Store Index - Operating Systems:
Platform: Windows XP
Product Description: Packed with multimedia features, Windows XP Home Edition aims to unlock the full potential of your personal computer. It also looks great, with rounded window corners, larger and more detailed icons, and a clean-look desktop.
The best thing about Windows XP is that, because it belongs to the Windows NT/2000 product family, it's designed from the ground up for reliability, security, and networking. XP Home users will soon see the benefits of this. The dreaded Windows crash-and-reboot cycle really is much less common with XP, and, provided the hardware is up to scratch, XP's performance is better, too. The downside is that using a different code base can make compatibility with old applications less assured. Business applications normally run fine, but older games, MIDI software, and system utilities may well cause problems.
Windows XP is more customizable than previous versions, including its visual themes that let you change the whole appearance of Windows in an instant. Fast User Switching is a neat feature for computers used by more than one person--it lets another user log on without killing the previous user's session, and when you switch back, running applications and open documents are as you left them. This is impressive, but what really counts is that XP understands how to deal with multiple users. Each user has their own special folders, such as My Documents, which cannot be seen by other users. And for those with more than one computer, the network setup wizard simplifies setting up a network.
Windows XP Home has many strong multimedia features. New Media Player lets you copy music from CD to hard disk, create your own playlist, and write your own music CDs if you have a CD writer. You can also play back DVD-Video (but only if a hardware or software DVD decoder is already installed) and play MP3 audio files and MPEG videos (but sadly not the popular RealMedia formats). Admittedly, Media Player does nothing that you cannot also do with free alternatives, but it is slick and nicely integrated. There is also Windows Movie Maker, a basic tool for capturing and editing videos that's fun to use, although too limited for serious work...
- Pentium 233 MHz or faster processor
- For PCs without Microsoft Windows, or PCs with Windows 95 or earlier
- 128 MB RAM
- 1.5 GB hard disk space
- CD-ROM or DVD drive
- Sound card Keyboard and mouse
- DVD video playback requires DVD drive and DVD decoder card or DVD decoder software and 8 MB video RAM
- Video capture feature requires appropriate digital or analog video capture device and 400 MHz or faster processor for digital video camera capture
- 33.6K modem and Internet access required for online and conferencing features
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