If you want to write Chinese characters in Windows XP, there are lots of options available like Google's IME, but a lot of these options aren't practical if you don't know any Mandarin. There are websites for inputting Chinese in Cantonese, but still it isn't ideal.
Apparently, the IME in Windows XP can be upgraded to support limited hand-writing recognition in Chinese, but Microsoft conveniently hides the IME upgrades on its websites. Fortunately, I found a forum, which describes how to download these upgrades from the MS Office website. Once I installed these upgrades, I could then use the IMEPad to write Chinese characters using a mouse or tablet. In fact, the IMEPad option was available in my plain version of Windows XP, but clicking on the IMEPad button did not result in anything happening.