Technology 101: Windows XP Expands Students’ Potential

REDMOND, Wash., Aug. 15, 2003 — As the annual migration back to the nation’s colleges and universities kicks into high gear, there’s one item on nearly every college student’s must-have list: a personal computer. The percentage of college students who own PCs — currently 87 percent — has consistently increased from 75 percent three years ago, according to the semiannual STUDENT MONITOR survey®
.* And the trend shows no signs of changing, thanks to the growing popularity of multiple PC ownership, laptop PCs, the increased availability of wireless networks, and the near ubiquity of PC-based entertainment and social activities on college campuses.

“To succeed in college, students need every advantage, and PC ownership is one of the biggest,”
said Gina LaGuardia, editor-in-chief of College Bound Teen Magazine.
“Students rely on their PCs more than ever before, particularly now that wireless networks provide the freedom and flexibility to access information on campus in many more places.”

Microsoft® Windows®
XP Professional helps students get the most out of their PC. The operating system helps provide the reliability, security and performance that today’s students require, along with built-in support for wireless computing and a wide variety of software applications.

“Windows XP Professional is primed to meet the wide-ranging computing needs of today’s college students, whether those needs involve accessing wireless networks, conducting online research, managing music files, or communicating with friends and family through e-mail and instant messaging,”
said Tracy Overby, product manager for Windows at Microsoft Corp.

More Wireless Networks Increase Utility of Laptops

According to the survey by STUDENT MONITOR, a record 41 percent of student PC owners now own a laptop PC and for the first time ever, 54 percent of those planning to purchase a new PC plan to purchase a laptop PC, the most popular type of PC among college students — and for good reason. Laptops make it easier for students to work on class projects anywhere on campus or if they visit Mom and Dad for the weekend. The newest variety of portable PCs, the Tablet PC offers additional conveniences; students can take handwritten class notes on the device’s screen — a quieter alternative to typing — and find what they need quickly after class by searching their handwritten notes just as they could with text documents.

The options for laptops and Tablet PCs are even greater for students on the 80 percent of colleges and universities that, according to a Campus Computing Project survey,** now offer wireless local area networks (LANs). Moreover, many retail stores frequented by college students — including Starbucks coffee shops and McDonald’s restaurants — offer wireless access to the Internet or

Windows XP Professional allows students to access Wi-Fi networks more conveniently and securely, so they can submit assignments electronically, send e-mail or do online research when they are away from a wired Internet connection. It offers support for the following built-in wireless capabilities:

  • Sniffing out

    hot spots.
    Only avid Wi-Fi enthusiasts will know the exact range of their local wireless
    “hot spots,”
    or locations that offer wireless Web access. Windows XP Professional
    “sniffs out”
    available hot spots and notifies laptop users when one is available.

  • Easy setup. For those who don’t want to spend too much time messing with computer settings, Windows XP Professional makes it easy to move from hot spot to hot spot with minimal setup of a laptop’s internal settings.

  • Security. Windows XP Professional will not only let users know if a wireless network is available, it also will indicate whether it is security-enhanced. Windows XP Professional has built-in support for Wired Equivalent Privacy, which encrypts data on wireless networks.

Wi-Fi is already well-established on many campuses. At Stanford University in Palo Alto, Calif., two-thirds of students use laptops and consider increased wireless LAN access on campus an important or very important resource.*** Wireless connections are particularly popular among students who like to gather in a favorite dorm room, dining area or lounge to do group research or work together on their laptops.

“With a wireless LAN, six people can sit down and get connected, making collaboration much easier and giving students more choices about how and where they’re the most productive,”
said Ethan Rikleen, network and systems administrator for Stanford University’s Office of Residential Computing.
“Wireless technology has revolutionized everything among students who use it the most.”

PCs Vital to Academic and Social Life and Entertainment on Campus

Wireless computing is only one reason PCs are becoming increasingly vital for college students. At Stanford, students use their PCs an average of 20 hours a week*** to conduct online research, attend online study sessions, pay their tuition electronically and perform other tasks. Some professors now let students type lecture notes during class and submit assignments online. When the academic day is done, many student PCs become entertainment centers for watching DVDs, listening to music and creating CDs in cramped dorm rooms.
“The PC has become an indispensable piece of a college education,”
Rikleen said.

Windows XP Professional helps students perform these and other tasks in the following ways:

  • Helping safeguard data. In the event of a computer glitch, the System Restore feature of Windows XP Professional enables a PC to be restored to a previously set state without losing personal data.

  • Helping block online attacks. The Internet Connection Firewall helps guard a PC from intrusion when connected to the Internet, allowing students to know that theircomputer is working to help protect them from attack.

  • Enjoying digital music. With just a few clicks of the mouse, Windows Media®
    Player can create a jukebox that plays an endless selection of personal favorite songs stored on the PC. Or students can choose from more than 3,000 Internet radio stations.

  • Managing and sharing digital photos. Windows XP Professional automatically recognizes when digital cameras are connected to a PC, making it easier to import students’ own pictures and share them with others.

  • Creating and editing home videos. Windows Movie Maker 2 makes creating movies easier than ever by enabling students to use their Windows XP-based PC to create, edit and share their home movies, for friends and family or even for a class project.

  • Enjoying games. Windows Messenger lets students play live, multiplayer games over the Internet with competition in the neighboring dorm or anywhere in the world.

To run Windows XP Professional, a PC with the following is recommended:

  • Intel Pentium/Celeron family, AMD-K6/Athlon/Duron family or compatible processor

  • 300 MHz or higher processor speed (233 MHz minimum required)

  • 128 MB of RAM or higher (64 MB minimum supported; may limit performance and some features)

  • 1.5 GB of available hard drive space (actual requirements will vary based on system configuration and the applications and features chosen for installation)

  • CD-ROM or DVD drive

  • Super VGA (800 x 600) or higher resolution video adapter and monitor

  • Keyboard and Microsoft mouse of compatible pointing device

More information about how Windows XP Professional is primed for college students is available at .

About Microsoft

Founded in 1975, Microsoft (Nasdaq
) is the worldwide leader in software, services and Internet technologies for personal and business computing. The company offers a wide range of products and services designed to empower people through great software — any time, any place and on any device.

* STUDENT MONITOR, Lifestyle & Media study, spring 2003

** Campus Computing Project, Campus Computing Survey, 2002

*** Stanford University, Annual Residence Evaluation, 2002–2003

Microsoft, Windows and Windows Media are either registered trademarks or trademarks of Microsoft Corp. in the United States and/or other countries.

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