In its early years, this operating system was one of the most unsatisfactory I have ever used — including DOS, Win 3.1, Windows 95 and Windows 98.
Aside from being incompatible with older hardware, XP Home Edition crashed frequently — especially if you often work with several windows open at once as I do. This was particularly unhelpful. As a writer, I was forced to save documents no less than once for each new sentence, and at touchy moments, literally every few words.
Most important, the program is highly susceptible to viruses and hackers. Preventing these two problems requires expensive add-on software and hardware.
True enough, the built-in firewall OUGHT to work. But in my case, hackers got in anyway – four times in six months. With this software, I suffered repeated break ins, the last of which cost me some primary data and several of my original poems. Even installing service pack 2 did not help.
After the last go-round, I was forced to hire an expensive data recovery guru — another story in itself — but was still unable to recover everything lost.
Throughout this six-month nightmare, I repeatedly reinstalled the XP program, including, more than once, service pack 2. That, however, didn't plug the security leaks. My computer was completely compromised. In the end, I had to junk the machine all together.
In my experience, Mac and Linux operating systems are both far superior.
Now I've got one Windows machine — a laptop purchased in early 2007 at or around the release of Service Pack 3 — to run a BioFeedback program whose authors, unfortunately, had not created a Linux version.
Admittedly, Microsoft's final XP service pack seems to have plugged XP's most serious security holes. Still, after my dreadful experience with XP Home Edition, I forever swore off Windows as my primary operating system. Microsoft operating systems remain magnets for viruses and hackers — to say nothing of endless bugs and technical issues — and eons of otherwise unnecessary computer security checks and maintenance.