END-USER PRODUCTIVITY FEATURES
Remote Desktop provides access to a desktop running Windows XP Professional from a remote location, giving users the ability to work from anywhere, at anytime. When Remote Desktop is enabled on a computer, users can connect to it from anywhere and access all of their files, applications, and network resources, as though they were sitting in front of the host computer.
Logon Using Dial-Up Connection
This feature allows users to log directly into the network instead of logging in to their local PC and then dialing in. In Windows XP Home Edition, the Keyring provides domain logon credentials.
The Windows XP Professional Start menu includes a set of advanced administrative tools that enable power users to have more control over their system.
Multiple Monitors allows workers to stretch the desktop across as many as ten monitors to allow them to maximize their screen capabilities. Laptop computers can take advantage of the Multiple Monitors feature when they are docked. In addition, if they have a laptop computer, they can use the Dual View feature to display independent output on the onboard display and an external monitor.
Automated System Recovery (ASR)
The Automated System Recovery (ASR) tool is an option in the Backup tool that allows administrators to restore the system state and all files on the system partition when problems or changes to the operating system cause instability or startup failures. ASR replaces the Emergency Repair Disk found in Windows 2000 Professional and Windows NT. ASR is useful when other recovery methods have failed and can overcome problems that prevent Windows XP Professional startup. ASR automates the process of backing up and restoring system state information and files on the system partition needed to start Windows XP Professional.
Roaming User Profiles
With Roaming User Profiles, user profile settings can be saved in a
central location so that no matter where users log on, they can have access
to all of the documents and settings they have on their main computer.
This makes it easy for users to travel within the network—for example,
a user can log on to a laptop computer in a conference room and still have
access to the resources he would have on his desktop computer. Because
the profile is stored on a central location that can be backed up by a
network administrator, the profile remains in tact, even if the desktop
computer is damaged. This minimizes downtown when problems occur; workers
can replace the computer, log on, and immediately have access to all of
the settings stored in their profile.
Encrypting File System
Encrypting File System protects sensitive data in files that are stored on disk using the NTFS file system. Encrypting File System is the core technology for encrypting and decrypting files stored on NTFS volumes. Only the user who encrypts a protected file can open the file and work with it. This is especially useful for laptop users because even if someone else gains access to a lost or stolen laptop, they are not able to access any of the files on the disk. For Windows XP, Encrypting Files System now works with Offline Files and Folders.
Computer Domain Account Support
By joining Windows XP Professional computers to Windows-based networks users can take advantage of the full range of security and management features available with Windows XP. In order to be managed by the Active DirectoryTM service, a computer needs to have a machine account in its domain.
The Server service automatically creates some shared resources for administrative purposes called the administrative shares. These include shared volumes, shared folders, and shared interprocess communication (IPC) channels. These shares can be used to remotely connect to a computer to perform administrative tasks such as adding and deleting files and folders and exchanging data. By default, these shares have shared folder permissions that restrict access to members of certain security groups.
Security-Related Group Policy Settings
Windows XP includes security templates, which are pre-configured collections
of security-related policies that can be used to ensure the appropriate
level of security on workstations. These templates represent standard low,
medium, or high security configurations and can be customized to meet specific
security needs. Security policies can also be set for password management,
such as minimum password lengths and setting the interval between required
password changes, and to control access to resources and data.
Group Policy settings simplify the administration of users and objects by letting administrators organize them into groups, such as departments or locations, and then assign the same security permissions to all employees in that group. This approach also ensures that security permissions are consistent across all members of a group.
Location-Aware Group Policy
Windows XP Professional also makes use of a location-aware group policy. This is useful for mobile users who wish to use their work laptops at home or in other locations, such as hotels or in airports or other public Internet connection “hot spots.” When a PC running Windows XP Professional is a member of a domain, the domain administrator can push down a group policy preventing the use of Internet Connection Firewall or Internet Connection Sharing while the PC is connected to the corporate network. This enables the laptop to use enterprise network resources with no added complexity for the user or network administrator. When the user brings the laptop home or to a public Internet connection “hot spot,” these features are enabled as the group policy only pertains to the corporate network.
