Unit 1. New elements in WindowsXP




The new version of Windows represents an important change from the previous version.

Since Windows95 was released the successive versions had only been an evolution from the original, nevertheless on this ocasion a more important change was produced because the very center or Kernell of the operating system has been changed.

Although it may seem to the user that no radical changes were made, it could be said that WindowsXP is not just another version of Windows but practically a whole new system.

Until now Microsoft had two different operating systems, Windows 98 for personal or domestic use and Windows NT/2000 for the business and professional environment.

With WindowsXP a convergence among both versions is produced; the center of the operating system Windows 2000 was divided to create WindowsXP, and some adjustments were done to differentiate WindowsXP Home Edition and WindowsXP Professional.

The main benefit of this strategy for the domestic users is going to be that WindowsXP has acquired the sturdiness and stability of WindowsNT/2000, which should imply that WindowsXP will crash less times, and that there will be fewer occasions when we have to restart the system as a result of an error.

The improvement for professional users is that WindowsXP has greater compatibility with the hardware than WindowsNT/2000.

New user system


WindowsXP has a new user system completely different from Windows98. This new system has been inherited from Windows NT/2000.

Now various users with independent profiles can be defined. This means that each user can have different permissions that will allow him to carry out certain tasks. Each user will have a different start menu and it's own My documents folder that will be able to be protected by password. There also is a folder to which all the users have access where the documents that want to be shared with other users can be placed.

For example, a Father user type that has access to all Internet and a Son user type that is not allowed to certain violent or sexual webpages, can be defined.

To jump from one user's account to another is not necessary to turn off the computer nor that a user closes what he was doing, one must simply initiate a new session with another user and later it's possible to go back to the other session which will remain in the same state it was left. The system handles the different active users without interferences.

Improvements in Windows Explorer


The new Windows Explorer has turned out fairly improved.

Now it's better integrated to Internet Explorer.

CD's can be burned by dragging and dropping from the explorer to the recording unit, it's not longer necessary to install an additional program to record CD's.

The new Windows Explorer also has a very useful way for showing pictures called Filmstrip which exhibits one picture in wide format and the others in reduced format, it incorporates buttons to go forward or backwards along the pictures of the folder.

Other improvements.


A general change of aspect has been produced among the screens of Windows, the bars, buttons, icons, etc. are more pleasant.

Now it's easier to configure a domestic network.

It recovers better from errors. When a fatal error occurs WindowsXP creates a register with all the information concerning the error and gives us the option of sending it to Microsoft to be analized.

WindowsXP initializes faster than Windows98.

The start menu has changed, is clearer and now the more used applications are shown to it's right.

Task bar is far more functional since it organizes in groups the programs of the same type, for instance, if we have several web pages running, a single Internet icon appears and when it's clicked on it shows all of them to select one.

There's a new component called Windows Movie Maker that is used to edit films. We can add sound and titles, delete scenes, etc.

One of the most controversial upgrades is that the product has to be registered within 30 days from its purchase. The activation consists in letting Microsoft know that the product was installed in a certain computer so it cannot be installed in any other.

This way Microsoft intents to reduce illegal copying because a program can only be used in one computer. This arises some questions that are difficult to answer: What happens if a user updates his computer with a new processor or with a new hard disk, will his program still be useful or will he have to buy another copy?

What if his computer doesn't work, will he be able to use the program in another computer?

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