Chapter 22. Windows XP

The Microsoft Windows XP operating system is a 32/64-bit preemptive multitasking operating system for AMD K6/K7, Intel IA32/IA64, and later microprocessors. The successor to Windows NT and Windows 2000, Windows XP is also intended to replace the Windows 95/98 operating system. Key goals for the system are security reliability ease of use, Windows and POSIX application compatibility, high performance, extensibility, portability, and international support. In this chapter, we discuss the key goals of Windows XP, the layered architecture of the system that makes it so easy to use, the file system, the networking features, and the programming interface.


In the mid-1980s, Microsoft and IBM cooperated to develop the OS/2 operating system, which was written in assembly language for single-processor Intel 80286 systems. In 1988, Microsoft decided to make a fresh start and to develop a "new technology" (or NT) portable operating system that supported both the OS/2 and POSIX application-programming interfaces (APIs). In October 1988, Dave Cutler, the architect ...

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