Windows XP Home Edition Upgrade & FREE Plain & Simple Book
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- This is the upgrade edition. See the full edition
- Find out more-visit our Windows XP shop
- Scan, organise and share your digital photos
- Download, store, and playback of the highest quality digital music
- Digital Video editing and sharing
- DVD playback with full-screen controls (requires a decoder)
- DirectX for best gaming experience
- Communicate with instant messaging, voice, and video conversations
- Easily connect and share the computers and devices in your home
- Remote Connection for help and support
- FREE Microsoft Windows XP Plain & Simple book
- Platform: Windows 98 / Me / XP
- Media: CD-ROM
- Item Quantity: 1
Packed with multimedia features Windows XP Home Edition aims to unlock the full potential of your personal computer. It also looks great, with rounded window corners, larger and more detailed icons, and a clean-look desktop.
The best thing about Windows XP is that, as it belongs to the Windows NT/2000 product family, it's designed from the ground up for reliability, security, and networking. XP home users will soon see the benefits of this. The dreaded Windows crash and reboot cycle really is much less common with XP, and provided the hardware is up to scratch, XP performance is better too. The downside is that using a different codebase can make compatibility with old applications less good. Business applications normally run fine, but older games, Midi software and system utilities may well cause problems.
XP is more customisable than previous versions, including visual themes that let you change the whole appearance of Windows in an instant. Fast User Switching is a neat feature for computers used by more than one person--it lets another user log on without killing the other user's session, and when you switch back, running applications and open documents are as you left them. This is impressive, but what really counts is that XP properly understands how to deal with multiple users. Each user has their own special folders, like My Documents, which cannot be seen by other users. And for those with more than one computer, the Network Setup wizard simplifies setting up a network.
Windows XP has many strong multimedia features. The new Media Player lets you copy music from CD to hard disk, create your own playlist and write your own music CDs if you have a CD Writer. You can also playback DVD video (but only if a hardware or software DVD decoder is already installed) and play MP3 audio files and MPEG videos (but sadly not the popular Real Media formats). Admittedly, Media Player does nothing that you cannot also do with free alternatives, but it is slick and nicely integrated. There is also Windows Movie Maker, a basic tool for capturing and editing videos, which is fun to use although too limited for serious work.
For Web browsing, XP comes with Internet Explorer 6.0 and MSN Explorer. The most significant new feature for Internet users is the built-in firewall. A firewall protects against one of the most disturbing security risks, where other users unknown to you might connect to your computer while it is online, reading private files or causing other damage. XP's built-in firewall is a simple affair, but does prevent most types of unauthorised connection.
The XP user interface is not a radical departure from earlier versions of Windows, but there are a number of small changes that together add up to a significant improvement. For example, you can add and remove shortcuts from the Start menu by right-clicking the icon and selecting Pin or Unpin from the pop-up menu. Windows online help is integrated into a Help and Support Centre that works like an internal website, with searchable help, tutorials and walkthroughs. Laptop or other flat-screen users can set Windows to use ClearType for screen fonts, for a more readable display. There are, of course, some pitfalls. Windows XP is demanding on hardware, and it would be a mistake to install it on less than Microsoft's recommended minimum. Also, if you have devices such as modems, scanners, cameras, printers or multimedia cards, we strongly advise that you check with the manufacturer for XP compatibility. You should also check software such as system utilities, games and multimedia.Business users note: unlike Windows 98 or ME, XP Home Edition cannot join a Windows server domain, so the networking is peer-to-peer only-see Windows XP Professional Edition for this functionality. There is also no multi-processor support, and a mildly annoying anti-piracy measure requires you to obtain a code from Microsoft for full installation and any future system changes. But don't let that put you off: this is Microsoft's best Windows yet. --Tim Anderson
Windows XP Home Edition gives you the freedom to experience more than you ever thought possible with your home computer and the Internet.
Unlock the full possibilities of your personal computer:
If you've always imagined you could do more with your computer, your vision is about to become reality. From digital photos, music, and video to building a home network, Windows XP Home Edition brings you into the digital age with ease.
