As seen in the December 2001 issue of IT magazine
The A22M is a Pentium III, 1 Gigahertz, 512MB RAM, so itís got plenty of power for Windows XP, which is probably XPís biggest problem - you really need an up-to-date system, notebook or desktop, to really use it. Plus, you need to have a fairly ďcleanĒ system, meaning no older programs and hardware that will conflict with this new operating system (which is the problem I encountered with my desktop, which Iíll get to in a bit).
The A22M came with Windows 98 pre-installed. Since I use this on the road for my presentations and primarily for business, I felt that XP Professional would be the best choice for the notebook. I popped the CD in, followed the instructions and a few minutes later, XP Professional was loaded and ready to go. Except for one small thing - I kept getting a BSOD (blue screen of death for you newbies), which wasnít supposed to happen with Windows XP. I found that some programs either worked really slowly or not at all, even though they were up-to-date and compatible with XP (namely, the latest version of Norton Systemworks and Internet Security and Corel WordPerfect). I finally got exasperated enough to uninstall XP Professional, go back to Windows 98, clean up the hard drive and then install Windows XP Home edition.
No problems - What a difference! No BSOD, my programs ran the way they should, everything was perfect. I still donít know why XP Professional didnít work, but when I get the retail version (the latest one for consumers), Iíll do a review of it and see if the bugs got worked out.
So, is Windows XP worth the wait? A definitive YES! It takes a bit of getting used to, especially the layout and the updated and integrated programs (mainly Windows Media Player, Windows Messenger, Windows Movie Maker and other goodies). But all in all, Windows XP is the way Windows should have been a long time ago. I especially liked how I could register for the Passport using my Hotmail account (which Iíve had for several years). This allows me to see when I have messages in my Hotmail Inbox via Windows Messenger, which is in the system tray at all times (you can turn this option off if you want). If you donít want to register for Passport, itís supposed to work fine, but Iíve heard others gripe that they keep getting reminders about signing up for it.
Thereís been a lot of concern about privacy issues - I didnít find any step of installing and registering Windows XP objectionable - the information sent was information I was comfortable giving out. I use a P.O. Box and free voicemail/fax number for all my online correspondence due to privacy concerns, so I used those for registration (and I highly recommend others do the same - my voicemail/fax number is through eFax at www.efax.com and itís really and truly free). Heck, I gave more information to my massage therapist to pay her than I did for Windows XP, so you tell me who I should be more worried about (she has done wonders for my shoulder, though).
I do have a few beefs about Windows XP, though:
My desktop PC, now thatís another matter. I have a Pentium 4 with 256MB RAM - plenty fast enough for Windows XP. However, when I selected the option on installation to see if there were any hardware/software conflicts, boy, were there ever:
My HP Photosmart Scanner, Lexmark X83, HP PhotoSmart Printer and Canon S800 printer need updated software/drivers. My Logitech QuickCam Traveler and Logitech WebCam ďmight notĒ work (whatever the heck that means).
My SoundBlaster card and iTouch Configuration (on the Start menu, meaning my keyboard) are incompatible.
Software that came with my Lexmark printer and my HP CD-RW are incompatible; Iomega Zip Software and Logitech Mouseware needs to be uninstalled, then reinstalled after installing Windows XP (although Logitech iTouch is supposedly fine); Jammer and Net2Fax need upgrades or they will not work with XP.
Hmm. I decided to wait until I get the final version of XP before installing it on my desktop. Iím hoping by then, more of my hardware and software will be compatible (or have the needed upgrades available). When I do, Iíll definitely write a new review and let you know how it goes.
So again - is Windows XP worth the wait? If you have a brand-new computer system, definitely yes. If you have an older one with a lot of programs/games on it, you may want to wait until the various software and hardware companies catch up with XP with drivers/upgrades/etc. But when your system does become compatible (or you bite the bullet like I did and buy a new one), go for it - youíll be very pleasantly surprised. I guarantee it.
But I do have one question - what does XP stand for? I go for ďexperienceĒ as in the Windows XPerience. Or Xtra Power. Or Xquisite Performance. You take a guess.
Minimum system requirements:
J.A. Hitchcock, firstname.lastname@example.org, is the author of seven books and a freelance writer, as well as president of W.H.O.A. (Working to Halt Online Abuse)