Sunday, 29 May 2011

Windows XP in 2011.

I have got three Windows 7 netbooks,all HP Mini 210 with different editions of Windows 7. That is Windows 7 Starter and Windows 7 Professional. And I recently bought another netbook with Windows XP Home Edition, service pack 3. Which I was very lucky to find. Because in England,they are no longer making Windows XP and Windows Vista computers and laptops,only Windows 7. So the Windows XP netbook I bought was the last one they had in the store. I only bought my first laptop a year ago,before that, I was using Internet cafes to write my posts.
And of course there,they have got Windows XP. But it is very different using a computer in an Internet cafe to using one at home. As in an Internet cafe,you do not have to manage the settings but with your own computer you do.

I have tried different Linux operating systems on my Windows 7 netbook,installed alongside Windows. But I never got on well with Linux,finding it not very user friendly,slow, and there was is always problems with the Linux operating system. So I uninstalled it and went back to Windows.

I love Windows 7 and have never had any problems with it. And any problems that do occur are quickly fixed by the systems trouble shooters. That are built into Windows 7. Windows 7 allows you to install Linux alongside of it,but it does not let you install other versions of Windows. And if you try to install,Windows XP or Windows Vista alongside Windows 7 it can effect your computer.

If you have got Windows 7 Professional or Ultimate,you can run Windows XP or earlier versions of Windows in virtual box. But it is not the same as running Windows XP for real on a computer. I have read online that it is possible to wipe Windows 7 off of your computer and replace it with Windows XP. But I am not clever enough to do that, and the way to do this is very complicated. And also to do this you must have a genuine copy of Windows XP on a CD. Which I do not have, and then you have to activate Windows. Or it will go into restricted mode after thirty days. So you cannot just download Windows XP from the Internet like you can with Linux.

So I did the easiest thing and just bought a Windows XP laptop. An Acer netbook. But is it as good or as user friendly as Windows 7 is? Read on-

The first thing you have to do is set up Windows XP for the first time. The first thing I noticed was that windows XP booted up faster than Windows 7. And I was very happy to find I did not have to have a password.
Which is great as I hate having to enter a password every time I do something on my own computer. Windows XP only requires you to set up a computer name,for example,Andrea. But on Windows XP,you DO NOT have to have a password if you do not want one. Which is the same as on Windows 7. And on Windows XP you are set up as an Administrator by default,just like on Windows 7.

The next thing I had to do was connect to the Internet, and Windows XP had no problems recognizing my wireless broadband connection. And I was able to connect to my network. On Windows 7,you can set your network to a Home,Office, or Public network.And so if you are using your laptop in a coffee shop,you would select,Public Network. And Windows Firewall would adapt the settings,so that no one can see your computer on the network. But this option was absent on Windows XP,making it less secure. Although there is the option to turn file and printer sharing on or off.

The next thing I had to do was get rid of all the unwanted Acer branded software. But I found that software uninstalled a lot faster on Windows XP than on Windows 7,where it took a lot longer. And downloading and installing software from the Internet also took a lot less time than it did on Windows 7. Although Windows 7 is fast,Windows XP is faster than Windows 7.

I also found that all of the software I use on Windows 7,such as web browsers,chat messengers, and media players work on Windows XP. In fact most of the web browsers and software that we use on Windows 7,is in fact older software made for Windows XP, but works on Windows 7. For example Advanced browser, and Ace Explorer browser,which I am using on Windows 7,was made long before Windows 7 was invented. And so was made for Windows XP, but works on Windows 7 without any problems.

I have also removed the Internet Explorer web browser from my Windows 7 by deleting the files. And so the first question many people will ask is-Can you remove Internet Explorer from Windows XP and still have Windows work?

The answer is,yes, you can uninstall IE from Windows XP, and it does not effect Windows. Internet Explorer cannot be uninstalled in the programs menu,so the only way to remove it is to delete the files in programs on C/drive. The version of Internet Explorer bundled with Windows XP is Internet Explorer 6. Outlook Express,the email client is also bundled with IE6 and Windows XP. And I removed both IE and Outlook Express by deleting the program files on C/drive and I found that my computer was not effected. I was still able install updates without IE and Windows still worked. It is true that Windows XP does depend more on IE than Windows 7 does. And is more tied to Windows than on Windows 7. The default version of Windows Media Player for Windows XP, is Windows Media Player 9. Which I found worked very well.

