In 2001, Windows XP ISO was released, forever changing the way that the world looked at computers. It succeeded in Windows 2000 and Windows Me. The system was highly acclaimed upon its release with praise directed towards its fine-tuned user interface, better-developed hardware support, and excellent performance. However, the product activation system that came along with Windows 2000 was not very well-received. Windows XP was initially called “Neptune” when it was still in development in 1999.
At the time of its release, Windows XP really took the world by storm. It was successful in the industry as well as with customers which were something that did not always happen. It improved majorly on all the features of the previous systems that caused users to turn away while not alienating anyone from trying out the improved ones.
People loved playing the games that the system had to offer and some still download the OS today just for that walk down memory lane. It boasted highly increased performance and stability. The improved hardware support made users feel much more comfortable using this OS then they did the previous ones. The increase in user-friendliness, coupled with the beautifully designed user interfaces, was a huge selling point that made people flock to purchase the product.
Windows XP ISO helped safeguard the users when they downloaded anything by warning them about potentially unsafe attachments that they should stay completely clear of. The OS was beloved by all kinds of people ranging from casual computer users to software enthusiasts and others who were more technically experienced.
Features of Windows XP ISO
Normally, Windows operating systems have a GDI(Graphics Device Interface). This is an API(Application Programming Interface) that is used for sending graphical objects to output devices( monitors, printers, etc). In Windows XP, this GDI was replaced with a new version that was to be coded using the C++ programming language.
This new version was called GDI+. Due to the introduction of this version, the images and text on the computer screen looked much clearer and possessed higher clarity. This was due to the phenomenon of anti-aliasing( smoothing of jagged stair-shape like edges present in digital images by taking the average of the pixels’ colors at a boundary). The visual enhancements were also attributed to effects and implementations like
Alpha compositing- This is a phenomenon where an image is combined with the background to produce full or partial transparency. This effect is used to combine many separate images into a single, final composite image.
Drop shadows- This effect consists of a drawing element that resembles an object’s shadow. Drop shadows have been often used for windows, menus, and even text labels for icons.
Gradient shading- This was used to increase the depth of web pages and the usability of buttons
ClearType- This was used to improve the text on display screens
The Start menu had a change to a two-column layout which displayed frequently used applications and recently opened documents. More than one person could use Windows XP as different sessions could be allocated to different users and switching could take place when required. However, only one person could use the entire console at once.
These are some of the most important infrastructural changes that were introduced:
The introduction of Prefetch was done to improve startup and application launch times. The process of caching underlaid the working of Prefetch. If a particular software needed a specific set of files, they would be cached by Prefetch into the RAM(Random Access Memory) of the system. This meant that less time would have to be spent searching for frequently used files, leading to a large increase in running speed.
Copy protection system
This is a system that was implemented so that any media or software on the system would not be able to be replicated(for copyright reasons). The system was called Windows Product Activation. The user of the console would be provided with a unique ID that had to be used to activate the Windows system. If Windows was not activated within 30 days of its installation on the computer, the operating system would not work. Windows must be activated again in cases where major changes to the hardware were detected. This was to ensure that the hardware worked effectively without any defects.
Stronger Networking and Finer Functionalities
These are some of the new networking features that were added:
ICF(Internet Connection Firewall)- This component provided firewall protection for incoming data packets. However, the same protection was not offered to outgoing packets.
NAT(Network Address Translation) APIs- This feature helped provide confidentiality, authenticity, and integrity by allowing traffic in the network to reach the required destination when a public address was not available.
Teredo Tunneling with IPV6- This feature provided an IPV6 connection to computers with just an IPV4 connection. Many new benefits came along with IPV6 such as a larger address space, a simplified header, auto-configuration, quicker routing, and anycast support.
BITS(Background Intelligent Transfer Service)- This component was used to help the system during downloads or uploads between a remote server and the system. By skillful handling of prioritization and throttling, this was carried out effectively.
TAPI(Telephony Application Programming Interface)- This component allowed computer applications to manage and handle calls between the computer and the telephone network. Some of the basic functions included dialing, answering, and hanging up calls.
Remote assistance- This allowed the user to control a computer over the Internet and resolve problems that may have arisen without directly touching the computer at all.
RDS(Remote Desktop Services)- This allowed the user to take over a virtual machine over a proper network connection. RDS was the Microsoft implementation of the thin-client architecture.
QoS(Quality of Service)- The QoS features that were added had many benefits such as shaping network traffic, setting traffic across the network according to the priority, and managing network congestion.
