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Windows XP is a personal computer operating system produced by Microsoft as part of the Windows NT family of operating systems. It was released to manufacturing on August 24, 2001, and broadly released for retail sale on October 25, 2001.
Development of Windows XP began in the late 1990s as "Neptune", an operating system built on the Windows NT kernel which was intended specifically for mainstream consumer use. An updated version of Windows 2000 was also originally planned for the business market; however, in January 2000, both projects were shelved in favor of a single OS codenamed "Whistler", which would serve as a single OS platform for both consumer and business markets. As such, Windows XP was the first consumer edition of Windows not to be based on MS-DOS.Upon its release, Windows XP received generally positive reviews, with critics noting increased performance and stability (especially in comparison to Windows ME), a more intuitive user interface, improved hardware support, and expanded multimedia capabilities. However, some industry reviewers were concerned by the new licensing model and product activation system.Extended support for Windows XP ended on April 8, 2014, after which the operating system ceased receiving further support or security updates to most users. As of August 2018, 3.06% of Windows PCs run Windows XP. As of August 2018, Windows XP is still popular in some countries with up to 36% of the Windows share.