On Windows XP there are two ways which you can install updates.

1- Is to go onto a web browser and install them. But the disadvantage of this is that you cannot install updates through Google Chrome or Firefox or other browsers like it. As the updates website does not work with Webkit or Gecko engine browsers. It only works with Internet Explorer or Trident engine browsers,which use the same engine as Internet Explorer. So if you don't want to use Internet Explorer to install updates,you can use a Avant browser or Green browser or another IE engine browser like that as an alternative. But it won't work in Firefox or Google Chrome. I found that I was able to install updates with Advanced browser and Deepnet Explorer from the website. As they too are IE engine,Trident engine based browsers.

2- You can also install updates from control panel without going onto a web browser in Windows XP. Just like you do in Windows 7. And this is a safer method than going onto a web browser. I also found that updates install a lot faster than on Windows 7. On Windows 7 if you have fifty updates it can take half an hour or more to install. But on windows XP it took far less time.There is also the option to turn off automatic updating and install only the updates you want,like on Windows 7.

I found Windows search to be good, although it did not find all of the files I was looking for. And so I had to search manually and open some of the files myself, to find what I wanted. So the Windows 7 search was better,although on Windows XP,I could find the files, but it took longer. The control panel layout is different from Windows 7, and the index is not as clearly visible as on Windows 7. But once you get use to the difference you can find your way around the settings quite easy.
There is also the option to turn of some of the Windows programs in Windows XP.This can be found in under"add or remove Windows components."But this does not remove the programs,it just turns them off or disables them. And is the equivalent to Windows 7's" turn Windows features on or off." You can also turn off Outlook Express and IE6 by just un ticking the box here. But I found that on Windows XP, it does not turn off the features completely like it does in Windows 7. That is it disabled some of the programs, but not all. For example,Outlook Express still popped up on my web page,when I clicked on a email link. Even though I had unticked that box to turn it off. So from my experience it does disable IE6 and other Windows features, and they do not appear in the start menu. But enables them if they are needed. Unlike on Windows 7,where the programs stay turned off, until you tick that box to turn them on again. You can also enable Windows features again in Windows XP, by ticking the box.
It has been said that Windows XP is less secure than Windows 7. And it is true that there are not as many secure features on Windows XP as what there are on Windows 7. I do not believe in anti-virus programs. And I do not have any anti-virus programs on my computers and I do not have any on my Windows XP computer either. And I have got no plans to install an anti-virus program in the future. But I did install Windows Defender on my Windows XP. Windows Defender is included and bundled with both Windows 7 and Windows Vista. But it is not included with Windows XP, but you can download and install it from the Microsoft website. And I recommend that you do so. Windows Defender will scan for, and remove any spyware that it finds, but it it not an anti-virus program. And does not take over your computer the way an anti-virus program does. The Windows XP version has additional settings not found on Windows 7. That you can enable or disable,making it more secure. There is also Malicious Software Removal Tool-MRT for short. Which is included in Windows update.

I also tested one other feature, and that was the restore to factory condition setting. In which the computer is restored to the condition it was before it was bought. And this also reinstalls Windows. And I found that my computer was restored in-wait for it-ten minutes. But on Windows 7 it takes three to four hours for a factory restore to complete.What a difference.

Windows XP is faster than Windows 7 and it also takes up less ram than Windows 7. So it is good for netbooks and you can get a lot more software on Windows XP. Although Windows 7 also runs well on a netbook.

I found Windows XP to be very user friendly and faster than Windows 7 and all of my software worked on there. The disadvantages are IE6 which is not secure for browsing. But then we have IE8 on Windows 7 and none of the IE's are very good browsers. In fact all IE's look alike,except for IE9 which looks different,but is no better than the others. But you can use another browser,like Firefox instead of IE. So most people do not use Internet Explorer anyway. There is also some other software that is bundled with Windows XP,MSN Windows Messenger 4.7. Which is out of date and no longer supported and so did not work. So I uninstalled that by deleting the file as it cannot be uninstalled in programs menu. Also another disadvantage is, no option to set your computer to a home or public network.And another disadvantage no Windows Defender,you have to install it yourself.

But apart from those few things Windows XP is a very rich and fully functional operating system. So now I have got my Windows 7 netbook and my Windows XP netbook.Windows XP is like Windows 7, just an earlier version of it. So if you still have Windows XP on your computer,you can use it. As well as Windows 7.


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