Microsoft(R) Windows(R) XP

About the new: Windows XP - Professional & Home

by R. F. Mariano (STReport Online Magazine)

It’s been some time since I’ve actually written an article or editorial.  But today has to be the day. The day after the launch of Microsoft’s Windows XP.  First, an overview of Windows XP and then my take on what’s going on with the so-called experts opinions and the analyst’s views.

Windows XP… (by the way, I’ve been using Windows XP on a daily basis on my main machine for well over a year through its various beta incarnations.)  is, in every way imaginable, far superior, in every aspect, to any prior version of Windows. Period.

Windows XP

  • Boots faster than all previous versions of Windows

  • Runs better than its predecessors

  • Offers two levels of User Incarnations

  • Doesn’t Crash

  • Is far more compatible with older software

  • Has no DOS skeletal remains

  • Looks better, less cluttered

  • Is Painlessly kept up to date

  • Is more secure

  • Is everything Windows 9x, NT etc., was dreamed to be

 Now, let’s take a quick look at what the so-called experts had to say…

 Guy Kewney (ZDNET UK) writes;

“People will find, for example, that there are some devices which don't, after all, work. For example, any Logitech scanner which works, will be a bonus, since Logitech has stopped writing drivers for its obsolete range - and if you have a Windows 98 machine which uses such a scanner, you will be annoyed, to put it gently, to discover that you have to buy a new scanner as well as a new operating system.

And there are other drivers which are working, but only barely. It's OK to say this: even Microsoft admits, for example that the "native support" for wireless networking requires some hard work of installing and re-installing--and that some manufacturers are still not quite ready with drivers for some of their earlier cards.

But what matters, for me, is that even this is being acknowledged. Ballmer described XP as "the operating system that improves itself"--it is designed to acknowledge its own failings, and download improvements as and when they are available--in a much simpler way than was possible with Win 2K.

There are going to be problems, and we will discover errors and omissions. No project of the complexity of Windows XP can be complete, ever. Things that fix one problem will break things that weren't a problem somewhere else. New devices and new software will call for services which nobody anticipated.”

This, dear hearts, is from an “expert”.  After reading this excerpt from his recent article, one is left asking, "where was this guy for the last year"?  I’d be inclined to say; “trying to find ways to argue with MS promo people and desperately seeking items in either Win9x or NT to pick nits over".  You’ll notice he states, "there are drivers that are barely working…" Frankly, I’d say that Microsoft was and is not in the business of writing drivers for third party software packages.  Many of the 3rd party software companies, most of which were part of the beta program, harped and harped about “we will not support a version of Windows that is not released”. Now, that Windows XP is in the Wild… Let’s see how long it takes these goofs to come up with full, robust drivers that take advantage of Win XP’s features!  Further, I beg the readers to remember who the tardy (dragging their feet), with new driver support, companies are and fondly remember them the next time the reader is in the market for some new software or hardware.

Kewney goes on to point out that Windows XP will have problems yet to be discovered. This enlightened "penmaster" obviously has been out of touch with the real world.  Untold scores (well over 10k) of Beta testers put Windows XP through a living hell of “trials by fire”.  I, myself, which I’ll discuss later in this editorial, did things never possible to do with success in previous versions of Windows, NT included.  Kewney, in his remarks only further strengthens my convictions that the vast majority of “experts” have no idea of what they write about.

David Coursey, with the help of Patrick Houston (AnchorDesk) writes;

