Windows XP is an operating system produced by Microsoft for use on personal computers, including home and business desktops, laptops and media centers. First released to computer manufacturers on August 24, 2001, it is the second most popular version of Windows, based on installed user base. The name “XP” is short for “eXPerience.” Windows XP, the successor to Windows 2000 and Windows Me, was the first consumer-oriented operating system produced by Microsoft to be built on theWindows NT kernel. Windows XP was released for retail sale on October 25, 2001, and over 400 million copies were in use in January 2006.Direct OEM and retail sales of Windows XP ceased on June 30, 2008. Microsoft continued to sell Windows XP through their System Builders (smaller OEMs who sell assembled computers) program until January 31, 2009.
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source : http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Windows_XP