PS2 PC GameCube Contact Us DVD/Music Search
Featured XBox GBA News Home Advertise
PC Reviews: Microsoft Windows XP Professional (version 2002)


Microsoft Windows XP Professional (version 2002) Screenshots

Windows XP Start Menu

Windows Media Player 8

Program Compatibility Wizard

The Final Say!

Microsoft Windows XP Professional (2002 Version) - reviewed by Tory Favro
Review Date: 20 May 2002
Review Score: 9/10 
Distributor: Microsoft

Quite possibly the best operating system for a computer since Windows 98, this review is going to give you a brief rundown and overview of Microsoft's Windows XP Professional.

There are two ways of installing the software, whether it be by upgrading your ME or 98 or by doing a clean install. I recommend doing an install from scratch, thereby avoiding any hiccups inherited from the old operating system.

XP is capable of booting off the cd so don't be too concerned if you forget to make a boot cd to get you started. You may just need to change your boot sequence in bios to boot off the cdrom first.

Once installed you will see immediately the changes that have been made to your new OS. Your desktop is a brilliantly coloured meadow, apparently conducive to productivity. There are hardly any icons on the screen other than the recycle bin.

Everything has been designed to make things easy for you and indeed it is the case. People have complained unjustly about XP due to difficulties experienced with existing hardware. However in my opinion this is not the fault of XP, rather the lacklustre approach of some manufacturers in developing drivers for their products.

Remember that at impulsegamer we'll just give you the facts based from a user's point of view. If you want technical data, you best check out another site. When connecting to the internet using Windows XP, I noticed that my speed on browsing the web was noticeably quicker and download speeds were also quicker. Windows XP has 128 bit encryption and should provided you with a secure web experience.

Although the new layout will take a short while to adjust to, you will see that XP is designed to make your life both at home and online easier. With the way that XP is coded it is suitable for both home and the networked office environment, though XP Professional should really be used in the workplace for the added benefits you will get from it's networking ability.

Everything has had quite a bit of an overhaul including Windows Media Player 8. The whole layout is a lot more intuitive and the cool thing about it is that when you place new media into the machine, XP will scan it's contents to try and find the most suitable program to run it. If there is more than one media on the cd, XP will provide you with a list of programs to choose from.

Windows Explorer is easy and effective to use with symbols clearly displaying the contents of a folder. For example, a folder filled with mp3 music files will have a icon of a musical note in it, so at a glance, even without having to check the files, you know that it's a music folder.

For yours and Microsoft's protection, you will need to activate your copy of XP when you go online. There are two methods of doing this: either call Microsoft or simply activate the product when you log onto the internet for the first time. It is the latter approach that I recommend. It's quick, easy and saves you having to stay on the phone with someone from Microsoft and rattle off a string of numbers.

One of the nuisance things that I have read and am seeking clarification on is the fact that apparently Windows Media Player makes a list of all the files that you play on it as a log file. Deleting this file will cause the media player to cease working. The information does not get sent to anyone however, I do believe that the data is a waste and the user doesn't need to know what they have played.

XP does have program compatibility which will allow some older programs and drivers to work (see screenshot). I found that I could get my HP Scanjet 4200c software working using this method. Essentially it tricks XP into believing that I am using Windows 98 when I need my scanner so it runs.

The last part of this review on XP is where I want to cover online assistance. This handy feature if used properly can change the way we see PC support working. Say for example you are having trouble on your computer and your friend was proficient, you could log on and using Windows Messenger see if they were also online and then request assistance from them. Your friend then has the ability to actually take over your PC and fix the problem for you over the internet. This did initially cause some security concerns which Microsoft has since dealt with.

If you allow it, XP can check for updates online and passively update your computer as Microsoft comes up with new solutions to problems. My only wish would be that you could download the updates as executable files which you could then burn to cd so you don't have a huge download every time you do a fresh install of XP.

Overall, I found XP Professional to be a pretty amazing piece of kit. I have barely scratched the surface of all that it has to offer.

- Tory Favro

 Copyright 2002 www.impulsegamer.com