  • The reason experienced computer users will want XP is stability. According to Microsoft, the OS is 10 to 30 times more stable than Windows 98 or Me. This has been borne out by my personal experience.
  • If you're buying a new system, you will want XP because the user interface is less intimidating. The OS is also more task oriented--especially in supporting digital music and digital photography.
  • I don't like the new pricing any more than most of you do--or what one MS exec described as a "very vocal minority." While I am not wild about paying $270 to upgrade three home machines, I don't think Microsoft will relent, especially since upgrade sales are not the big moneymaker they once were.
  • Prediction: Some hacker will conjure up an "easy" way for people to circumvent XP's pesky copy-protection issues and let you install XP wherever you want. I have heard of these hacks already. Sure, making copies of Windows 98 was illegal, but there really wasn't any way to stop you. And if you copied the software onto a second home machine, say, it really did not seem wrong. But with XP it is wrong, and you cannot plead ignorance. If that catches on, what happens next? Will Microsoft assert the jackboot?
  • XP makes networking much easier, especially for home use and for wireless connectivity. This gives you new things to do with your PC by making it easier for you to communicate. For instance, XP gives you a reason to buy a Webcam: video instant messages. Wireless networking still needs some evolving to be absolutely mainstream, but now there's a second OS (Apple had the first) really optimized for wireless local area networking.
  • I don't think zillions of people are going to rush to the store to buy a new PC just because XP is here. But if you have been thinking about upgrading, low hardware prices and a sleek new OS ought to be reason enough, right? And you'll be helping our battered economy. Check out the new hardware based on the AMD processors.
  • As much as I believe any big company or government, I believe Microsoft wants to protect your privacy. I am not afraid of what MS will do with personal data--read its privacy policies. But I am concerned about its ability to protect my data from bad guys. XP is the beginning of the .Net era of Internet and Web-based applications talking to one another and sharing data. Security issues are as big a limiting factor here as anything else.
  • Microsoft deserves praise for improving the level of technical support and adding user-to-user remote support to XP. This is a step down the road to computers that know how to fix themselves.
  • If you are a corporate customer, Microsoft is pushing very hard to get you into a licensing program for both Windows XP and Office XP. Maybe you don't like being pushed--especially as hard as Microsoft did--but get over it: That's how you'll be buying software from here on out.
  • Should you upgrade? First run the Windows Upgrade Advisor. If you can upgrade--and most people can, especially with an inexpensive memory bump to 256 MB--I recommend it. Wait if you are using Windows 2000. Though XP is faster, you already have enhanced stability. But if you are running the brain-damaged Windows Me or you're just tired of crashy Windows, spend the money.

What’s there to say?  Pat’s 10 items give you the facts, straight… to the point and pretty much on the mark. I agree with the above 10 points.

Back to Kewney

Meanwhile, Kewney is crying about only having a beta copy or two to use and thus, has yet to install it on his main machine. He goes on to say;

“As I say, I simply don't know anybody who has tried it. And I can't. When I can, I will try it. Wish me luck, will you? “

To Kewney, Wish you luck?? You need more than luck!  I say to you “kill the tears and fears act”.  If you want to portray yourself as an expert then do the things experts do to render an expert opinion. Use the product… if you were in the beta, then you had plenty of opportunity to talk to others that use WinXP daily.  Its fairly obvious, by your comments, that you have little or no experience with Windows XP.  Kewney wins our WRECKSPERT recognition award as another “Hennypenny” in the world of Windows trying to sound as if he’s “in the know” when in fact, he hasn’t a clue.

My Tests in a Nutshell;

During the course of testing the strengths of Windows XP, (I used the Pro version), I did just about everything, including the unspeakable, to Windows XP.  Having a number of machines at my disposal, including a pair of laptops, I installed, clean installed and upgraded WinXP, some beta over beta, some clean and one, in particular, beta over beta over beta from previous versions of Windows going back to Win95 OSR3.  To make a long story short in every instance, Windows XP ran the gauntlet with little or no problems.

In one case, I had my daily workday machine running an ASUS P3C-D dual processor (2x 750mhz) motherboard which had the goofed Intel chipset that according to Intel only... worked... well almost worked with Rambus. After going through trial and tribulation... none of which was software related, I yanked the motherboard, memory and processors.  I re-installed a new motherboard with a 1.4ghz processor and stick of 512mb 133mhz ram.  Windows XP recognized the changes, installed the needed drivers and proceeded smartly along its way.


Windows XP... Be it Professional or Home.. is the answer for you.  I prefer the Professional Version as it offers more power and features. I highly recommend Windows XP for everyone except the DOS Babies.. Someday, they'll come plodding along, out of the woods, on their horses realizing the future is DOS-less.  Get Windows XP you will not be disappointed.