Windows XP is a Windows operating system released by Microsoft in October 25, 2001. The original name is Whistler. Microsoft has released two types at first. They are Home version and Professional version. The Home version is mianly aimed at domestic consumers and Professional version is added with new features of network identification, and double CPU for the business field. The Home version only has one single CPU but Professional version has two. The letters "XP" satnds for the word "experience".
WindowsXP is released in August 24, 2001 (RTM, Release to Manufacturing). Its retail version is released in October 25, 2001. The external version is 2002. The internal version is 5.1 (NT5.1). And the formal version Build is 5.1.2600. Microsoft has released two 32 bit versions at first: WindowsXP Professional Edition and Windows XP Home Edition. 64 bit Professional version is released in March 28, 2003. Later on Windows XP Media Center Edition and Windows XP Tablet PC Edition are released.
Windows XP Home Edition
Home Edition is the version for domestic consumers. The functions of Home Edition have a little shrink. They are: there is no group policy, remote desktop, EFS file encryption, multilingual, connection with Netware server; it only supports one CPU and one display (physical one CPU, but it still supoorts one CPU with multiple cores - like double cores and four cores. The professional version supports two CPU and 9 displays but it hasn't the visit control or IIS service and it cannot be counted in domain. Windows XP Home Edition only supports one CPU.
Windows XP Professional Edition
Professional is for the enterprises and developers. It provides more functions than Home Editon. It is the full-function version of WindowsXP. The pirates on the market are mostly on the base of VOL version of Professional Edition. Windows XP Professional Edition supports double CPU.
Windows XP Media Center Edition
Windows XP Media Center Edition is special for PC, including HP Meida Center, and Alienware Navigator series. These PCs have remote controller and the function to open the media on the Windows XP Media Center. WindowsXP Media Center version must be tied up to these PCs and is not sold alone.
Windows XP Tablet PC Edition
Windows XP Tablet PC Edition is special for the revolving Tablet PC. It supports touch screen and handwriting. It also must be tied up to these PCs, and is not sold alone.
Windows XP Starter Edition
To surpress the threat of the high pirate rate in Southeast Asia, Microsoft releases related languages versions of Windows XP in some countries like Malaysia, Indonesia, and Thailand. That is Winodws XP Starter Edition. This version attracts those users, school, or government organizations that cannot afford expensive Windows XP (Professional and Home Edition) with very low price. But the Windows XP Starter Edition has an upper limit of function, such as it only supports 256MB internal storage at the most, it only can run 3 procedures at one time, and the highest resolution it supports is only 800*600. Windows XP Starter Edtion has no simplified Chinese version.
Windows XP Embedded
For the market share of embedded system, Microsoft releases Windows XP Embedded version after the previous two generations of Winodows NT Embedded and Windows 2000 SAK. Compared to the previous two, Windows XP Embedded has been enhanced a lot.
Windows XP 64bit Introduction
The 64 bit Windows XP are divided into two versions based on the different microprocessore framework:
IA-64 Version Windows XP
Windows XP 64-Bit Edition Version 2003 for Itanium-based Systems is special for the IA-64 framework Itanium2 pure 64-bit microprocessor of Intel. It is a strong system that has 64-bit addressability. It is mainly for the top level IA-64 framework workstation. It is used in the high-grade scientific computing, oil detection technology, stereoplotter and complex animation, etc. It is a strong operating system that is used in the High Performance Computing. It supports double cores and the minimum internal storage it supports is 1GB and maximum 16GB.
X86-64 Version Windows XP
Windows XP 64-Bit Edition for 64-Bit Extended Systems is special for the AMD X86-64 framework Opteron and Athlon 64 of 64-bit extended microprocessor. As Intel has released x86-64 framework EM64T technique Xeon and Pentium4 64-bit extended microprocessor, so Microsoft has renamed this version as Windows XP Professional X64 Edition. It supports X86-64 framework of AMD and Intel. It can be used in the normal X86-64 framework workstation, desktop computer and Notebook. Similar to the 32-bit Windows XP Professional, it has 64-bit addressability. It also supports double cores and the the minimum internal storage it supports is 256MB and maximum 16GB.
Microsoft has stopped selling WindowsXP to retailers and some main computer producers from June 30, 2007. It has been 9 years since XP system was released. Vista is the newest system after Windows XP of Microsoft. It is released in January 30, 2007. But the consumers think that the requirement of Vista for hardware configuration is too high. Besides, Netbook has been spreading quickly from 2008 to 2009. Netbook has been the most popular PC terminal of Notebook. It is installed with WiFi and it is convenient to connect to the Internet. This kind of computer has very low configuration aand low price. It is suitable for the users who have low requirement for hardware configuration but high requirement for movable network.
Note: originally posted by mariary here: http://forums.pcworld.com/index.php?/topic/141612-basic-knowledge-of-windows-xp-and-each-edition-of-windows-xp/page__gopid__613225#entry613225