Offline Files and Folders
Offline Files and Folders makes files on a network share available on a local computer when it is disconnected from the server. This feature can be used with Folder Redirection to make redirected files and folders available locally when not connected to the network. The master version of the file is stored on a server. Changes made while offline are synchronized with the server when the user reconnects to the network. This is especially useful for laptop users on the road or for any users with intermittent connections to the network, such as those connecting from home or remote offices. In Windows XP Professional, Offline Files now supports Distributed File System (DFS) and Encrypting File System (EFS).
Software Installation and Maintenance
With Software Installation and Maintenance, administrators can install, configure, repair, or remove software applications and install software service packs, hot-fixes, or upgrades at computer startup, user logon, or on demand. Administrators can also remove applications that are no longer needed.
High-End Workstation Support
Windows XP Professional includes two-way multi-processor support. In addition, the 64-bit Windows XP Professional platform provides a scalable, high-performance solution—one that can efficiently process extremely large amounts of data and can support for up to eight terabytes of memory. The support for higher RAM means that applications run faster and more efficiently, since they can preload substantially more data into virtual memory and data in memory can be accessed and processed much more rapidly than data in storage devices.
Digital Media in Corporate Environments
Windows MediaÔ Player 8 in Windows XP answers the requests of
corporations and organizations looking to deploy the latest version of
Windows Media Player in a managed environment. Windows Media Player 8 makes
it easy to limit distractions in the workplace by selecting exactly which
features users can access. Windows Media Player 8 includes new corporate
policy features, such as a Microsoft Management Console (MMC) snap-in,
for easy enterprise-wide deployment. It provides full control over the
user interface, language, network configuration, and more. Windows Media
Player 8 also includes a new skin optimized for corporate use that delivers
maximum control and acc! ess to commonly used corporate features.
IPSec is a set of industry standard, cryptography-based protection services and protocols. IPSec protects all protocols in the TCP/IP protocol suite and Internet communications using Layer Two Tunneling Protocol (L2TP).
Simple Network Management Protocol (SNMP)
SNMP is widely used on TCP/IP and Internet Packet Exchange (IPX) networks to transport management information and commands between management programs run by an administrator and the network management agent running on a host.
Client Service for Netware
Client Service for NetWare is used to connect to Novell networks and servers. A computer running Windows XP Professional can use Client Service for NetWare to directly access NetWare file and print resources, both on Novell Directory Services (NDS) trees and on servers with bindery security.
Service Advertising Protocol (SAP)
The Service Advertising Protocol (SAP) Agent is a network service that allows services on a computer running Windows Server products to announce their availability by using periodic SAP advertisements. Without the SAP Agent, the services on a computer running Windows XP Professional are unavailable to computers running NetWare client software as well as computers running Windows XP Professional that are configured to use just the NWLink protocol. NetWare file servers, print servers, gateway servers, and PCs running Novell Internet Access Server 4.1 routing software to advertise their services and network addresses use SAP.
Network Monitor provides the ability to detect and troubleshoot problems
on LANs and WANs, including Routing and Remote Access links. It can be
used to identify network traffic patterns and network problems.
FILE SYSTEM FEATURES
A dynamic disk is a physical disk that contains dynamic volumes. Regardless of the partition style used (MBR or GPT), up to 2,000 dynamic volumes per disk group can be created, although the recommended number of volumes is 32 or less per disk. Use dynamic disks if needed to increase the size of a volume by extending the volume onto the same disk or onto other disks, create fault-tolerant volumes or improve disk input/output (I/O) performance by using striped volumes.
Disk Management allows you to create, format, and assign drive letters to partitions and volumes. Disk Management can also be used to perform advanced tasks, such as creating and repairing fault-tolerant volumes.
This tool can be used with a variety of storage media to back up and
restore files on volumes using any file system supported by Windows XP
Professional. Backup also simplifies archiving and provides the ability
to use the Windows XP Professional Job Scheduler for automating backup