After more than 18 months of delays, the shipping version of Microsoft's Windows XP Professional X64 Edition operating system is finally here. But even if your PC has a 64-bit CPU, we advise waiting for Longhorn, Microsoft's next-generation Windows due out in 2006, unless you work with data-intensive programs such as video rendering, 3D animation, or CAD and engineering.
Stories by Paul Thurrott
It's an unsafe world out there for Windows-based computers. Microsoft wants to address the problem with its new megapatch, Service Pack 2 for Windows XP. Does it succeed? Not entirely. But the big fix does so much to close security holes and to make protecting your PC simpler that it's still an essential upgrade.