Windows XP Home Page
is the official site from Microsoft, which explains the difference between the 'professional' edition for business and advanced home computing, and the 'home' edition for entertainment, home use and the Internet. It attacks most the most obvious question first - 'Why Upgrade?' Their answer for the professional edition is better performance, a better visual interface design, and greater reliability. For one user used to almost daily crashes under Windows ME, the only comment is 'About time!' According to Microsoft you will need at least a 300Mhz computer, 128 MB of RAM and 1.5 Gb of free hard disk space to run XP successfully. A tour and demos of what XP can do are also available here.
CNet - Windows XP
is a comprehensive investigation of XP, including the real hardware requirements, whether your current software will run on it, and software driver issues. It also investigates probably the most controversial aspect of the new OS - Microsoft's anti-piracy protection system which requires purchasers to activate their copy of XP within 30 days of installation, or have it stop working. Activation involves sending a unique number for your PC to Microsoft's server, which then returns an activation code which belongs to one computer alone. So no more installing from the same CD onto multiple computers.
Supersite for Windows
has all the latest news about XP, and an excellent illustrated review which is probably the most in-depth look at the operating system from an end user's perspective. The reviewer believes the new XP task-based window panes are one of the best reasons to upgrade. It also has an XP FAQ which answers questions like 'What's the deal with product activation?', 'Will my Windows 9x anti-virus software work in Windows XP?', 'Is it true that windows XP includes a firewall?' and 'Can I reboot into DOS with Windows XP?'
PC magazine's XP feature
is a large and wide-ranging assessment of the new operating system. It investigates the changes XP brings to Windows, has the latest news and opinions from users, and a poll which suggests that those who will jump right in and upgrade immediately outnumber those who will not upgrade, but that significant numbers of Windows users plan to be cautious and wait a few months before they acquire XP.
Windows Help Net
has an ongoing series of articles about the operating system and its upcoming launch, and a short review.
Windows XP Developer Center
is a site for those writing code and applications for XP, and includes news about the OS, plus articles covering such topics as porting, performance enhancement and application customisation.
Getting up to Speed with XP
is from Lycos, and looks at all the new features of XP in depth. They cover the differences between home and professional versions, folders, Media Player 8, Remote Assistance, the Backup system, networks and of course product activation. Some of their interesting conclusions are that the interface is too beginner orientated, that no one with a PC made in 1999 or earlier should consider purchasing XP - in fact, you might be safer to buy a new system with XP pre-installed. Only two of the four reviewers here chose to install XP on their own machines.
The ZDNet XP reviews
provide a structured introduction to XP. They focus on what the user will see as benefits in the new operating system, as well as the new digital audio and video features, networking and utilities. A large talkback forum features user experiences with the beta versions.
Beta World: Windows Whistler - Screenshots of Microsoft's upcoming operating system, Whistler, now called XP. The forum lists FTP servers that show the latest XP beta.
The Core Worlds Tech Windows XP Site - Reviews, news, and features.
NT Compatible: Windows XP FAQ - A detailed FAQ aimed at the advanced user.
Star Wars Faces - A collection of Star Wars characters for use as Windows XP User Account Pictures.
TweakXP.com - Dedicated to improving and customizing XP. Tweaks are for the user interface, system performance, and the internet.
Win XP Help - A detailed overlook of the latest Windows XP beta releases, including sceenshots and specifications.
Windows Whistler - A few interesting, very brief pages exploring: overview, effects on certification, personal edition, SMS.
Windows XP Conversion - Wallpapers, skins, icons, and other graphics and sounds to make Windows 9x look more like XP.
Windows XP User - Includes news, features, and tutorials.
Wxperience - Includes news, downloads, articles, a forum, and a FAQ.