Windows XP is the latest version of Microsoft’s operating system. It was released in 2001.
Microsoft stopped providing support for Windows XP on April 8, 2014. This means that you no longer receive security updates or technical support.
What is Windows XP?
Windows XP is a graphical operating system developed by Microsoft. It is a major upgrade over the previous version, Windows Me. Upon its release, it received critical acclaim for performance and stability (compared to Windows Me), a more intuitive user interface, improved hardware support, and expanded multimedia capabilities.
It also incorporated new software management capabilities to avoid the “ DLL hell” problem that plagued earlier versions of Windows. It was the first version of Windows to use product activation to combat unauthorized distribution of Windows.
Another feature of Windows XP is multiple user capability, allowing more than one person to access the same computer at any given time. Each user can have a separate computer account that tracks his own documents, settings, and email accounts.
For example, if you have more than one family member using the same computer at home or if you have several coworkers using the same computer on a network, you can assign each user a unique computer account and set up group policies to apply to all users in a single group.
Most computers come with the Windows XP operating system pre-installed. If you want to install it yourself, however, there are a few things you must know before starting the installation.
First, make sure you have all the latest security applications installed and that your system’s BIOS is configured to boot off of the CD-ROM drive before other devices (external hard drives, card readers and thumb drives).
Next, start the installation by inserting the Windows XP disk into your computer’s CD-ROM or DVD-ROM drive. Then, restart your computer.
After you’ve done that, the Windows XP disc will automatically begin the install. You’ll see a number of screens that ask questions about your computer.
If a user logs on to a Windows XP Professional computer that is part of a domain, Windows XP Professional contacts an available domain controller in the domain and compares logon information with the user information that is in the directory for the domain.
If the information matches, Windows XP Professional creates an access token for the user. The access token contains the security settings that allow a user to gain access to the appropriate resources on the local computer.
When a user logs off, Windows closes all open programs and presents a Welcome screen (Figure 1-2), so that the next person can sign in. However, your desktop, all your open programs and files, and even the computer’s own picture are still there behind the scenes, waiting for you to resume your work.
Another option to consider is locking your computer, which prevents anyone else from logging on without typing in their password again. This feature is useful for securing your computer and e-mail from snoopers or other disruptions.
Windows XP was the first version of Windows that was designed with security in mind. It was also the first version of Windows that featured a built-in firewall and allowed for automatic updates via the Windows Update tool.
However, despite these protections, Windows XP is still vulnerable to several types of cyber attacks. These threats have risen in sophistication since the operating system was released, and are likely to continue to grow in frequency after Microsoft officially stops supporting it on April 8th.
Using an updated, modern web browser such as Firefox or Chrome will help to protect your system from attacks. You should not use Internet Explorer, however, as it is a highly outdated and unsecure browser that cannot be patched.
Moreover, Windows XP Service Pack 2 includes a key verification engine that will refuse to install on copies of Windows XP with product keys that have been used for unauthorized installations. This was a significant development as the number of volume license keys that were posted on the Internet was largely responsible for a large number of unauthorized installations.