Windows XP

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Windows XP
Version of Microsoft Windows
Windows XP wordmark.svg
OS familyWindows NT
Preliminary name
Architecturex86, x64, IA-64
Latest build
Release date2001-10-25
Support end2014-04-08
Starter Edition
Home Edition
Media Center Edition
Tablet PC Edition
64-Bit Edition
Professional x64 Edition
Windows 2000 Professional, Windows Me
Replaced by
Windows Vista

Windows XP (codenamed Whistler) is an operating system developed by Microsoft, released to manufacturing on August 24, 2001 and general availability on October 25, 2001. It is the sixth operating system in the Windows NT operating system line, succeeding Windows 2000 and preceding Windows Vista. It also succeeded Windows Me after the end of the Windows 9x kernel. It is one of Microsoft's longest-lasting operating systems, with almost 13 years of support (both mainstream and extended) and still runs on 1.29% of desktop and laptop computers worldwide as of January 2020.

Main changes[edit | edit source]

User interface[edit | edit source]

Windows XP got a major UI overhaul during development, with the introduction of Themes. Users could change the way windows and buttons looked with the new visual style, Luna. It had three color schemes, which were based on blue, green, and silver. Users could still select the Windows Classic theme from previous versions of Windows (98, 2000, Me, ...), and customize the preset Windows Classic color schemes.

The introduction of ClearType, an anti-aliasing font function allowed easier text reading on desktop computers with LCD-TFT monitors and laptops but also affected CRT monitors.

The taskbar is locked by default for new user accounts, to prevent accidental resizing or moving of the taskbar and/or the toolbars. Multiple instances of an application are grouped automatically and inactive tray area icons are hidden automatically, to prevent cluttering of the taskbar.

Editions[edit | edit source]

  • Starter Edition: This version was intended for emerging markets, and was introduced in 2004, meant for low-cost PCs. It cannot launch more than 3 programs at a time and won't recognize more than 512MB of RAM.
  • Home Edition: This edition is for home and personal users who don't need to use corporate network, security, and management features (such as joining domain networks, file encryption, Remote Desktop Connection, group policies, etc.) This version can address up to 4 GB of RAM, and it only supports a single physical processor (though multiple cores and threads are supported).
  • Professional: This is the mainstream high-end version, sold along with the Home Edition. It supports up to two physical processors.
    • 64-Bit Edition: This was a special edition for Itanium-based computers. There were two releases, first of which was based on Windows XP and the second of which was based on Windows Server 2003.
    • Professional x64 Edition: This was the version for x86-64 processors based on Windows Server 2003.
  • Media Center Edition: This version is especially for Media Center-based PCs, and is not sold normally. System requirements are significantly higher than in other editions. This version includes Media Center and new themes and Microsoft Plus! features such as Royale.
  • Embedded: This version is intended for the embedded sector.
  • Tablet PC Edition: This version was included in tablet computers from 2002-2006. This is the tablet-optimized version of Windows XP.
  • N, K and KN editions: The N version was made for the European markets and did not include Windows Media Player; the K version was made for the Korean markets and included two shortcuts to Korean websites offering media player and messenger software by default, after a South Korean Fair Trade Commission ruling.

Source code leak[edit | edit source]

In September 2020, the source code of Windows XP Service Pack 1 and Windows Server 2003 leaked. The leaked copy is mostly complete, but misses activation components, therefore it is likely that the leak originated from a Microsoft's partner who had access to the source code rather than Microsoft itself. This code base had been apparently circulating in online circles since at least 2015.

Builds[edit | edit source]

Pre-Beta[edit | edit source]

Beta 1[edit | edit source]

Beta 2[edit | edit source]

Release Candidate 1[edit | edit source]

Release Candidate 2[edit | edit source]

Pre-RTM[edit | edit source]

RTM[edit | edit source]

Post-RTM[edit | edit source]

Service Pack 1[edit | edit source]

Service Pack 2[edit | edit source]

Service Pack 3[edit | edit source]