What Do You Mean The Real Deal?
In our previous editorial, "Win XP: What's All The Fuss?", we took an over-the-top look at the hype and paranoia surrounding the impending release of Windows XP. Now that we've had our little fun at the expense of the huge, monolithic, legal monopoly that is Microsoft, we thought we'd lighten up a bit and produce an article about how those fears compare to reality.
We were fortunate enough to hook up with an OEM that provided us with an up-close and personal look at the final Released To Manufacturing (RTM) version of Windows XP Professional. We had the chance to work with these fine folks for an entire work day as they ran XP RTM through its paces in preparation for bundling the new OS with their systems.
It is nice to see that some OEM's are taking this launch seriously. The purpose of this extensive testing is to determine the level of compatibility that XP has with their existing bundles and make adjustments as necessary to ensure that customers get a solid and compatible out of the box experience. They will swap out hardware that has problems, update drivers where they can and tweak their pre-packaged configurations so that all of the components work well together under Windows XP.
So What Exactly Are You Going To Do?
Our goal in this little adventure is to work within those Six Issue Areas identified in our previous editorial and find out just what the "Real Deal" is. Is Windows XP the "Big Bad Wolf" that everyone seems to think it is, or is it really just another release from a big company designed to address the needs of the consumer? As we've said before, the truth rarely lies at one extreme or the other, but in fact usually falls somewhere in the middle.
Ladies and Gentlemen, sit back, buckle in and prepare for the ride. Will we answer every single question you have? No. We'll save the big guns for a the full hands-on XP overview to be published later. But in this follow-up there will be twists, there will be turns and there may well be some surprises along the way. At the end of it all you should have a better idea of what to expect when you are pondering the purchase.