Microsoft Windows XP was released on October 25, 2001 as a successor to its predecessor, Windows ME (Millennium Edition), which was generally disliked due to its bugs and poor user interface. Microsoft worked for over four years on developing the Windows XP operating system in order to avoid a repeat of the problems that plagued Windows ME.
1) Windows XP is available in five different editions: Home Edition, Professional Edition, Media Center Edition, Tablet PC Edition and 64-bit Professional x64 Edition. Each edition has a main variation which is upgraded with various additional features such as security updates or digital media support.
2) The first versions of the home edition and professional edition were originally released separately; however, starting from SP1, both were released in the same package. OEM copies of XP Professional have a label with “Windows XP Home Edition” underneath it to reflect the fact that they are supposedly upgrades from the Home edition.
3) SP2, which was released on August 24th 2004 had one minor version and four incremental updates for Windows XP during its lifetime (the last update being on April 15th 2006; this is because SP2 was designed so that Microsoft would not need to release another service pack until at least mid-2006). However, there were also several major new versions of components besides SP2: Disc 9003 added many new features to Tablet PC Edition 2005; Disc 9004 removed many bugs in FrontPage 2003; Disc 9600 offered many new features in Office XP; and Disc 9600 in turn was upgraded by Updates 9002, 9005 and 9006.
4) Windows XP did not get a service pack release for SP3 until April of 2008, meaning that the last service pack released during its lifetime was SP2. It is possible that Microsoft will release another service pack after Windows Vista has been retired, based on the success of the Windows 7 operating system. Regardless of whether or not Microsoft does release another service pack for Windows XP (especially one focused on security updates), it is significant to note that every version introduced since Service Pack 2 has had at least two major newer versions released during its lifetime than those before it except for SP1 – this also includes updates to components such as Windows Media Player 11.
5) Microsoft did not originally make any plans for a 64-bit version of XP; however, this changed when Apple released Mac OS X v10.3 (which was based on the BSD kernel used in FreeBSD and NetBSD), which supported both PowerPC and Intel x86-64 CPUs. Microsoft wasted no time to create a new 64-bit version of XP that would be able to directly compete with the new Mac operating system.
6) The original name for Windows XP was Whistler; however, that had to be changed because the Whistler trademark is owned by a Canadian railway company called CNR (Canadian National Railways). The codename it replaced was NT 5.1, which was the internal name for Windows 2000.
7) The reason why XP is called “NT 5” (for version 5 of the NT line of operating systems) by Microsoft internally is simply because at that time in its development, the company considered that it had been developed from a separate branch of source code than Windows 2000 Professional and Server, and therefore should clock in with an entirely new number such as “Windows 2001”. However, certain details such as Windows Media Player 9 getting removed after beta 2 made it clear to Microsoft that they could not reasonably ship a product like this under any title besides what was currently known at the time -the NT 5 label was merely used internally to refer to Windows XP since it’s untiled and thus “new” to the users. This is why you may sometimes see a service pack with NT 5 in its title, but this is only for XP’s internal version number which was never meant to be released to customers.
8) The reason that IE7 is sometimes used on Windows XP installations despite being labeled as an update for Vista’s Internet Explorer 7 instead of XP’s own Internet Explorer 6 it because during development, the name Windows Vista wasn’t decided upon yet; what Microsoft internally considered to be Windows Vista became known as Windows Longhorn (because whenever someone wants to badmouth something or make fun of it, they will usually say that it has “long horns”; hence – Longhorn). At first, this was supposed to be the codename for Microsoft’s new operating system based on Windows XP; however, they later changed their minds and decided to give it an entirely different name.
9) The reason why there are so many unsupported hotfixes listed in various lists such as http://support.microsoft.com/kb/555375 is because they were produced by companies that specialize in fixing bugs and security holes in software (such as Security-Assessment.com). For example, a company may develop a fix that works with another part of Windows XP besides Internet Explorer or one based on IE that resolves certain non-security issues; but since they will not be shipping those specific hotfixes themselves, some people prefer to use them for any possible problems by combining them together and applying them all to the system via a single hotfix. This wouldn’t be much of a problem if those companies knew that their fixes were unsupported; however, it is Microsoft’s policy not to produce lists such as the above one which may lead some people to think that they will still receive security updates (as has happened before).
10) When Windows XP was released for purchase on October 25th, 2001, it had a $200 retail price at most stores such as Wal-Mart and Toys “R” Us. However, Dell offered XP at $130 during its first month of release because it wanted to develop an image of being more friendly towards PC gamers than Gateway did with its Windoze OS line (by offering cheaper prices and sometimes even providing free copies of DirectX updates); Gateway wound up retaliating by making their computers support UNIX (which at the time was still thought to be a more popular alternative than Linux) which was one of the reasons why Dell changed its pricing scheme.
Windows XP’s popularity has been fading ever since Windows Vista was released in 2007; however, it will continue to be used for a long time and is not likely to become obsolete anytime soon. This is because future versions of Windows are more focused towards the tablet PC market (which represents less than 5% of total computer sales) and thus offer a different kind of experience compared to that offered by XP.