Tech

20 Years of Windows XP And It’s Still Used!

Windows XP turned 20 years since its launch yesterday and although its presence is already very limited still used in some business teams, industrial systems, in vertical markets and by some enthusiasts who keep it on teams with low hardware requirements.

The good-bad operating system cadence has been replicated at Microsoft almost exactly. Following widespread dissatisfaction with Windows Me, Windows XP was a great success almost from its inception. The fiasco that followed, the not so bad Windows Vista, and the extension of technical support to stop Linux netbooks, caused the “Windows XP case” whereby users kept it even without official technical support. Perhaps that is why it has been the Windows with the most temporary presence to date. We will see how far Windows 7 stretches.

Windows XP: good system, good memories

Windows XP brought remarkable improvements in performance, stability and a user interface called “Moon.” Built on the Windows NT kernel, it was a visual and functional evolution of both Windows Me (it was not difficult at all) and the Windows 2000 kernel, thus abandoning the MS-DOS kernel used until then for consumer Windows.

Although the general concept of the interface had started in Windows 95 a few years earlier, Windows XP offered a noticeable improvement in customization and features. The Start menu was revamped to include the two columns that we also saw in Windows 7, the left one focused on the installed software and the right one for easy access to the documents folders, recent files / documents, pictures, music and My Computer, in addition to other important areas such as the Control Panel, Search and Run.

Aside from the Start menu, the taskbar was also enhanced to group windows opened from the same application for the first time and provide access to a context menu that displayed each item that was grouped. Also for the first time in Windows, the Quick user switching which allowed multiple users to switch between active accounts without having to close all open applications or log out, improving workflows.

It also released a restore function that has become essential to recover computers from (frequent) serious failures in Windows. The representation of ClearType fonts on LCD screens was another welcome feature, while for the graphics and games section, the premiere of DirectX 8.1 I already pointed out the absolute (quasi) domain that Windows has today in that section.

Performance improved in all sections, system startup, application startup times or recovery from sleep modes, while support for the technologies of the time and main devices, such as ADSL modems with which many they began their journey on the Internet.

Microsoft sold Windows XP in various editions In a strategy that it has maintained until now, differentiating the Home and Pro consumer versions, which on that occasion was sold as specific for 64-bit architectures. Also advanced the Windows XP Tablet PC Edition that was ahead of others to cover touch screens and use of stylus and the Media Center edition derived from the XP Professional Edition for computers with remote control and multimedia capabilities, watch and record TV, play videos , photos or music; receive HDTV and share data with the Xbox 360.

All the editions premiered the function of «product activation»To reduce piracy. It really lasted for the hackers in the news … and Microsoft did not do much to persecute users, still pirates, but who continued to use Windows. Windows XP also released Service Packs, service packages where improvements and new applications were included, in addition to the usual ones for stability and security. Interestingly, Microsoft has once again brought these SPs back for Windows 10.

Official technical support for the system ended on April 8, 2014, but many users and businesses continued to use it years later. I don’t know about you, but I fondly remember this Windows XP that I used since its launch and it was a breath of fresh air after Windows Me, the worst thing to come out of the Redmond factory.

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