Windows XP

windows xp

Windows XP marked a turning point for Microsoft in its attitude to prioritising users. It also introduced several innovations including the error reporting system.

Wait for the Setup files to copy. The screen may flicker and resize during this process.

Choose your language and region settings. Then select Next.


XP themes control the appearance of just about everything, including wallpapers, icons, colors, fonts, sounds, and screen savers. There are countless themes available for XP, including some made by Microsoft itself. These can give the system a more colorful, modern look, or a more traditional, stolid theme.

Some XP themes are free and others require registration. A few are even animated. These themes are installed using a simple procedure. Right-click the desktop, select Properties – Themes, and then choose the theme you want to use from the list.

Before installing any visual style, you should manually create a system restore point to be on the safe side. This way, if anything goes wrong, you can restore the previous settings with a few clicks.


The Windows XP operating system includes GDI+, which improves on the graphics device interface included with earlier versions of Windows by adding new features and optimizing existing ones. These improvements include alpha blending for all graphics primitives, gradient and texture fills, and scalable regions. It also offers support for a wide range of image file formats and advanced color management.

The most important GDI+ object is Graphics, which provides an interface for defining two-dimensional vector graphics. It is the object through which your program communicates with graphical devices such as monitors and printers. It is insulated from the underlying hardware, which makes it possible for your application to be platform-independent.

Each GDI+ object consumes a number of system resources. When your computer is running many programs, these objects can become too large, leading to poor performance and unresponsive program operation. Fortunately, you can fix this problem by using a utility program called Utility Manager. This utility can help you reduce GDI+ object usage.

Hardware compatibility

In April 2014 Microsoft officially stopped supporting XP, meaning that hardware that was built for or bundled with this version of Windows would not receive software updates. This can lead to compatibility issues and security vulnerabilities that cannot be fixed.

During the development of Windows XP, Microsoft made an effort to improve device compatibility. The Find compatible hardware and software option in the Help and Support Center is a good place to start. It scans the system for incompatible hardware and creates a report.

One new hardware feature is ClearType, which uses subpixel rendering to increase the contrast between text and backgrounds on specific kinds of display screens. Windows XP also supports side-by-side assembly sharing, which reduces the chances of DLL conflicts.

The minimum requirements for XP are 64 MB of RAM (128 MB recommended) and 1.5 GB of hard drive space. It uses the 32-bit programming model that was introduced in 95/98/Me and fully implemented in NT and 2000, which increases stability.


Despite Microsoft’s ongoing efforts to encourage users to upgrade to newer operating systems, XP remains in widespread use. This is a significant security risk, because after April 8, 2014, the OS will no longer receive regular Microsoft vendor provided security updates. This leaves the system vulnerable to hackers exploiting vulnerabilities that will never be patched.

Some of the Windows settings are configured to allow anonymous logon. This is a Category 1 finding that could enable unauthorized access to the system.

Password uniqueness does not meet minimum requirements. This makes a system more vulnerable to unauthorized access when user and machine account passwords are reused for long periods of time, rather than changing to a new password on a monthly basis.

While we recommend that users of Windows XP upgrade to a newer version of the operating system, if you do insist on sticking with XP for whatever reason (for example, because it supports legacy software or hardware), make sure that the machine is not connected to the Internet and follow the steps in this paper to minimize the risks.