Microsoft is expecting Home Edition to appeal to customers in a home environment, as well as to business customers who lack a formal IT staff

. The key difference is that Home Edition is not meant to operate in a managed environment.The best way to describe the features included in Home Edition is to compare the product to its predecessor.Windows XP Home Edition offers the following improvements over Windows 2000 Professional: Improved multimedia capabilities An improved user interface A simplified security model The ability to quickly switch between user sessions Better hardware and software compatibility Multimedia Capabilities Microsoft added a number of new multimedia and Internet features to Windows XP Home Edition, including the following: Internet Explorer 6 (IE6) Windows Media Player 8 (WMP8) MSN Explorer browser IE6 is the next version of the popular browser from Microsoft. In its newest release, it contains a couple of interesting features, which are contained in the Personal Bar.The Personal Bar contains a Search applet, an MSNBC News/ Stock/Weather applet, and a Media Player applet in a resizable window. However, for the most part, IE6 acts like IE5. From the outside, it has been refreshed to match the new interface, with redesigned icons and rounded edges.You can see some of these changes in Figure 1.1. Another addition to the Windows XP platform is Windows Media Player 8. WMP8 builds upon the successful Windows Media Player 7 by adding new interface changes, improvements in

Security Enhancements In terms of security.wav Improved User Interface The user interface in Windows XP Home Edition has been completely remodeled.2 displays a screenshot of WMP8.The following files types can be burned to audio CD: .3 shows Taskbar and Start Menu Properties The Start menu has also been transformed into a panel of links to the various features within the OS.WMP8 now supports burning of audio CDs from within the WMP itself.make universal changes to the system. XP Home Edition has two account types: Computer Administrator and Limited (refer to Figure 1.A Limited user only has the capability to change his/her password.The Computer Administrator can add. you see a small menu listing the instances of the program. and you can choose which to restore. Figure1. Figure 1.A neat feature of the new taskbar is the option to group similar programs together on a single taskbar button. the Start menu button has changed.A user simply needs to click on her name and provide the . For starters. and install applications. Users of XP Home Edition or XP Professional can log on using a “Welcome” screen that lists the names of the user accounts. while still making the system easy to operate and administer.mp3 and . as well as the taskbar. remove. as shown in Figure 1. and change user accounts.4 shows an example of the new Start menu with most of the options enabled. and more skins for customizing the look of the player.copying from audio CD to hard disk (otherwise known as ripping).wma.When you click on the button to restore the program. .Microsoft has attempted to provide the benefits of the Windows NT/2000 security model. Figure 1.6.5).

For instance.” log in as himself. this means that many of the older first-generation PnP devices.Windows XP has the most advanced Plug and Play features of any Windows operating system. let’s say that User1 is logged into the system. and check his mail.7 shows the Switch User option dialog box. and she is authenticated onto the system. So.password. Hardware and Software Compatibility Lastly. User2 would like to check his e-mail.All of the applications that User1 was working on will stay running in User1’s context. It is important to note that turning off the Welcome screen automatically turns off Fast User Switching.Windows XP Home Edition has been designed to run many of the legacy applications that are on the market today.This allows you to run an application in Windows XP and emulate an older OS. For the end user.) Switching between User Sessions Microsoft has introduced a concept called Fast User Switching that will allow users to switch between user accounts while leaving applications running in the background. (A wise Administrator would be quick to turn off the Welcome screen and Fast User Switching functions in a workgroup environment as they present an additional security risk that far outweighs the benefits of this new nicety. as . and she can continue working on the applications that were open when User2 logged on. such as Windows 95.Microsoft achieved this by adding a compatibility mode to the operating system. User1 can “switch user” back to herself. User2 will perform a “switch user.When User2 is finished.Windows XP will try to provide the hardwarelevel access that is requested by the application without sacrificing the integrity of the kernel In terms of hardware compatibility. Figure 1.

XP Professional can take full advantage of those features that are dependent on the domain login. . but rest assured.These features include the following: IntelliMirror technologies Group Policy functionality Encrypting file system support Multiprocessor support As we mentioned in the preceding section.well as a number of non-PnP devices.You can join XP Professional to a Windows 2000 or Windows NT domain. Not included Microsoft made the decision to leave out much of the enterprise features from the Home Edition. you must use Windows XP Professional. as well as roaming profiles and Remote Installation Services (RIS). choosing to include them in the Professional edition. We delve into the feature list in much more detail shortly.WinXP also has an improved driver set. In a Windows 2000 Active Directory environment. if you need to add your PC to a Windows 2000 or Windows NT domain. Windows XP Professional offers many advantages compared to Windows 2000 Professional. but they are included in WinXP Professional. Many of the neat things that are part of Windows 2000 Professional are excluded from the Home Edition. will work with WinXP.These include the neat features described in the preceding list. For example.