Enjoy the new standard in dependability and simplicity:
A new visual design, a new Windows engine, and new Internet security features combine with capabilities for sharing your computer, keeping it in shape, and accessing today's online services to give you the most dependable Windows operating system yet. Unlock the full potential of your personal computer with Windows XP Home Edition. Get to know the features that can help you do amazing things with Windows XP.
Windows XP Home Edition:
- Digital Photos
Record life's memories by easily acquiring, organizing, and sharing digital photos
All-in-one place for the discovery, download, storage, and playback of the highest quality digital music
Everything you need to create, share, and enjoy videos on your computer
Personal entertainment system for great gaming and high-quality DVD videos
Communicate and share with your friends and family using instant messaging, voice, and video conversations
- Connected Home
Easily connect and share the computers and devices in your home
- Help and Support
Invite a friend or support professional to connect to your computer over the Internet and fix a problem or answer a question
Top Customer Reviews
Features such as seperate user logins mean that your family can have their own 'computer', customising their own desktop, adding their own icons etc.
The look and feel of XP may not be to more experienced users taste, but there is the option to change to the 'Classic' Windows look.
As you are installing a new operating system expect the setup process to take time, in my case 2hrs 45mins, despite the estimated time of 98mins! At the start of the intsallation the setup program scans your computer for possible hardware/software conflicts, which may cause XP problems if you don't fix it before continuing with installation. This cuts down on the legwork you have to do yourself, although after installation I did have to reinstall my anti virus software and my Broadband connection (I was warned in the previously mentioned conflicts report about the Broadband software).
If your computer can handle it and meets the specs, buy XP now!
XP displays the stability I've experienced from working with NT and Win2000, it is running much faster that 98 was and includes a bunch of useful little multimedia accessories along with a much slicker look(you can turn this off if you prefer the traditional Windows style).
Be aware that upgrading is not quite the painless operation that Microsoft would have you believe and you will most likely have to download several updated drivers to make sure everything works as it should. I spent about a day in total getting everything up and running although this included a lot of playing around with new features. My advice would be that if you are upgrading from 98/ME then give it a go, especially if you are looking for a more stable system, however users of NT/2000 will probably not find much to scream about by upgrading.
What happened was this: I upgraded from ME so that my programs wouldn't crash any more, but ironically half of them now wouldn't even start in the first place! Admittedly it wouldn't have been so bad if I had internet access in my flat, (had to download 21 floppies worth of updates to resolve basic problems), so I'll concentrate on that which is regardless of updates. Many of my games no longer worked properly (if at all), including Resident Evil 1-3 and Quake, nor did the software that came with my Sound Blaster Live! Player 5.1, nor some video editing software. I uninstalled and reinstalled programs, but then even when I quit the installation for the Sound Blaster software (it said that there might be problems if I continue), it restarted and told me that a serious error had occurred. I discovered that I no longer had a DVD or CD-RW drive, nor a sound card. The first two were resolved when I reinstalled the drivers, but it was constantly telling me that there was no sound device present even though it's all there in the device manager and it says that it is working properly. After much frustration trying this and that to no avail (I couldn't even use the system restore feature to undo whatever mistake had been made!), a reinstallation of Windows managed to solve that one.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
I could not get this up grade to work ie it kept on crashing my windows 2000 special edition.Published 14 months ago by ian
Help me out of a pickle when my original Windows XP Home became corrupted and I needed a quick fixPublished on 28 Jan. 2014 by Mr Gary J White
I had to rebuild from scratch an old laptop without any discs. Whilst the XP disc is an Upgrade disc, it was supplied with a new-install Win98, I had everything I needed. Read morePublished on 5 Jan. 2014 by tattyhead
Having just bought a new laptop, MS XP home was preinstalled. I previously was using MS ME and wasn't to bothered with that apart from the occasional restarting and blue screen. Read morePublished on 9 Sept. 2004
Upgraded from ME to XP
The actual install crashed because of a compatablilty issue with
previously installed programs. Read more
After 6 months of using Windows XP on my old PC, an Intel P3 450Mhz with 256K PC 100 Ram I can honestly say it was worth it. Read morePublished on 20 July 2004 by Capt Sisko
My experience of upgrading from ME to XP is it is not totally straightforward. I followed all the pre-installation instructions and was prepared to have to buy some new software,... Read morePublished on 25 Jun. 2004 by Graham A