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Features new to windows xp

The meaning of «features new to windows xp»

As the next version of Windows NT after Windows 2000, as well as the successor to Windows Me, Windows XP introduced many new features but it also removed some others.

With the introduction of Windows XP, the C++ based software-only GDI+ subsystem was introduced to replace certain GDI functions. GDI+ adds anti-aliased 2D graphics, textures, floating point coordinates, gradient shading, more complex path management, bicubic filtering, intrinsic support for modern graphics-file formats like JPEG and PNG, and support for composition of affine transformations in the 2D view pipeline. GDI+ uses ARGB values to represent color. Use of these features is apparent in Windows XP's user interface (transparent desktop icon labels, drop shadows for icon labels on the desktop, shadows under menus, translucent blue selection rectangle in Windows Explorer, sliding task panes and taskbar buttons), and several of its applications such as Microsoft Paint, Windows Picture and Fax Viewer, Photo Printing Wizard, My Pictures Slideshow screensaver, and their presence in the basic graphics layer greatly simplifies implementations of vector-graphics systems such as Flash or SVG. The GDI+ dynamic library can be shipped with an application and used under older versions of Windows. The total number of GDI handles per session is also raised in Windows XP from 16384 to 65536 (configurable through the registry).

Windows XP shipped with DirectX 8.1 which brings major new features to DirectX Graphics besides DirectX Audio (both DirectSound and DirectMusic), DirectPlay, DirectInput and DirectShow. Direct3D introduced programmability in the form of vertex and pixel shaders, enabling developers to write code without worrying about superfluous hardware state, and fog, bump mapping and texture mapping. DirectX 9 was released in 2003, which also sees major revisions to Direct3D, DirectSound, DirectMusic and DirectShow.[1] Direct3D 9 added a new version of the High Level Shader Language,[2] support for floating-point texture formats, Multiple Render Targets, and texture lookups in the vertex shader. Windows XP can be upgraded to DirectX 9.0c (Shader Model 3.0), which later was included in Windows XP SP2.

Windows XP SP3 added the Windows Imaging Component.[3]

Windows XP includes ClearType subpixel rendering, which makes onscreen fonts smoother and more readable on liquid crystal display (LCD) screens.[4][5] Although ClearType has an effect on CRT monitors, its primary use is for LCD/TFT-based (laptop, notebook and modern 'flatscreen') displays. ClearType in Windows XP currently supports the RGB and BGR sub pixel structures. There are other parameters such as contrast that can be set via a ClearType Tuner powertoy that Microsoft makes available as a free download from its Typography website.[6]

With Windows XP, the Start button has been updated to support Fitts's law. To help the user access a wider range of common destinations more easily from a single location, the Start menu was expanded to two columns; the left column focuses on the user's installed applications, while the right column provides access to the user's documents, and system links which were previously located on the desktop. Links to the My Documents, My Pictures and other special folders are brought to the fore. The My Computer and My Network Places (Network Neighborhood in Windows 95 and 98) icons were also moved off the Desktop and into the Start menu, making it easier to access these icons while a number of applications are open and so that the desktop remains clean. Moreover, these links can be configured to expand as a cascading menu. Frequently used programs are automatically displayed in the left column, newly installed programs are highlighted, and the user may opt to "pin" programs to the start menu so that they are always accessible without having to navigate through the Programs folders. The default internet browser and default email program are pinned to the Start menu. The Start menu is fully customizable, links can be added or removed; the number of frequently used programs to display can be set. The All Programs menu expands like the classic Start menu to utilize the entire screen but can be set to scroll programs. The user's name and user's account picture are also shown on the Start menu.

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