Windows XP is a line of operating systems produced by Microsoft for use on personal computers, including home and business desktops, notebook computers, and media centers. The name "XP" is short for "experience".
Windows XP is the successor to both Windows 2000 Professional and Windows Me, and is the first consumer-oriented operating system produced by Microsoft to be built on the Windows NT kernel and architecture. Windows XP was first released on 25 October 2001, and over 400 million copies were in use in January 2006, according to an estimate in that month by an IDC analyst. It is succeeded by Windows Vista, which was released to volume license customers on 8 November 2006, and worldwide to the general public on 30 January 2007. Direct OEM and retail sales of Windows XP ceased on 30 June 2008, although it is still possible to obtain Windows XP from System Builders (smaller OEMs who sell assembled computers) until 31 July 2009 or by purchasing Windows Vista Ultimate or Business and then downgrading to Windows XP.
The most common editions of the operating system are Windows XP Home Edition, which is targeted at home users, and Windows XP Professional, which offers additional features such as support for Windows Server domains and two physical processors, and is targeted at power users, business and enterprise clients.
Windows XP Media Center Edition has additional multimedia features enhancing the ability to record and watch TV shows, view DVD movies, and listen to music. Windows XP Tablet PC Edition is designed to run ink-aware applications built using the Tablet PC platform. Two separate 64-bit versions of Windows XP were also released, Windows XP 64-bit Edition for IA-64 (Itanium) processors and Windows XP Professional x64 Edition for x86-64. There is also Windows XP Embedded, a componentized version of the Windows XP Professional, and editions for specific markets such as Windows XP Starter Edition.