Computer Industry Pins Its Hopes to Windows XP

The slumping computer industry is hoping for a big shot in the arm Thursday.  That's when Microsoft unveils its newest operating system: Windows XP.  It requires a more hefty computer, and that's why the computer industry is hitching it's wagon to Windows XP.
    
     Like Dell or Compaq -- just on a much smaller scale,  CLAS computers in Cape Girardeau is an original equipment manufacturer; which means it's been authorized to install Windows XP in their newest models for about a week.  Long enough to get a feel for what's there.  "Just like any new operating system that comes out, especially from Microsoft, there are still some driver issues," says Gene Magnus, the President and Owner of CLAS Computers.

Windows XP (the XP is short for experience), has quite a legacy.  For years, Microsoft has wanted to bring together it's line of operating systems for home and casual users -- Win 95 and 98 together with it's more professional line of operating systems like NT and 2000.  XP finally does that; a fully 32-bit operating system carrying a lot of expectation.  "As far as stability, time will tell, it does seem more, or as stable as Windows 98 2nd edition, and it does boot up and shut down faster," says Magnus.

Here's what you'll need as minimum hardware to let Windows XP do it's thing. A Pentium III CPU running at 300 Mghz...at least 128 Megabytes of RAM, (some experts recommend minimum 192), no less than a gig-and-a-half Hard Drive space, and a minimum 800-by-600 screen resolution on your monitor.  And here's the one that computer manufacturers were counting on:  Microsoft recommends you don't install XP on any computer manufactured before 2000.

For all that, you do get the best Microsoft has to offer: multi-media enhancements, seamless interfacing with the internet, and...."...There's a lot more games, newer games," adds Magnus.

Oh, and there's one more thing that's raising eyebrows everywhere.  For XP to work, you have to register your computer with the Microsoft home office.  In return you get an activation code, a code that lets you run XP on that computer, and that computer only....no additional installs on laptops, 2nd-computers at home....nothing.  "Once you try and activate a second machine using the same code, it will  not activate...it's a copyright policy and it has to be followed," insists Magnus.  That point is driving privacy buffs crazy.  It remains to be seen if there will be customer backlash or not.

   Price?  The upgrade costs $99, you can upgrade from windows 98, WindowsME and Windows 2000, but not Windows 95.  There is a professional version for businesses at $100 more.