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With Remote Desktop, you can connect to your Windows XP machine from anywhere on your Local Area Network (LAN). You can even set it up so that you can connect to the machine over the Internet from anywhere in the world.
Prior to Windows XP, if you wanted this kind functionality, you had to do some special configuring using Windows Terminal Services.
In this screenshot gallery, Stephen S. Warren demonstrates how to configure the Remote Desktop Web Connection and use Internet Explorer as a remote client to connect to your XP machine.
Read this blog post for more information.