claims it will be the most significant release since Windows 95. Can it be true? Has Microsoft reengineered its OS? Have the needs of the people finally been met? Let's check out the future release of
and see just what Microsoft has in store for the computer world.
Stability is Key...
Windows and crashing go together like cheese and wine. It seemed that with every new OS release came more complex problems. I think we've all wondered what Microsoft was thinking releasing an OS every two years. My theory, and I think I'm right, is this; Microsoft will eventually merge the world into one Operating System. They will no longer have an OS for home users, then an OS for office users. They appear to be rolling all the functionality, fun, and sometimes frustration into a single program. The keystone for this will be Windows XP. In this release, which offers both a professional and home edition, they have built the OS on the reliability of the NT and 2000 engines. This will offer a newfound stability and reliability for desktop computers which have avoided upgrading to W2K.
Where Did My Stuff Go?
Say goodbye to My Computer, My Documents, and My Network Places on the desktop. Microsoft decided that the world should start off with a clean slate to dirty as they see fit. I don't know, I just can't imagine losing the reassurance that the computer is My Computer, and that I have My Network Places to go. So for those who do feel they need to wean themselves off of prior Windows OS's then you can simply restore the old desktop settings with a click of the mouse.
Speaking of Desktops, I'm sure you'll love this next handy feature. How many programs have we installed that places a shortcut onto the desktop? How many downloads have we defaulted to rest on our desktop? How many shortcuts can a person have on a Desktop? Microsoft has added a nice little wizard that helps you to clean house. It lets you know how many desktop shortcuts you have, and how many you actually use. You can then allow the wizard to remove them into a safe place for future use. Who could ask for anything more than a desktop cleaning service!
Who would have thunk it? Microsoft finally has created a taskbar suitable to be called so. We all know that the current Windows systems create buttons on our taskbars as we open programs. The more we open, the more that appear, get smaller, and eventually we get lost tasking around. So really, the task became selecting the correct button. In Windows XP we get a break from the monotony by classifying program groups into one button. So let's say you have 10 MS Word documents and 13 MS Excel spreadsheets open. Windows XP creates a single taskbar button for each program group, and within that button lists all of your documents for quick access. Programs will no longer hog your taskbar. Thumbs up on that one!!
It's All About Sharing.
XP has gotten some additional greatness through internet sharing. If you are a person who likes the high-speed web with Cable/DSL then you'll love this! XP introduces an internet sharing wizard that allows you to share your Cable or DSL connection with others on your network. Now I'm sure your thinking "Oh, great - I'm sure hackers will love this." Hey, let's not jump to conclusions. XP includes Microsoft's ICF (Internet Connection Firewall) which automatically turns on when you configure any type of broadband connection. I'm sure this will take a chunk out of
firewall software sales.
Getting Help The Modern Way
XP has introduced the Remote Assistance feature, which will come in handy for those who find that they have run into trouble with XP. Remote Assistant allows an XP user to e-mail a friend (or someone more technical) for assistance with their computer. When the e-mail is received by this computer "guru" they just open the mail attachment and open a connection to the troubled XP computer. Much like
(Symantec Corp.)the "guru" has full control of the machine and can get behind the scenes to resolve the troubles. Not much of a competitor against PCAnywhere, but if I know Microsoft they'll continue to increase its functionality over time.
Another feature found in Windows XP Professional is the Remote Desktop program that again allows you to connect to your PC while out on the road. Again, a PCAnywhere type of program but has less options regarding hosting and remote access. Like I said, give Microsoft a few years!
And the List Goes On!
I'll be sure to write more about the new OS closer to its release date!