Take Back Windows XP

While Windows XP has some definite advantages, it also comes with a number of features that most people view as annoyances -- some intrusive marketing, some "Big Brother" activity, and the like.

Some you can't avoid -- such as the Product Activation. However, many of these other annoyances can be turned off. I wrote a series of articles for BugNet describing many of them, that were all tested with the original RTM version of Windows XP.

The first article is at
and talks about turning off the automatic updates. Then comes

How to add Java

Windows Media Player -mind your own business

Firewalls should work both ways

Turn off Windows Messenger

There may be some changes to some of these after Windows XP Service Pack 1 is officially released. If so, further updates will be posted here.


Windows XP Service Pack 1 has been released. I always wait for the TechNet version to arrive (due the beginning of October) before upgrading, to make sure any disasterous bugs have been caught first. Early reports are that the biggest changes to what is talked about above are in the Windows Media Player, and in the behavior of automatic upgrades.

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