Niftier Navigation- Windows XP offered many ways for the user to navigate through the interface much more effectively than before. These are some of the features:
Sleeker start-up menu- The dual column design of the start menu made it easier for users to navigate to where they needed to go on the screen. This helped users feel much more comfortable getting to where they had to go on the computer.
Better taskbar- The new taskbar on the Windows XP had a much better-looking design. All of the icons were also grouped in such a way that it would be easy for the user to click on what they needed.
More space for notifications- If there were certain notifications that were unused by the user, they would now be hidden away so that they would not hinder the user from seeing the notifications that they actually wanted to see.
Faster file navigation- A new sidebar was added which made it easier for the user to navigate through their required files. No matter what the file may have contained, information relating to it was displayed on the sidebar so that the user would not get needlessly confused.
Requirements for Installing Windows XP ISO
The following minimum requirements are needed for someone to install Windows XP ISO:
Itanium microprocessor with 733 MHz(800 MHz recommended)
6 GB(free space requirement)
CD-ROM drive(media requirement)
Super VGA(Video Graphics Array)
Steps for Installing Windows XP ISO
These are the steps that have to be followed in order to install Windows XP ISO:
The user should proceed to the required page for the download and select the download button. They should then wait till the executable file is downloaded. It should not be installed immediately after.
The user should then right-click on the executable file and then select the option “7-Zip”. They should then select the option “Open Archive” followed by “cab”.
After these steps have been completed, 3 files will be shown to the user. On clicking the file “sources”, another 3 files will be found. On selecting the xpm file, the Windows XP mode virtual hard drive folder will be opened.
The user will have to extract the files present in the folder by selecting the “Extract” option in the toolbar. A new folder should then be created to which all the extracted files should be sent. After this is done, the user should select “OK” in order to begin the extraction process.
The user should proceed to the location to which the extracted files have been transferred. There, they should select the “VirtualXPVHD” file and rename the same by inserting a “.” between the letters P and V so that the file is now entitled “VIRTUALXP.VHD”. Completing this step will convert the file into a virtual hard disk.
The user must now download a virtualization program so that they can run their new virtual copy of Windows XP on it. VirtualBox is suggested to be downloaded for this purpose.
Once the user has downloaded VIrtualBox successfully, they should then open it and select “New”. The Expert Mode should be chosen and the virtual machine should be named.
A certain amount of RAM memory has to be allocated to the new virtual machine(any value between 512 MB and 2048 MB). The user should do this keeping in mind that their computer also needs RAM for other components as well.
The user should fetch the virtual hard disk that was created earlier and allocate it to the virtual machine.
Select the “Create” option after the previous step has been completed.
Before proceeding further with the virtual machine, certain settings have to be changed. In order to do this, the user should choose the “System” option and then the “Boot Order” option(“Hard Disc” should be selected).
The user should select “Display” and then the “Video Memory” option should be adjusted to 128 MB.
Going back to VirtualBox, the user should select the network settings and confirm if all of the settings have been properly applied to the virtual machine.
The user should boot the newly installed OS and then restart the virtual machine when they arrive at a black screen. After ignoring all the installation prompts that come their way, the user should go to “Devices”.
Under “Devices”, the “Install Guest Additions CD image” option should be selected and the default installation location should be chosen by the user.
After this is done, the system should be rebooted again. The user can now experience the joy of Windows XP for themselves.
Microsoft Windows XP ISO Review
There were certain criticisms and shortcomings that the OS faced. The UI, though friendly, was found to annoy experienced users sometimes as they felt that they did not need all the extra help that the OS was offering to navigate through the system. The OS was also very expensive and not everyone could afford it. The new product activation was not met with warmth from users who found it extremely difficult to use.
Windows XP could only be installed on one computer because it possessed a single user license. The OS had also been found to have poor security features which meant that it was highly susceptible to attacks from malware. The system was highly prone to crashes and it could not be used on old hardware.
Microsoft stopped providing support for Windows XP ISO on April 8, 2014. They decided not to provide any more security or technical updates for the OS anymore. Looking back on Windows XP home edition ISO, it has become one of the most popular Microsoft products of all time. It may not hold up as strongly today as it did all the way back when it was released but it has rightfully earned its place in history as an amazing product to be reckoned with.
It completely changed the game for Microsoft and helped cement them as a technological giant in the industry. Although new versions have come after Windows XP, it is still used by people today who fell in love with it all those years ago.