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Windows XP facts for kids

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Windows XP
Part of the Microsoft Windows family
Windows XP wordmark.svg
Windows XP running on a computer
Microsoft Corporation
Initial release 1999 (as a beta version/Microsoft Windows Codename Whistler)
August 24, 2001; 22 years ago (2001-08-24) [info]
Stable release 5.1 (Build 2600: Service Pack 3) (April 21, 2008; 15 years ago (2008-04-21)) [info]
Source model Closed source, Shared source
License Proprietary commercial software
Kernel type Hybrid
Update method Windows Update
Windows Server Update Services (WSUS)
System Center Configuration Manager (SCCM)
Platform support IA-32, x86-64 and Itanium
Preceded by Windows 2000 (2000)
Windows ME (2000)
Succeeded by Windows Vista (2007)
Support status
Support ended on April 8, 2014

Windows XP is a version of the Microsoft Windows operating system for personal computers. The letters "XP" stand for eXPerience. Microsoft released Windows XP on October 25, 2001. Windows XP replaced Windows 2000 and Windows ME, which helped complete the unification of the NT and 9x branches of Windows. It was replaced by Windows Vista. Windows XP was the second most used computer operating system in the world as late as April 2012. Following the release of Windows XP, many computer manufacturers including (but not limited to) Dell, Hewlett Packard, Acer, IBM, Compaq, and Toshiba rebadged their computers (mostly laptops) to Windows XP from Windows 2000. You can tell a laptop from that time was initially sold with Windows 2000 if the Windows (WIN) key on the keyboard has the previous Windows logo.

Microsoft stopped supporting Windows XP on April 8, 2014 (with exceptional security updates being made e.g. in 2019, to address ransomware threats) and Microsoft and authorities warn users against still using Windows XP. However, Windows XP remained a popular operating system for a long time after its discontinuation around the world. By August 2019, Microsoft (and others) had ended support for games on Windows XP. As of October 2019, 1.32% of Windows PCs run Windows XP. Windows XP became the most popular operating system from 2001–2007, the operating system, individually and pre-installed, selling over 500 million copies.


Home Edition is an edition that was made for home users.

Professional was made for business users, as well as power users. It had advanced management features like backup recovery, Group Policy and could support two Central processing units.

Media Center Edition was for people who liked to use their computer as a television box. It has essentially the same features as Windows XP Professional but included Windows Media Center, a program which could manage TV shows and play music, and even Netflix.

Tablet PC Edition was for users with pen-based laptops and early tablet PCs.

64-bit Edition was for computers that ran on Intel's 64-bit Itanium platform. This should not be confused with Windows XP x64 Edition, as x64 and Itanium are completely different architectures. Unlike Windows XP x64 Edition, 64-bit Edition has fewer features than Windows XP Professional. Some of these features included NTVDM and Windows on Windows, which means that 16-bit MS-DOS applications will not be able to run. It also was missing Windows Media Player features, but Windows XP 64-bit Edition Version 2003, released on March 2003, added back these media features.

Professional x64 Edition was for users with 64-bit x86-based computers. It has the same features as Windows XP Professional except for NTVDM, and introduced Windows on Windows 64, which lets 32-bit applications run on a 64-bit operating system and processor.

Starter Edition was sold mostly in developing countries. The price was low because Microsoft wanted to fight the high software piracy rate in those countries. It could only be bought with a new computer.

System requirements

The system requirements for Windows XP Home and Professional editions are:

Minimum Recommended
Processor 233 MHz 300 MHz or higher
Memory 64 MB RAM (may limit performance and some features) 128 MB RAM or higher
Video adapter and monitor Super VGA (800 x 600) Super VGA (800 x 600) or higher resolution
Hard drive disk free space 1.5 GB 1.5 GB or higher
Devices Keyboard Keyboard and mouse
Others Sound card, speakers, and headphones Sound card, speakers, and headphones

Related pages

Service Pack 2

Service Pack 3

Preceded by
Windows 2000
Windows Versions
Succeeded by
Windows Vista

Images for kids

See also

Kids robot.svg In Spanish: Windows XP para niños

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