Windows XP is an operating system produced by Microsoft for use on personal computers, including home and business desktops, laptops and media centers. First released to computer manufacturers on August 24, 2001, it is the second most popular version of Windows, based on installed user base. The name "XP" is short for "eXPerience", highlighting the enhanced user experience.
Windows XP, the successor to Windows 2000 and Windows Me, was the first consumer-oriented operating system produced by Microsoft to be built on the Windows NT kernel. Windows XP was released worldwide for retail sale on October 25, 2001, and over 400 million copies were in use in January 2006. It was succeeded by Windows Vista in January 2007. Direct OEM and retail sales of Windows XP ceased on June 30, 2008. Microsoft continued to sell Windows XP through their System Builders (smaller OEMs who sell assembled computers) program until January 31, 2009. On April 10, 2012, Microsoft reaffirmed that extended support for Windows XP and Office 2003 would end on April 8, 2014 and suggested that administrators begin preparing to migrate to a newer OS.
The NT-based versions of Windows, which are programmed in C, C++, and assembly, are known for their improved stability and efficiency over the 9x versions of Microsoft Windows. Windows XP presented a significantly redesigned graphical user interface, a change Microsoft promoted as more user-friendly than previous versions of Windows. A new software management facility called side-by-side assembly was introduced to ameliorate the "DLL hell" that plagued 9x versions of Windows. It is also the first version of Windows to use product activation to combat illegal copying.
During Windows XP's development, the project was codenamed "Whistler", after Whistler, British Columbia, as many Microsoft employees skied at the Whistler-Blackcomb ski resort.
According to web analytics data generated by W3Schools, from September 2003 to July 2011, Windows XP was the most widely used operating system for accessing the w3schools website, which they claim is consistent with statistics from other websites. As of October 2012, Windows XP market share is at 22.1% after having peaked at 76.1% in January 2007.
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... Security was a top priority during Windows Vista development ... In Windows XP, every user is set up as an administrator by default (unless added through Computer Management) ... Sometimes, a person logged on as a standard user under Windows XP can't perform user-specific tasks such as changing the system clock and calendar, changing the computer's ...
... e-Speaking – a software for Windows XP that facilitates use of the Microsoft Speech API by adding ability to create commands to perform custom actions ... as part of Microsoft Office and on Tablet PCs running Microsoft Windows XP Tablet PC Edition ... also be downloaded as part of the Speech SDK 5.1 for Windows applications, but since that is aimed at developers building speech applications, the pure ...
... performance tests have demonstrated that Windows XP outperforms Vista in several productivity areas ... area where Vista performs better than XP ... For XP, it took 2 minutes and 54 seconds, for Vista with SP1 it took 2 minutes and 29 seconds ...
... In the event that an end user decides that they do not wish to use a preinstalled version of Windows, Microsoft's End User License Agreement (EULA) provides that the software may be returned to the OEM for a refund ... Despite refusal of some manufacturers to honor the entitlement, it has been enforced by courts in some countries ...
... Windows Vista's profiles are functionally similar to those of Windows XP, but with some differences ...
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