What is Windows XP (Whistler)?

A. Windows Experience (Windows XP) is the name for the next version of Windows 2000 (formerly known as Whistler). Technically, Windows XP isn't the huge jump that Win2K was from Windows NT 4.0, but Windows XP does realize Microsoft's long-term plan of one code base. Starting with Windows XP, there will be no more Windows Millennium Edition (Windows Me) or Windows 9x.

The Windows XP family currently comprises the following products:

  • Windows XP Personal (the Win9x replacement)
  • Windows XP Professional (Win2K Professional)
  • Windows XP Server
  • Windows XP Advanced Server
  • Windows XP DataCenter

The differences between Windows XP Personal and Windows XP Professional are minor. Windows XP Personal supports only one processor; Windows XP Pro supports two. In addition, Windows XP Personal doesn't support RDP, but Windows XP Pro does. In fact, with Windows XP Pro, even local sessions use RDP, which means that you can log off your machine, someone else can log on to your machine then log off, and you can log on again with all your programs still running! Windows XP also adds support for the 64-bit processor, Itanium, which will ship in Windows XP Pro and Windows XP Server.

Microsoft is adding some of the neat Windows Me features to Windows XP, including the Video Editor software. Windows XP also has an updated UI, although the older style UI is still available for those who prefer it. Windows XP beta 1 (build 2296) shipped October 31, 2000. Windows XP beta 2 is expected the middle of February 2001, with the final version in the second half of 2001.

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