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Development of Windows XP began in the late 1990s under the codename \"Neptune\", built on the Windows NT kernel and explicitly intended for mainstream consumer use. An updated version of Windows 2000 was also initially planned for the business market. However, in January 2000, both projects were scrapped in favor of a single OS codenamed \"Whistler\", which would serve as a single platform for both consumer and business markets. As a result, Windows XP is the first consumer edition of Windows not based on the Windows 95 kernel or MS-DOS. Windows XP removed support for PC-98, i486 and SGI Visual Workstation 320 and 540 and will only run on 32-bit x86 CPUs and devices that use BIOS firmware.
Mainstream support for Windows XP ended on April 14, 2009, and extended support ended on April 8, 2014. Windows Embedded POSReady 2009, based on Windows XP Professional, received security updates until April 2019. After that, unofficial methods were made available to apply the updates to other editions of Windows XP. Still, Microsoft discouraged this practice, citing compatibility issues. However, over eight years from the end of life date (September 2022), the majority of PCs in some countries (such as Armenia) still appeared to be running on Windows XP. As of September 2022[update], globally, just 0.39% of Windows PCs and 0.1% of all devices across all platforms continued to run Windows XP.
On August 24, 2001, Windows XP build 2600 was released to manufacturing (RTM). During a ceremonial media event at Microsoft Redmond Campus, copies of the RTM build were given to representatives of several major PC manufacturers in briefcases, who then flew off on decorated helicopters. While PC manufacturers would be able to release devices running XP beginning on September 24, 2001, XP was expected to reach general, retail availability on October 25, 2001. On the same day, Microsoft also announced the final retail pricing of XP's two main editions, \"Home\" (as a replacement for Windows Me for home computing) and \"Professional\" (as a replacement for Windows 2000 for high-end users).
Windows XP was released in two major editions on launch: Home Edition and Professional Edition. Both editions were made available at retail as pre-loaded software on new computers and as boxed copies. Boxed copies were sold as \"Upgrade\" or \"Full\" licenses; the \"Upgrade\" versions were slightly cheaper, but require an existing version of Windows to install. The \"Full\" version can be installed on systems without an operating system or existing version of Windows. The two editions of XP were aimed at different markets: Home Edition is explicitly intended for consumer use and disables or removes certain advanced and enterprise-oriented features present on Professional, such as the ability to join a Windows domain, Internet Information Services, and Multilingual User Interface. Windows 98 or Me can be upgraded to either edition, but Windows NT 4.0 and Windows 2000 can only be upgraded to Professional. Windows' software license agreement for pre-loaded licenses allows the software to be \"returned\" to the OEM for a refund if the user does not wish to use it. Despite the refusal of some manufacturers to honor the entitlement, it has been enforced by courts in some countries.
Two specialized variants of XP were introduced in 2002 for certain types of hardware, exclusively through OEM channels as pre-loaded software. Windows XP Media Center Edition was initially designed for high-end home theater PCs with TV tuners (marketed under the term \"Media Center PC\"), offering expanded multimedia functionality, an electronic program guide, and digital video recorder (DVR) support through the Windows Media Center application. Microsoft also unveiled Windows XP Tablet PC Edition, which contains additional pen input features, and is optimized for mobile devices meeting its Tablet PC specifications. Two different 64-bit editions of XP were made available. The first, Windows XP 64-Bit Edition, was intended for IA-64 (Itanium) systems; as IA-64 usage declined on workstations in favor of AMD's x86-64 architecture, the Itanium edition was discontinued in January 2005. A new 64-bit edition supporting the x86-64 architecture, called Windows XP Professional x64 Edition, was released in April of the same year.
The unique boot screens from the RTM to Service Pack 1 versions of Windows XP that identified the edition of Windows XP currently running, including a green progress bar for Home Edition and a blue progress bar for Professional, Embedded, Tablet PC Edition, and Media Center Edition were removed in Service Pack 2 of Windows XP and was replaced with a generic \"Windows XP\" boot screen with a blue progress bar.
Service Pack 1 (SP1) for Windows XP was released on September 9, 2002. It contained over 300 minor, post-RTM bug fixes, along with all security patches released since the original release of XP. SP1 also added USB 2.0 support, the Microsoft Java Virtual Machine, .NET Framework support, and support for technologies used by the then-upcoming Media Center and Tablet PC editions of XP. The most significant change on SP1 was the addition of Set Program Access and Defaults, a settings page which allows programs to be set as default for certain types of activities (such as media players or web browsers) and for access to bundled, Microsoft programs (such as Internet Explorer or Windows Media Player) to be disabled. This feature was added to comply with the settlement of United States v. Microsoft Corp., which required Microsoft to offer the ability for OEMs to bundle third-party competitors to software it bundles with Windows (such as Internet Explorer and Windows Media Player), and give them the same level of prominence as those normally bundled with the OS.
Service Pack 2 (SP2) for Windows XP Home edition and Professional edition was released on August 25, 2004. Headline features included WPA encryption compatibility for Wi-Fi and usability improvements to the Wi-Fi networking user interface, partial Bluetooth support, and various improvements to security systems.
The third and final Service Pack, SP3, was released through different channels between April and June 2008, about a year after the release of Windows Vista, and about a year before the release of Windows 7. Service Pack 3 was not available for Windows XP x64 Edition, which was based on the Windows Server 2003 kernel and, as a result, used its service packs rather than the ones for the other editions.
In addition, SP3 contains updates to the operating system components of Windows XP Media Center Edition (MCE) and Windows XP Tablet PC Edition, and security updates for .NET Framework version 1.0, which is included in these editions. However, it does not include update rollups for the Windows Media Center application in Windows XP MCE 2005. SP3 also omits security updates for Windows Media Player 10, although the player is included in Windows XP MCE 2005. The Address Bar DeskBand on the Taskbar is no longer included because of antitrust violation concerns.
The maximum amount of RAM that Windows XP can support varies depending on the product edition and the processor architecture. All 32-bit editions of XP support up to 4 GB, except the Windows XP Starter edition, which supports up to 512 MB of RAM. 64-bit editions support up to 128 GB.
Variants of Windows XP for embedded systems have different support policies: Windows XP Embedded SP3 and Windows Embedded for Point of Service SP3 were supported until January and April 2016, respectively. Windows Embedded Standard 2009, which was succeeded by Windows Embedded Standard 7, and Windows Embedded POSReady 2009, which was succeeded by Windows Embedded POSReady 7, were supported until January and April 2019, respectively. These updates, while intended for the embedded editions, could also be downloaded on standard Windows XP with a registry hack, which enabled unofficial patches until April 2019. However, Microsoft advised Windows XP users against installing these fixes, citing incompatibility issues.
The Windows 98 computer will usually be running Windows 98 SE, but it may also come with Windows 98 Home edition. These vintage computers are often equipped with floppy disk drives, and the gaming computers may be equipped with additional hardware, such as speakers and enhanced graphics cards. Some also have a dual boot operating system that consists of Windows 98 and Windows XP or of Windows 95 and Windows 98. The following list summarizes additional features that may be part of a Windows 98 computer:
After Windows 98, came the Windows 98 SE. Here, SE stands for Second edition and was released on the 5th of May in the year 1999. Both Windows 98, as well as the Windows 98 SE operating systems, were supported by Microsoft till the 30th of June 2002. Buyers could, however, get extended support till the 11th of July 2006. You can download Windows 98 ISO from our website. 1e1e36bf2d