Windows XP Interoperability, Part 2: Working within Microsoft Environments

By Robert Williams, ITworld |  How-to

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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