XP Start menu takes getting used to

XP Start menu takes getting used to

The professional and home versions of Microsoft's new Windows XP operating system have better performance but a different computing style from all previous Windows OSes. The interface resembles a fusion of Mac OS and Linux, and different icons aren't the only new things to learn. Microsoft Corp. has made a few changes to the Start menu.

The most-used applications appear automatically and boldly on the Start menu, which is larger and better-spaced for reading.

At the right-hand side, a conjoined window shows other services that were harder to find in previous Microsoft OSes, such as Control Panel and Printer and Faxes. Other items that weren't there before include My Documents, My Computer, My Network Places, My Music and My Pictures.

Both versions of XP boot up and shut down faster than other Microsoft OSes. They also incorporate software for CD and DVD recording.

The improvements come at a cost beyond the $200 upgrade price: Internet or phone activation is required to run the OS for more than 60 days.

See GCN's Oct. 22 issue for an in-depth review.

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