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Enter XP

In October of 2001, Windows XP made its debut. The goal that Microsoft had set for the Windows XP line was ambitious: to create a reliable, easy-to-use family of operating systems whose features would meet the needs of PC users spanning a wide range of environments, whether in the home, the small office, or the demanding corporate enterprise. It had to provide state-of-the-art corporate network and security, management, and deployment features, while also including features popular with users who might have previously used Windows 9x or Windows Me. Windows XP also had to provide application and hardware compatibility with products made for older versions of Windows, and even MS-DOS game and graphics applications.

Windows XP actually meets these requirements pretty well. Windows XP (Professional and above) combines the reliability and corporate networking/security features of Windows 2000 with improved versions of the multimedia and crash-recovery features that Windows 98 and Windows Me pioneered. To make it more enticing to upgrade to Windows XP, it's designed to work much better than Windows 2000 did with older Windows (and even DOS-based) software, while still supporting the latest productivity, educational, recreational, and gaming programs from Microsoft and other publishers.


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