertent moving or other changes.
In an attempt to prevent copyright infringement of XP, in addition, it introduced Windows Product Activation, which demands that each Windows permit be “activated” and tied to an unique ID created using info from the computer hardware.
Windows XP uses prefetcher to enhance startup and application launch times. In addition, it became possible to revert the setup of an upgraded device driver, should the driver that was upgraded create unwelcome effects.
Networking and web functionality
Windows XP was initially bundled with Outlook Express 6, Internet Explorer 6, Windows Messenger, and MSN Explorer. Remote Assistance and Remote Desktop were also added, which enable users to connect to a computer and access apparatus, files, printers, and their programs or request help. Advancements were also made to IntelliMirror attributes for example Roaming user profiles, Offline Files and Folder redirection.
- Several new features in Windows Explorer including tiles, task panes and filmstrip views, grouping and enhanced sorting, searching by doc types, infotips that was customizable, built in CD burning, AutoPlay, Simple File Sharing and WebDAV mini-redirector.
- Enhanced imaging characteristics for example Windows Picture and Fax Viewer, thumbnail caching and enhanced image management in Explorer
- Numerous power management developments and kernel enhancements
- Quicker startup, (due to improved Prefetch functions) logon, logoff, hibernation and program launching sequences.
- Numerous developments to increase the system dependability including Automated System Recovery, improved System Restore, Windows Error
- Reporting and driver dependability.
- The ClearType font rendering mechanism, which was created to enhance text readability on liquid-crystal display (LCD) and similar computer screens, particularly notebooks.
- Side by side assemblies and registration-free COM
- General progress such as enhanced IMEs, languages and scripts, MUI support in Terminal Services, more locales Text Services Framework, and
- National Language Support to international support
- Improved program compatibility and shims when compared with Windows 2000
- Upgraded games and accessories.
- Attributes that are removed
It was not made by some of the applications and characteristics that were part of the preceding versions of Windows to Windows XP. NetDDE and NetBEUI are deprecated and aren’t installed by default. AppleTalk and dLC network protocols are removed.
Service Pack 2 and Service Pack 3 additionally remove attributes from Windows XP but to a noticeable extent. The address bar on the taskbar and the Energy Star emblem are removed in Service Pack 3.
Diagram representing the principal versions of Windows XP. It’s based on the type of the version (gray) and codebase (black arrow).
Windows XP was released in two important variants on Professional; Home Edition, and start. Both versions were made available at retail as pre-filled applications on new computers, and in boxed copies. Packaged copies were sold as “Upgrade” or “Complete” permits; the “Upgrade” variants were somewhat more affordable, but need an existing version of Windows to install. The “Complete” variant can be installed on systems without an operating system or present version of Windows. Both variants of XP were directed towards distinct marketplaces; Home Edition is expressly intended for consumer use and disables or removes specific innovative and business-oriented attributes present on Professional, like the ability to join a Windows domain name, Internet Information Services, and Multilingual User Interface. Windows 98 or ME can be updated to either variation, but Windows NT 4.0 and Windows 2000 can only be updated to Professional. Windows’ software license agreement for pre-packed permits enables the applications to be “returned” to the OEM for a refund if the user doesn’t want to use it. Despite the refusal of some manufacturing companies to honor the entitlement, courts in some states have applied it.
Two specialized versions of Windows XP Product Key were introduced in 2002 through OEM channels, only for particular kinds of hardware as pre-packed applications. Microsoft also unveiled Windows XP Tablet PC Edition, which includes added pen input attributes, and is optimized for cellular devices fulfilling with its Tablet PC specifications.
Microsoft also targeted emerging markets with the 2004 launch of Windows XP Starter Edition, an unique version of Home Edition intended for low cost PC’s. The OS is mainly aimed at first-time computer owners, featuring significant localization (including backgrounds and screen savers featuring pictures of local landmarks), and a “My Support” region which includes video tutorials on basic computing tasks. In addition, it removes specific “sophisticated” attributes, and will not permit users to run more than three programs at a time. After a pilot program in Thailand and India, Newcomer was released in other emerging markets throughout 2005.
As it was sold at the exact same cost as the variation with Windows Media Player included, specific OEMs (including Dell, who offered it for a short time, along with Hewlett Packard, Lenovo and Fujitsu Siemens) chose not to offer it. Consumer interest was minuscule, with approximately 1,500 units sales to consumers. no reported sent to OEMs, and In December 2005, the Korean Fair Trade Commission ordered Microsoft to make accessible versions of Windows Server 2003 and Windows XP that don’t include Windows Messenger or Windows Media Player. The “K” and “KN” versions of Windows XP were released in August 2006, and are only accessible English and Korean, as well as include links to third party instant messenger and media player applications.
Three service packs were released for Windows XP, including the inclusion of specific characteristics and various bug fixes. Each service pack is a superset of all previous service packs and patches that just the latest service pack must be installed, as well as contains revisions that are new.
Service Pack 1
It included over 300 minor, post-RTM bug fixes, along with all security patches released since the first launch of XP. SP1 additionally added USB 2.0 support, Microsoft Java Virtual Machine, .NET Framework support, and support for technologies used by the then-forthcoming Media Center and Tablet PC versions of XP. The most important change on SP1 was the inclusion of Set Program Access and Defaults, a settings page that allows applications to be place for specific kinds of actions (including media players or web browsers) and for access to bundled, Microsoft applications (including Internet Explorer or Windows Media Player) to be disabled.
On February 3, 2003, Microsoft released Service Pack 1a (SP1a). Microsoft Java Virtual Machine was removed by this release as an outcome of a lawsuit with Sun Microsystems.
Service Pack 2
Windows Security Center was added in Service Pack 2.
Service Pack 2 also added new security improvements (codenamed “Springboard”), which contained a major revision to the enclosed firewall (renamed Windows Firewall, and now enabled by default), Data Execution Prevention developed hardware support in the NX bit that can prevent some types of buffer overflow attacks. Also, security-related developments were made to email and internet browsing. Service Pack 2 also added an interface which provides an overall review of the system’s security status, Security Center, for example, state of the firewall and automatic updates. Third party firewall and antivirus applications may also be tracked from Security Center.
Microsoft released patch, and has licensed the patent.
Service Pack 3
It started being mechanically pushed out on July 10, 2008 to Automatic Updates users. A characteristic place summary which details new features available individually as standalone backported attributes from Windows Vista, in addition to upgrades to Windows XP, has been posted by Microsoft. A total of 1,174 fixes have been included in SP3. Internet Explorer 7 and 8 aren’t included as part of SP3. Service Pack 3 isn’t accessible for the 64 bit version of Windows XP, which relies on Windows Server 2003 kernel.
New features in Service Pack 3
- NX APIs for application programmers to empower Data Execution Prevention for their code, independent of system wide compatibility enforcement settings
- Turns black hole router detection on by default
- Support for SHA2 signatures in X.509 certificates
- Network Access Protection client
- Qualification Security Support Provider
- Illustrative Security choices in Group Policy/Local Security Policy user interface
- An upgraded version of the Microsoft Enhanced Cryptographic Provider Module (RSAENH) that’s FIPS 140-2 certified (SHA-256, SHA-384 and SHA-512 algorithms)
- Installing without needing a product key during set up for OEM and retail variants