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. In this chapter, we discuss the key goals of Windows XP, the layered architecture of the system that has made it so easy to use, the file system, the networking features, and the programming interface.
• To explore the principles underlying Windows XP’s design and the specific components of the system.
• To explain how Windows XP can run programs designed for other operating systems.
• To provide a detailed discussion of the Windows XP file system.
• To illustrate the networking protocols supported in Windows XP.
• To describe the interface available to system and application programmers.
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). ...