Whistler and Longhorn - Winworld's XP Alternatives

edited January 2021 in Software
Windows XP doesn't exist in its final form here, and likely will not for plenty of years to come. It is easily understood that asking for it will do no good.

But I have found things on here that it appears Winworld has no problem providing for us. Two alternatives, at risk of potential problems / viruses if you aren't careful, to be sure.

They are Whistler and Longhorn.

Whistler is essentially the "pre-version" of Windows XP. The latest version I found here is 2542, which is Release Candidate 2, and pretty close to the final release. It appears that, due to its still incomplete and risky nature separating it enough from the final XP, Microsoft was okay letting it remain. 2542 looks nearly identical to the final product from what I can see, and for the life of me I cannot find any differences between it and the original product.

Admittedly, my use is limited; programs can be installed, what's already there seems to work fine; but I am far from a creditable tester, so don't think my minimal endorsement means you've found a viable XP clone. There's a good reason Microsoft didn't get it taken down.

2542 is back before even the original XP, before even service pack 1. There are plenty of things the service packs did for XP, all of which will be missing from RC2. Some heavy duty programs can't be installed. Some built in programs have "earlier" appearances; though I can't remember for certain, I think Windows Media Player is one such victim.

And your antivirus software, whether it still works for a full version of XP or not, likely won't help you here. Little things like missing registry values and whatnot (you know, from things such as a previous version of XP, just to name a totally random example, crazy huh?) can really make programs like that fail to do all of what they're supposed to do. That's why I use mine completely offline. As for executable program viruses you aren't aware of, well...might be best to test this thing inside a VM before letting your hardware take it on.


The earliest version (pre reset) is 3683, and Longhorn itself is essentially just the transition between XP and Vista. There's a lot of versions, and at one point Microsoft reset the development due to it getting oversized and complicated. 3683 basically looks like Windows XP with a more steely looking interface (a theme called Plex, though the iconic blue Luna is still available).

Longhorn is another nice alternative to XP, though as it is based directly on Windows .NET Server 2003 RC, it doesn't have the content of the Windows XP service packs.


No service pack content from XP or Vista, partially transitioned and malfunctioning programs depending on the release you try out, and an obvious lack of support for antivirus software unless you can hack it to make things more compatible or just find one that coincidentally functions adequately.

Longhorn looks interesting and is fun to play with, but again, it's allowed to be here for a reason -- in many cases it isn't as useful or stable as a full version of XP or Vista. You have to really know how to work with an OS on the deep inside, dive into your one favorite version, and spend a lot of time doing whatever you know how to do if at all possible, to make it behave more like the system you want it to be. The trial periods and kill timer don't exactly make for a very long term feel, unless you don't mind consistently using an iso / CD or resetting the bios clock over and over.

But they're the closest you'll ever get to XP on Winworld for a long time, so give them a try! Especially that Longhorn. It looks amazing. Anyone want to educate ME more on what it can do, heck, go for it. I'm not very tech literate, but I'd love to hear more about it from others who are interested too.
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