XP Home vs Pro

Feature comparison, from Horizons

Feature comparison,  from Gateway

Feature comparison of WinXP to other Windows Operating Systems

Windows XP Home Edition vs. Professional Edition: What's the difference?



From Langalist Newsletter, 3/3/03

I'm not the only one prepping for Microsoft's coming abandonment of Win98: A lot of readers are asking about their upgrade options. Among those looking at XP, the most common question is "Which version; Home or Pro?"

The Home version is OK, and it costs substantially less than the Pro. But it does lack some features found in the Pro version. Dell actually has a good, though limited, summary page that shows what's *not* in the Home version, here: http://www.dell.com/us/en/fed/topics/winxp_000_index.htm

Paul Thurrot's excellent site goes into more detail:

And there's even more detail here:

Less useful, but worth a look, is the Microsoft "how to buy" site:

To me, the key difference is that the Pro version has better security. For example, Microsoft considers the Encrypting File System (EFS) to be a "corporate" feature, and so took it out of the Home version of XP. But file encryption is actually a good thing overall, for anyone. There also are significant differences in networking that can matter a lot on larger networks, although most of these differences aren't important on the relatively small network in my office.

All else being equal, I prefer the Pro version, although the $100 (or so) price difference may be show-stopper for many. In any case, the above resources, plus these ( http://www.google.com/search?q=features+Windows+XP+Professional+Home ), may help you figure out which version is best for you.