A. WinPE is a minimal OS, based on the Windows XP kernel, that will replace MS-DOS during the initial OS installation stages beginning with the next Windows desktop OS, which is known as Longhorn. Recent alpha builds of Longhorn use WinPE, which provides a GUI environment during the entire installation instead of the old text-based screen prompts that are common during the initial setup of earlier Windows installations. WinPE will also let the user enter the license key during the initial stage of the installation, rather than forcing the user to wait until later in the installation process.
Because WinPE is based on XP, this new minimal OS can
- create and format disk partitions for FAT, FAT32, and NTFS
- access file shares on an intranet and connect to as many as four file shares
- support all mass-storage drivers for XP and Windows 2000