Windows XP

What Does Windows XP Mean?

Windows XP is an operating system (OS) developed and exclusively distributed by Microsoft Corporation and targeted to owners of personal computers, laptops and media centers. The "XP" stands for eXPerience.


Windows XP was released to manufacturers in August 2001 and publicly released in October 2001. Because of its installed user base, it is the second most popular Windows version.

Techopedia Explains Windows XP

During the early 2000s, Windows XP was Microsoft’s most important OS release since Windows 95. Built on the improved stability of the Windows 2000 kernel, Windows XP offers a number of Windows system upgrades, including visual user interface quality and multiple features for streamlining multimedia, connectivity, and device management.

The three main Windows XP versions are (were) as follows:

  • Home Edition: For basic home users
  • Professional Edition: For power users and professionals requiring more advanced features
  • Media Center Edition: Not released to retail, this version was made exclusively available to computer manufacturers for installation on desktops/laptops marketed as media center PCs.

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Margaret Rouse
Technology Expert

Margaret is an award-winning technical writer and teacher known for her ability to explain complex technical subjects to a non-technical business audience. Over the past twenty years, her IT definitions have been published by Que in an encyclopedia of technology terms and cited in articles by the New York Times, Time Magazine, USA Today, ZDNet, PC Magazine, and Discovery Magazine. She joined Techopedia in 2011. Margaret's idea of a fun day is helping IT and business professionals learn to speak each other’s highly specialized languages.