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Part 1: The Big Picture > The Lay of the Land

Chapter 1. The Lay of the Land

In many ways, Windows XP is a bit of an anachronism. On one hand, it is technically only an incremental upgrade to Windows 2000, released only a year earlier. On the other hand, it is the first consumer-level operating system based on a powerful and robust platform previously available only to advanced users and network administrators.

Windows XP is easily the most technically sophisticated operating system Microsoft has ever released, but it is adorned with an almost cartoonish interface. It has an advanced, scalable networking system built in, but networking is easier to set up in Windows XP than in any other release. It has the heftiest system requirements of any version of Windows to date, but given the same hardware, it ends up outperforming its predecessors in almost every way. It also has more superfluous bells and whistles than any other OS, but will likely be the OS of choice for most power users for several years to come.


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