The Active Network
ActiveWin: Win XP Active Network | Intro | FAQ | Win XP Tips | Compatibility List | Forum


Windows XP Section - Pro Features


  • Built on the new Windows engine -Windows XP Professional is built on the proven code base of Windows NT® and Windows 2000, which features a 32-bit computing architecture and a fully protected memory model.
  • Enhanced device driver verifier - Building on the device driver verifier found in Windows 2000, the Windows XP Professional will provide even greater stress tests for device drivers.
  • Dramatically reduced reboot scenarios - Eliminates most scenarios that force end users to reboot in Windows NT 4.0 and Windows 95/98/Me. Also, many software installations will not require reboots.
  • Improved code protection - Improved Critical kernel data structures are read-only, so that drivers and applications cannot corrupt them. All device driver code is read-only and page protected.
  • Side-by-side DLL support - Provides a mechanism for multiple versions of individual Windows components to be installed and run "side by side."
  • Windows File Protection - Protects core system files from being overwritten by application installations. If a file is overwritten, Windows File Protection will restore the correct version.
  • Windows Installer - A system service that helps users install, configure, track, upgrade, and remove software programs correctly.
  • Enhanced software restriction policies - Provide administrators a policy-driven mechanism to identify software running in their environment and control its ability to execute. This facility can be used in virus and Trojan horse prevention and software lockdown.
  • Preemptive multitasking architecture - Designed to allow multiple applications to run simultaneously, while ensuring great system response and stability.
  • Scalable memory and processor support - Supports up to 4 gigabytes (GB) of RAM and up to two symmetric multiprocessors.
  • Encrypting File System (EFS) with multi-user support - Encrypts each file with a randomly generated key. The encryption and decryption processes are transparent to the user. In Windows XP Professional, EFS can provide multiple users access to an encrypted document.
  • IP Security (IPSec) - Helps protect data transmitted across a network. IPSec is an important part of providing security for virtual private networks (VPNs), which allow organizations to transmit data securely over the Internet.
  • Kerberos support - Provides industry-standard and high-strength authentication with fast, single logon to Windows 2000—based enterprise resources. Kerberos is an Internet standard, which makes it especially effective for networks that include different operating systems such as UNIX.
  • Smart card support - Smart card capabilities are integrated into the operating system, including support for smart card logon to terminal server sessions hosted on Windows .NET Server—based (the next-generation server platform) terminal servers.

Easy to Use

  • Fresh visual design - While maintaining the core of Windows 2000, Windows XP Professional has a fresh visual design. Common tasks have been consolidated and simplified, and new visual cues have been added to help users navigate their computers more easily. Administrators or end users can choose this updated user interface or the classic Windows 2000 interface with the click of a button.
  • Adaptive user environment - Adapts to the way an individual user works. With a redesigned Start menu, the most frequently used applications are shown first. When you open multiple files in the same application, (such as multiple e-mail messages in the Microsoft Outlook® messaging and collaboration client) the open windows will be consolidated under a single task bar button. To remove some of the clutter from the notification area, items that are not being used will be hidden. All of these features can be set using Group Policy.
  • Work with rich media - Windows Media™ Player for Windows XP is the first player to combine all of your common digital media activities into a single, easy-to-use player. The player makes it easy for you to:
    View rich media information, for example, virtual company meetings or "just-in-time" learning
    Receive the best-possible audio and video quality, because the player adapts to network conditions
    Tune in to nearly 3,000 Internet radio stations
    Create custom CDs up to 700 percent faster than other solutions
    View DVD movies
  • Context-sensitive task menus - When a file is selected in Windows Explorer, a dynamic menu appears. This menu lists tasks that are appropriate for the type of file selected.
  • Integrated CD burning - Support for burning CDs on CD-R and CD-RW drives is integrated into Windows Explorer.
  • Easily publish information to the Web - Files and folders can be easily published to any Web service that uses the WebDAV protocol.
  • Dualview - A single computer desktop can be displayed on two monitors driven off of a single display adapter. With a laptop computer, a user could run the internal LCD display as well as an external monitor. A variety of high-end display adapters will support this functionality for desktops.
  • Troubleshooters - Helps users and administrators configure, optimize, and troubleshoot numerous Windows XP Professional functions.

