Windows XP Interoperability, Part 2: Working within Microsoft Environments

Last week, I strongly echoed my hope for a successful Windows XP roll

out based on emotional rather than technical foundation. A number of

friends in the Linux community have responded objecting to my view. In

this edition, I turn to the positive technology underpinnings.

I stand by my position and affirmatively state that Windows XP is

clearly Microsoft's best operating system release ever. A number of

compelling reasons urge users to migrate from Windows 9.x and Windows

Me, not the least of which is stability, increased performance, and

compatibility. Since Windows XP is based on Windows 2000 technology,

the migration rationale primarily applies where the improved user

interface and networking features are deemed important.

Having used beta versions of Windows XP for a year, the first major

enhancement I recognized is the ability to run the operating system for

weeks at a time without rebooting. By contrast, Windows 9.x commonly

required daily reboots (and Windows Me users might have more frequent

reboots). It easily permits multiple users to alternately log-on to the

same Windows XP systems without noticeable problems. This feature was

not even possible with Windows 9.x. Additionally, based upon a number

of independent tests, the new operating system outpaces previous

Windows desktop operating systems with performance gains ranging from

45% to 65%.

Windows XP's compatibility with previous versions of Microsoft

operating system is strong. Upgrading from Windows 9.x and Me is

seamless. Once completed, Windows XP recognizes all of the previously

installed drivers and software that we used in our labs. One of the

reasons for this success is that the driver database used in all

previous Windows operating systems have been reported consolidated.

This should come as good news to Windows 2000 Professional users that

found the operating system lacking in device drivers and some software

support. In addition to software migration, Windows XP works extremely

well in mixed Microsoft operating system environments. The company has

done an excellent job with legacy support and Windows interoperability.

On the downside, some compatibility issues arise with third-party

software. For example, when attempting to load Roxio's popular platinum

edition of Easy CD Creator 5, the installation failed. Hopefully, these

incompatibilities will soon be resolved either by Microsoft or the

third-party software vendor (who has the ultimate responsibility to

support operating system porting).

In the next editions, we will look at Windows XP interoperability with

other networking and operating system environments.

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