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What's So Great About Windows XP?

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Learn a few reasons why expert John Mueller regards Windows XP as a vast improvement over its predecessors.
John Mueller is the author of Sams Teach Yourself Windows XP in 21 Days (Sams, October 2001, ISBN 0672322633).
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It would be difficult to sum up in a few words everything that is great about Windows XP. However, that aside, the big question that is on everyone's mind right now is whether Windows XP is worth the price of an upgrade.

There are many considerations when it comes to making this decision. For many people, it is a good choice because Windows XP offers more functionality. Perhaps the most important consideration is the three features that spell relief for network administrators and users alike.

The first and most obvious new feature is the user interface. The simple menu system makes life easier for the novice without destroying the power of the classic alternative for power users. Everyone will find something to like in the new user interface. Users won't be hampered with a difficult-to-understand interface and support desk calls should consume less of the network administrator's time.

The second feature that offers a great benefit is that Windows XP solves the issue of multiple code bases, which has been a problem with earlier versions of Windows. Windows 9x is gone and DOS is gone with it. No longer will you need to keep multiple sets of drivers around; one set will do the job for all versions of Windows. The use of a single code base means that users and administrators won't have to follow a different set of rules with each Windows version. Of course, some of those old games will cease to function because Windows XP will force them to behave as good citizens.

The final and considerably major issue that Windows XP resolves is security. The Windows 9x platform provided little in the way of security, making it an open target for crackers. While Windows 2000 is more secure than even Windows NT, Windows XP will provide even more security features. You'll find that it contains a personal firewall to protect Internet access. This firewall won't replace the commercial products, but it will serve home and small office users well.

However, I can't write about what I like about Windows XP without mentioning some of the fun stuff Microsoft is including. For the utility junkies among us, Windows XP brings a few new multimedia offerings. My favorite is the Windows Movie Maker. Your home movies may never make it to a theater screen near you, but with this utility, I bet you'll soon be enjoying those amateur goodies on your home movie theater.

In short, Windows XP is a vast improvement over its predecessors.

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