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Product: Windows XP Professional Release Candidate 1 (RC1) 
Company: Microsoft
Website: http://www.microsoft.com/
Estimated Street Price: N/A
Review By: Stewart Saathoff

 Getting Started

Table Of Contents
1: Introduction
2: Getting Started
3: Application Support
4:
Networking Features (.Net is Born)
5: Personal Stuff
6: Conclusion

The Login Process

There have been some changes since Beta 2 when you first start your computer.  One of which is the logon process.  There is a new Tour Windows XP wizard that you can start up once your computer powers up that allows you to see all of the new features of XP.  For an experienced user of Windows, most of this will be unnecessary, extremely basic stuff.  Like, “What those little pictures on your screen are… icons.”
 


Good news!!!  Switch user still works!



Most have seen this feature in Beta 2, but now lets look at it in the newer build, you perhaps have noticed that the other users, fade in and out as you point to them.  It also shows which applications are running and integrates with the MSN Explorer to show you the current status of your Hotmail email, if you use Hotmail.  As you can see in my screenshot, I have two unread mail messages for my hotmail account and one program running.  Server doesn’t include this functionality for obvious reasons. 

 I did find one interesting thing about Switch User though.  I was connected to the Internet through my Stewart logon ID, and when I switched to Steve’s account, it automatically disconnected me from the Internet.  That would be cool if they could keep that connection open.  I mean, what would happen if I were to walk away from my computer, while downloading a really big 100 MB Service Pack for XP and my brother decides that he’s suddenly inspired to open PhotoShop and start making some art?  He walks up to my machine, switches to his user account while I am away I find that my 80 MB worth of download is all messed up now. 

In case some of you don’t have a clue what switch user actually is, it is the ability that Microsoft added into their new Operating System that allows two users to be simultaneously logged on to the same machine and not have to worry about interrupting each other’s processes.  Good concept, just please fix the Internet thing.  It would be cool if you could share your open Internet connection to several people that are concurrently logged on.

Passwords

Don’t worry, the password reset option is still available, it’s just not as convenient as it was before.  Let me show you.  First you have to go into the Control Panel and then to the User Accounts applet.
 


 

If you notice on the upper left side of the screen, there is an option to Prevent a forgotten password.  When you click this, the Prevent a forgotten password wizard starts.  Now this wizard is very simple.  It takes about four steps and creates a floppy disk that holds your password on it and if you type your password wrong at the logon screen, you can simply insert this disk and it will reset your password to something else that you type immediately.

Would you like a Tour?

Windows XP has two different tours that you can go through to explore the operating system.  Now, as I mentioned in the introduction, this is geared more towards a beginner, but some of the topics may be of interest even to some persons that are familiar with Windows.  As a matter of fact, the most difficult part of the wizard is determining whether you want it to be animated or not.


         
Animated                        Non Animated

 

What could possibly be interesting with this wizard?  Well, it doesn’t take long to run it and it displays an overview of everything that XP can offer.  With that information, you can research deeper into the topics that you want, without having to navigate through all of the help files of feature guides of the new operating system.  For example, did you know that XP has built-in Firewall support?  The wizard does, and it tells you that.  With that little tidbit from the wizard, you can investigate further into that section and set up your own firewall.

Product Activation

Someone once told me that if you can’t say anything nice, then don’t say anything at all, so let’s move on shall we?

 

 « Introduction Application Support »

 

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