New Features of Windows XP
New Features of Windows XP
Windows XP is an operating system released by Microsoft in Year 2001. In that year, I was still interested in Windows 2000. Microsoft claimed that Windows XP provides new working eXPerience. My friend Yan Qiqi and I tried a beta version of Windows XP on his computer – a K6II400, 128 MB RAM computer, with a 14-inch monitor which was as old as a 80386 computer.
Of course, his computer met only the most basic hardware requirements of Windows XP. Windows XP required at least 128 MB RAM, and a CPU of at least 266 MHz. During my trial, I thought a CPU of 266 MHz can hardly meet the requirements of Windows XP. Even on Yan Qiqi’s 466 MHz CPU computer, the speed was very slow.
Windows XP has a lot of new features. It supports much richer multimedia functionality. It can use ClearType fonts, to make LCD monitors display better. It supports text shadow for icons on the desktop, to avoid the background be covered by a color block. It makes application windows’ borders and title bars of more 3D-looking. The style of toolbars and menus has changed a lot to make it better-looking. It’s comments helps new computer users a lot on how to use the computer, but quite fussy to experienced users, especially the Search Files wizard. It doesn’t directly support virtual desktops for a single user, but it supports multiple users logged on at the same time, making that users needn’t worry about the computer being locked. Like Windows Me, it not only provides System File Protection, but also provides System Restore.
The most obvious drawback of Windows XP is that it is not as compatible with MS-DOS programs as previous Windows operating systems were (I’m not quite sure about this). Another drawback of Windows XP is that it takes a lot of disk space especially when using System Restore (of course if you are using System Restore it is inevitable to have a lot of disk space occupied for that). Besides System Restore, other components such as Windows File Protection, .NET cache, Windows XP startup cache, the swap file and the hibernation file all take up quite an amount of disk space. The third drawback is that Windows XP requires a high speed computer. Low speed computer would feel very uncomfortable using Windows XP.
Compared to Windows 2000, Windows XP optimized in many ways to provide a better user experience. For example, Windows XP caches files used during starting up in a special direction and defragments them every three days to ensure a fast feeling when starting up. During Windows XP’s starting up, hardware detection and file loading are performed simultaneously as much as possible, while Windows 2000 doesn’t. Windows XP uses DMA when hibernating the computer, and using a faster compression algorithm, thus making hibernation faster than Windows 2000. Windows XP is built with `automatic page output’ feature, which writes unused memory pages in the background even when free memory is sufficient. Derived from Windows XP, Windows Server 2003 has the `automatic page output’ feature, too. Windows XP handles the registry better so that larger registry won’t be too much a burden on performance.
During my experience with Windows XP, I found that when using Windows, services are running in the background as processes. They have their memory spaces, so their spaces may grow as they receive requests. So if the computer has been on for a long time, the memory occupied by services may be higher than it was at log on time. It is recommended that when you find memory committed charge high, you turn off the computer rather than hibernating it. This will provide you a better performing system.