Windows XP is the penultimate significant release of the Microsoft Windows operating system, and was made available on October 25, 2001. "XP" stands for eXPerience.
Windows XP has been criticized for poor performance, significant security vulnerabilities, and poor DOS backwards compatibility, among others. Interestingly, when Windows Vista debuted, many organizations chose to retain XP in favor of the newer system, as it was perceived of as being of higher quality. This could be because Vista does not support some of the applications used by many organizations, and most organizations don't use the extra bells and whistles included in the newer operating systems anyway. To this day, the majority of professional networks run Windows XP, and many still run Windows 2000 Professional, including high security institutions like banks, hospitals, and government agencies. Institutions' hesitance to upgrade to newer operating systems is nothing new; many organizations continued to use DOS long after Windows became popular.
Microsoft first began development of "Windows Neptune" in 1999, a version of Windows that was to be the first version of Windows based on the Windows NT Kernel for use by consumers. Development of Windows Odyssey, which was to be a replacement for Windows 2000 Professional, also began in the 20th century. Microsoft merged projects Windows Neptune and Windows Odyssey in early 2000 to create project Whistler, named after the Whistler Blackcomb Ski Resort in Whistler, British Columbia. There were several beta and pre-beta builds or Whistler released to testers from February 2000 to the time Windows XP was officially released to the general public in October, 2001. Windows XP is programmed in the C, C++, and assembly programming languages.
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