Microsoft announces Plus package for Windows XP

Voice control for Windows Media Player and three-dimensional screen savers are two of the functions that will be included in Microsoft Corp.'s Plus for XP software, which is scheduled to ship with the new Windows XP operating system in less than one month, the software company announced Wednesday.

Like previous versions of Plus that have been sold alongside Microsoft's operating systems since Windows 95 was launched, the new version of the Microsoft Plus package includes a number of enhancements that are aimed at adding a little more enjoyment, rather than productivity, to the system.

Leading the features in the new version is the voice command software which, according to Microsoft, allows users to issue instructions to the Media Player software using around 40 preprogrammed commands, such as "Media Player, play," or "Media Player, next." Also on a musical theme, the package includes software designed to boost clarity and richness of sound on PC speakers, the company said in a statement.

Microsoft is also including software that will convert MP3 audio files into its own proprietary Windows Media format, a jukebox-like application that allows users to compile custom playlists, and a CD label and jacket maker application that automatically adds artist, track and album information.

A number of new screen savers, among them an on-screen aquarium and space walk, and desktop themes, including nature, space and da Vinci, are also part of the Plus package as are a number of 3D games. These include a PC version of the Hyperbowl bowling game, a tabletop labyrinth game and a new puzzle game called Russian Squares.

The company has been shipping its Plus package of add-ons for the Windows operating system since it moved from the Windows 3.x platform to Windows 95 in 1995. At that time, Plus including a number of features such as a task scheduler called System Agent, a more efficient disk drive compressor than was included in the operating system, many desktop themes and the first version of a new Web browser -- Internet Explorer. Microsoft Plus for XP will ship with Windows XP on October 25 and carries a price of US$39.95.

Join the PC World newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.

Our Back to Business guide highlights the best products for you to boost your productivity at home, on the road, at the office, or in the classroom.

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Martyn Williams

Computerworld
Show Comments

Most Popular Reviews

Latest News Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Azadeh Williams

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

A smarter way to print for busy small business owners, combining speedy printing with scanning and copying, making it easier to produce high quality documents and images at a touch of a button.

Andrew Grant

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

I've had a multifunction printer in the office going on 10 years now. It was a neat bit of kit back in the day -- print, copy, scan, fax -- when printing over WiFi felt a bit like magic. It’s seen better days though and an upgrade’s well overdue. This HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 looks like it ticks all the same boxes: print, copy, scan, and fax. (Really? Does anyone fax anything any more? I guess it's good to know the facility’s there, just in case.) Printing over WiFi is more-or- less standard these days.

Ed Dawson

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

As a freelance writer who is always on the go, I like my technology to be both efficient and effective so I can do my job well. The HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 Inkjet Printer ticks all the boxes in terms of form factor, performance and user interface.

Michael Hargreaves

Windows 10 for Business / Dell XPS 13

I’d happily recommend this touchscreen laptop and Windows 10 as a great way to get serious work done at a desk or on the road.

Aysha Strobbe

Windows 10 / HP Spectre x360

Ultimately, I think the Windows 10 environment is excellent for me as it caters for so many different uses. The inclusion of the Xbox app is also great for when you need some downtime too!

Mark Escubio

Windows 10 / Lenovo Yoga 910

For me, the Xbox Play Anywhere is a great new feature as it allows you to play your current Xbox games with higher resolutions and better graphics without forking out extra cash for another copy. Although available titles are still scarce, but I’m sure it will grow in time.

Featured Content

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?