How Does Windows XP Work?

by Stephen Lilley

System Requirements

Windows XP is an operating system created by the Microsoft Corporation that is used with home personal computers, lap tops and business computers. Windows XP is short for "Windows eXPerience." It followed versions 3.1, 95, 98 and ME in the line of Microsoft Windows products. For a computer to successfully run Windows XP, the recommended system requirements are a 300Mhz processor, 128MB of RAM, a 1.5GB hard drive, at least a 800 x 600 resolution display and a CD-ROM or DVD-ROM drive.

Security Issues

Since its release, Windows XP has been notable in how vulnerable it is to spyware, malware and viruses in general. Due to the large percentage of computer users who have Windows XP, the system has long been a target for virus creators over other operating systems like Ubuntu or Mac OS. The fact that any user is given an administrative account during the set-up process makes matters worse. An administrative account gives the user complete access to the way her computer works. If this account gets some kind of virus or spyware, it can do much more long-term damage to the system than if it happened to a regular user.

Service Packs

During its lifespan, Microsoft has released three large updates to Windows XP, called "Service Packs." These Service Packs have added both new features and updated known security problems. Service Pack 1 was released in the fall of 2002 and mainly added a variety of new features to the operating system, like the .NET framework that allows a user access to all Microsoft internet services with one login ID and password. Service Pack 2 was released in the summer of 2004 and mainly focused on fixing many known security problems and vulnerabilities that were causing users headaches at the time. Service Pack 3 was released in the spring of 2008 and did a variety of things, including adding compatibility with the newly released Windows Vista operating system.

About the Author

Stephen Lilley is a freelance writer who hopes to one day make a career writing for film and television. His articles have appeared on a variety of websites. Lilley holds a Bachelor of Arts in film and video production from the University of Toledo in Ohio.

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