Comparisons and Contrasts of Windows Ce, Windows Xp, and Linux

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There has been an ongoing battle in recent years within the technology arena between the relative merits of Microsoft's Windows versus the open source platforms, Linux being one of them. Typically, discussions center around desktops or servers but an area often overlooked is embedded systems. Examples of such systems are industrial machines, automobiles, medical equipment, and specialized devices. "With the growing ubiquity of smart devices, the device arena offers action every bit as intense" (LinuxDevices). Both Windows and Linux offer solutions for specialized areas that include devices such as PDAs or handhelds, mobile phones, audio/video applications, even robots. Even though Linux has become more unified under Open Source Definition standards, or more specifically Linux Standard Base, and is making considerable strides in the business world, Microsoft still dominates where it counts, market share. Microsoft is an amalgamated goliath with a huge user base, Linux is open source scattered over 500 various distributions. This paper will give a brief overview of Windows XP, CE and Linux operating systems, followed by an assessment of their respective similarities and/or differences. Windows XP

Microsoft's initial foray into a "windows" system began with what was called the "Interface Manager" and subsequently renamed Microsoft Windows in September of 1981 (FortuneCity, n.d.). According to Microsoft's official history, Windows began on November 10, 1983 (Microsoft, 2003a) with the release of Windows 1.0, although the development was delayed several times and Windows 1.0 did not hit the store shelves until November 1985 (FortuneCity). Since that time "Microsoft Windows products have evolved from a single, one-size-fits-all desktop operating system into a diverse family of operating systems and mobile technologies" (Microsoft, 2003b). Windows XP is the fifth major release of Windows (Windows 3x, 95, 98, Me) with a release date of October 25, 2001. "The letters "XP" stand for eXPerience" (Wikipedia, 2006). For clarity sake, there are five primary editions of Windows XP (Professional, Home, Tablet, Media Center, and Pro x64). XP Home: Wikipedia's article on XP states XP Home is "the successor to both Windows 2000 and Windows Me, and is the first consumer-oriented operating system...built on the Windows NT kernel and architecture" (Wikipedia). XP Home is considered even an improvement upon Windows 2000 Professional, such as "improved software (application) and hardware compatibility, simplified security, simplified log-on, fast user switching, a new user interface featuring context-sensitive, task-oriented Web views, enhanced support for digital media (movies, pictures, music), DirectX 8.1 multimedia libraries for gaming" (WinSuperSite, 2001). XP Pro: Windows XP Professional (XP Pro) was a large step forward compared to previous versions. Unlike Windows XP Home, Microsoft's aim with XP Pro was business, "Windows XP Professional, which has additional features such as support for Windows Server domains and dual processors, and is targeted at power users and business clients" (Wikipedia). XP Pro is more stable than previous versions of Windows. XP Pro's new interface is more user friendly than previous operating systems, especially for those administering or servicing the workstations. The increased ease of PC setup and maintenance with XP's universal "Plug and Play" is an added advantage. Additional key benefits offered in XP Pro for both the user and network administrator alike are according to Microsoft: Protection – Automatic security updates, Windows Security Center, and Windows Firewall. Work from anywhere – New "Remote Desktop" feature allowing remote access to users' PC. Wireless support – XP Pro offers a better wireless support enabling users to connect to wireless networks more easily, whether in their home, office, or out on the road. Laptop power management: Better power management for laptops...
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