Revolutionizes the Way Remote Users Work

  • Remote Desktop - Allows users to create a virtual session onto their desktop computers using the Microsoft Remote Desktop Protocol (RDP).
  • Credential Manager - A secured store for password information. It allows users to input user names and passwords once, and then have the system automatically supply that information for subsequent visits.
  • Offline Files and Folders - A user can specify which network-based files and folders she needs when she disconnects from the network. Offline folders can now be encrypted to provide the highest level of security.
  • ClearType - A new text display technology that triples the horizontal resolution available for rendering text through software.
  • Offline viewing - Makes entire Web pages with graphics available for viewing offline.
  • Synchronization Manager - Lets users compare and update their offline files and folders with those on the network.
  • Improved power management - By intelligently monitoring CPU state, Windows XP Professional can reduce the amount of power it is using. The operating system will provide more accurate data on the amount of power left; this will prevent the system from shutting down prematurely. Also, by allowing for the system to wake up as the battery nears a drained state, the computer can be put into hibernation, and save work in progress. Power management can now be set for each computer, or each user on a computer.
  • Hibernate - After a set period of time, or on demand, Windows XP Professional will save memory to disk, and shut the power down. When power is restored, all the applications are reopened exactly as they were left.
  • Hot docking - Lets you dock or undock your notebook computer without changing hardware configuration or rebooting.
  • Advanced Configuration and Power Interface (ACPI) - Provides the latest in power management and Plug and Play support.
  • Wireless networking support - Provides secured access, as well as performance improvements, for wireless networks.
  • Network Location Awareness - Provides an underlying service that allows the operating system and applications to determine when a machine has changed network locations.
  • Easier remote access configuration wizards - Guide users through the steps for setting up remote access to a network or virtual private network (VPN).
  • Improved Help and Support Services - The Help and Support Center combines features users are familiar with from previous versions of Windows (such as Search, Index, and Favorites) with content from the World Wide Web to give users more chances to get the help they need when they need it. If the content in the Help and Support Center doesn't answer their question, it can be used to contact a friend, a support community, or a professional to get assistance. Tools such as My Computer Information and System Restore are also available to diagnose and fix common problems.
  • Remote Assistance - Remote Assistance enables a user to share control of his or her computer with someone on a network or the Internet. An administrator or friend can view the user's screen, and control the pointer and keyboard to help solve a technical problem. IT departments can build custom solutions, on top of published APIs using HTML, to tailor Remote Assistance to their needs, and the feature can be centrally enabled or disabled.
  • System Restore - The System Restore feature enables users and administrators to restore a computer to a previous state without losing data. System Restore automatically creates easily identifiable restore points, which allow you to restore the system to a previous time.
  • Recovery Console - Provides a command-line console for administrators to start and stop services, format drives, read and write data on a local drive, and perform many other administrative tasks.
  • Device Driver Rollback - When certain classes of new device drivers are installed, Windows XP Professional will maintain a copy of the previously installed driver, which can be reinstalled if problems occur.
  • Windows Messenger - The easy way to communicate with your customers, partners, friends, and family in real time. Will keep you updated with your contacts' online status. Choose text, voice, or video and experience the best online voice and video quality. Collaborate with contacts, transfer files, and share applications and whiteboard drawings.
  • Internet Connection Firewall - A firewall client that can protect small businesses from common Internet attacks.
  • Network Setup Wizard - Makes it easy for a small business owner to set up and manage a network. The wizard walks through key steps, such as sharing files and printers, sharing the Internet connection, and configuring the Internet Connection Firewall.
  • Network Bridge - Simplifies the setup and configuration of small networks that use mixed network connections (such as Cat-5 Ethernet and wireless) by linking the different types of networks together.
  • Internet Connection Sharing (ICS) - Connects a small office network to the Internet, using a dial-up or broadband connection. Windows XP Professional can provide network address translation, addressing, and name resolution services for all computers on a small business network to share a single connection.
  • Peer-to-peer networking support - Enables Windows XP Professional to interoperate with earlier versions of Windows on a peer-to-peer level, allowing the sharing of all resources, such as folders, printers, and peripherals.

