When you first boot up that Windows machine, you will see that there is a whole new world to explore on your computer. Sometimes the rush to get on the web keeps people from noticing all the little freebies that come as part of Windows XP. Here are some of the great features provided to you by Microsoft as a standard part of Windows XP.
8) Microsoft Paint comes preinstalled on Windows XP and while it is not an incredibly powerful image editor, it will get the job done for small tasks and it is fun for doodling on your desktop.
7) Word Pad functions as a basic word processor and will allow you to format text and type lengthy documents. It does not have as much functionality as other word processors, but it is much more light-weight in terms of system usage. For users of slower computers or users wanting to type something in a hurry without waiting for Microsoft Word to load, it might be the best option.
6) Address Book allows you to manage your contacts by storing names, addresses, phone numbers and other information about people you know. Many programs that use address information will import from Address Book.
5) Calculator provides a means for you to perform simple and sometimes even complex calculations using scientific mode. While it is not the same as having a TI-89 sitting beside you, it works for all of your basic (and even some complex) calculations.
4) Narrator will read the text on the screen using the default Microsoft Sam voice. Other voices can be downloaded if you do not like Sam. This is a very simple narration software, so don’t expect it to knock your socks off, but once again, it does the basics for you. This program can be great for visually impaired users setting up their system for the first time or for users with poor eyesight wanting to avoid straining to read something. It can also be fun to play with from time to time.
3) Sound Recorder will let you record audio using an input device or microphone. This basic recorder works great for recording your voice notes using the WAV format. You can also edit, crop, speed up, or slow down sound bytes in WAV format.
2) Movie Maker is one of the huge perks of XP. This program will allow you to take existing media (such as pictures, videos, or audio) and combine them to make a small video. You can also add title slides, credits, and transitions. The finished product is a well produced video that you can share via the web, watch on your PC, or with the proper tools, use to create a DVD.
1) Remote Desktop is a program that is designed to allow you to access another computer via the internet or your network. Any computer that is enabled for Remote Desktop and connected to a network or the web can be accessed using the proper connection information. This tool is very helpful when you need to use your work computer from home or if you need to manage a server. Another example of when this is particularly helpful is when you have a laptop that you are working on that may not have the processing power of a desktop computer in your network. Simply log into the high powered computer using this tool and you will be able to utilize all the processing power of that computer from a regular laptop. Do not be afraid that you are opening your computer up to risk, because anyone trying to access your Remote Desktop enabled machine will need to have a valid username and password for that particular computer.
The engineers at Microsoft spent a long time developing items like these to make your Windows XP experience more enjoyable. They were designed to help you as a user get more out of your computer and yet many people ignore these items or spend money buying software that does the same thing. Before you crack open Internet Explorer and start browsing the web, take a look at some of these useful programs.