Windows XP (codenamed Whistler) is a personal computer operating system produced by Microsoft as part of the Windows NT family of operating systems. The operating system was released to manufacturing on August 24, 2001, and generally released for retail sale on October 25, 2001.
Development of Windows XP began in the late 1990s as "Neptune", an operating system built on the Windows NT kernel which was intended specifically for mainstream consumer use—an updated version of Windows 2000 was also originally planned for the business market. However, in January 2000, both projects were shelved in favor of a single OS codenamed "Whistler", which would serve as a single OS platform for both consumer and business markets. Windows XP was a major advance from the MS-DOS based versions of Windows in security, stability and efficiency due to its use of Windows NT underpinnings. It introduced a significantly redesigned graphical user interface and was the first version of Windows to use product activation in an effort to reduce software piracy.
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