Advanced Management, Deployment, and Support Tools to Make Your Job Easier

  • Application compatibility - We've provided fixes to hundreds of applications that didn’t run on Windows 2000 Professional to run on Windows XP Professional. As new application fixes are published, we will make them available via the Windows Update service.
    In addition to the application fixes, Windows XP Professional has a mechanism that allows the user or IT administrator to specify if an application needs to run in either Windows NT 4.0 or Windows 95/98 or Windows Me compatibility mode. In this mode, Windows XP Professional system DLLs provide appropriate responses to the running application, allowing it to execute appropriately without a noticeable loss of performance.
  • User State Migration Tool - Helps administrators to migrate a user's data and application/operating system settings from an old computer to a new Windows XP Professional desktop computer.
  • Automatic Updates - With the user's permission, Windows XP Professional automatically downloads critical and security updates in the background when the user is connected to the Internet. These downloads are designed to minimize the impact on Internet browsing, and the update automatically resumes upon reconnection if the computer is disconnected before the download is complete. Once the update has been downloaded, the user can choose to install it.
  • Windows Update improvements - As application compatibility updates, new device drivers, and other updates are released for Windows XP Professional, they become available on the Windows Update Web site. (Users can also find critical and security updates here, if they choose not to use automatic updating.) Administrators can disable user access to Windows Update. The Windows Update Catalog is provided for administrators to download updates and deploy them as appropriate in their organizations.
  • Support for latest hardware standards - Windows XP Professional supports the latest hardware standards. It supports UDF 2.01, the latest standard for reading DVD discs. It also supports the formatting of DVD-RAM drives with the FAT32 file system. Microsoft DirectX® 8 API support will be included, and Windows XP Professional fully supports standards for Infrared Data Association (IrDA), Universal Serial Bus (USB), and the high-speed bus known as IEEE 1394.
  • Setup with Dynamic Update - The Setup routine ensures that the operating system files are up to date. Before any files are installed, Windows XP Professional checks the Web for critical system updates and downloads them for installation.
  • Unattended installation - Provides the ability to specify a greater number of options than previous versions of Windows, and allows for a greater degree of security by encrypting passwords in the answer files.
  • Internet Explorer 6 Administration Kit - Internet Explorer 6 is more customizable using the Internet Explorer Administration Kit (IEAK 6), so it's easier to deploy and maintain the browser. Version 6 of the IEAK adds control over new features such as the Media bar, Auto Image Resize, and the Personal bar.
  • System Preparation tool (SysPrep) - SysPrep helps administrators clone computer configurations, systems, and applications. A single image, which includes the operating system and business applications, can be restored to multiple different machine configurations.
  • Setup Manager - A graphical wizard that guides administrators in designing installation scripts.
  • Remote OS Installation - Windows XP Professional can be installed across the network (including SysPrep images).
    Note: This feature requires the Active Directory™ service.
  • Multilingual support - Allows users to easily create, read, and edit documents in many languages with the English version of Windows XP Professional. The Multilingual User Interface Pack, an add-on pack to the English version of Windows XP Professional, lets you change the user interface language for each user.
  • Windows Management Instrumentation (WMI) - Provides a standard infrastructure for monitoring and managing system resources.
  • Safe Mode startup options - Allows Windows XP Professional to boot the system at the most basic level, using default settings and minimum device drivers.
  • Group Policy - Group Policy settings simplify the administration of users and objects by letting administrators organize them into logical units, such as departments or locations and then assign the same settings, including security, appearance, and management options, to all employees in that group. There are hundreds of new policies available for Windows XP Professional, in addition to those provided for Windows 2000 Professional.
  • Resultant Set of Policy (RSoP) - Allows administrators to see the effect of Group Policy on a targeted user or computer. With RSoP, administrators have a powerful and flexible base-level tool to plan, monitor, and troubleshoot Group Policy.
  • Microsoft Management Console (MMC) - Provides a centralized and consistent environment for management tools.

Return To The Windows XP Section


  *   *