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Best Features of Windows XP

written by: Miguel Leiva-Gomez•edited by: Heather Marie Kosur•updated: 6/2/2010

Everybody knows the famous operating system that hit the market back in 2001. Still, what exactly makes it such a good operating system? How does it beat its predecessors and its opponents? Learn about what makes Windows XP a great operating system for the average user.

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    Windows XP Brightens the OS Market

    Microsoft Windows XP Wordmark - Public Domain One of the best things about Windows XP is that the graphical user interface (GUI) is packed with illustrative vibrancy that gives users a more welcoming feel when working with it. There are no more sharp corners and squares as were seen with previous Windows operating systems. If your computer is not built with the muscle to handle it, however, you might find the new user interface a nuisance rather than a warm welcome to modern computing. Windows XP lets you change back to the old UI seen with older versions of Windows (also known as "Windows Classic") in case your computer is suffering due to graphical and memory constraints as well as constraints in processing power.

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    Improved Back-up Capabilities

    Compared to the dinosaur-era Windows versions, XP has a powerful back-up tool that works very quickly. Users of previous versions of Windows might remember backing up their information using a third-party software instead of the built-in application that came with the operating system if they did not want to wait eons for the process to finish. The ever-dreaded back-up process goes a lot smoother now with the Windows XP backup tool found in the operating system disk. If you do not know the path, you can find its installer by navigating your disk's contents to a folder named ValueAdd and then navigating to Msft and opening a file named Ntbackup.msi.

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    Built-in CD Burning

    Until the arrival of Windows XP, a vast majority of people who wanted to use their CD burners to make backups or copies of their camcorder recordings needed to use a third-party CD burning software. This was particularly frustrating for the technically illiterate, which still counts as the majority of computer users. Fortunately, Windows XP comes with its own built-in CD burning interface that makes burning your favorite family video as easy as clicking and dragging the files you want to burn to a CD. XP not only has this ability, but it also recognizes the type of file you want to burn and suggests other formats to burn your CD with such as Audio CD (which can be used in most audio CD players besides your computer) and Video CD (for VCD readers). The possibilities grow all the more limitless with these convenient features pre-installed with the operating system.

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    Window Grouping

    For those of you who are used to working with a myriad of open windows, XP organizes your windows so that they look neater. If you have multiple windows from one particular program (such as Windows Explorer) open, XP will group those windows in one item on the taskbar when the space gets too occupied, instead of spawning new items each time you open a new window. It gets frustrating when the buttons on the task bar that are associated with open windows start getting smaller and smaller as you open more and more. One of the things in mind when XP was designed was the facility of use and that included window grouping for better organization.

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    Built-in Power Management

    One of the more attractive things about Windows XP is its power management capabilities. You have a new option for your computer called "Hibernate" as well as other power-saving options like shutting down hard drives and other hardware when the computer is idle for a certain amount of time. Although XP is not always able to manage power with one hundred percent efficiency, the operating system has made significant process compared to other versions of Windows.