XP Home should work great for your new system. Screw Win98! That OS is nothing but problems. Plus, Win98 is no longer being supported by MS. Do not buy an upgrade cd of XP and upgrade from 98. If you do then there will be a lot of problems. Buy a full version of XP. There are legal copies over at www.newegg.com that are dirt cheap.
For simple home use, xp home will work just fine and be a lighter load on the cpu.
If you have the win 98 cd, go ahead and buy the upgrade xp home. Durning the install, it will say it does not find a qualified os to up grade (not exact words, but u get the point) and put in the 98 cd.
It will read some dll's and be ready to continue, put your xp home upgrade cd back in and finish the install.
The point of doing it this way is to buy the upgrade version of the os, $50-$100 cheaper.
No, XP is XP period, whatever version you get. There is no hybrid...
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Windows XP Home is for home use... Windows XP Pro is for connecting to domains, that's the major difference. The reason the Pro version gets a free upgrade to 64bit is because businesses are going to be using 64bit, not home users.. The home will work perfectly fine. You probably don't have a domain and you probably know very little about what they do (they're basically only used in businesses for multiple computers, not really at home unless you're nerdly like me.)
So if you haven't already spent your money, buy Home.
From what I understand, XP Pro provides you with more folder and file security options than XP Home. If you have multiple PCs on a home network and you want them each to share folders with the others while protecting specific files and/or folders, XP Pro may be valuable to you. I chose it primarily for that reason.
It's a feature of a domain.. figuring most people aren't going to have a complex network running at home. You can still share out stuff on Home, but the Pro version has features designed for Domains.. If you're at home behind your firewall, you're fairly well secured unless your brother/sister or kids try to get into a share on your network..
Now in a business, you have a bunch of idiots who like to pry where they shouldn't, and then you have this smaller threat of hackers and stuff..heh. That's where the security portion comes in.
If someone gets through your firewall, figure your file sharing isn't going to do you much good.. if they were good enough to get through your firewall, getting through a password on your home PC won't pose much of a challenge in most cases..
At work, it's a different story.. the extra security really is needed.
Another feature in XP Pro not in Home is RDP, which is a stripped down version of full blown terminal services, but you can install the client on XP Home from Microsoft's website. Very cool utility - I'm always doing [-peep-] on my home computer from work thanks to it.
In just two days, tomorrow will be yesterday.
Note The Remote Desktop Connection software is pre-installed with Windows XP. To run it, click Start, click All Programs, click Accessories, click Communications, and then click Remote Desktop Connection. This software package can also be found on the Windows XP Professional and Windows XP <b>Home Edition</b> product CDs and can be installed on any supported Windows platform. To install from the CD, insert the disc into the target machine's CD-ROM drive, select Perform Additional Tasks, and then click Install Remote Desktop Connection.
This lists what XP Home is missing compared to XP Pro:
Remote Desktop (it's a hidden feature but it's there) or you can <A HREF="http://www.microsoft.com/windowsxp/downloads/tools/rdcl..." target="_new"><font color=red>download</font color=red></A> it.
Internet Information Services
Offline Files and Folders
Scalable Processor support
Encrypting File System
Software Installation and Maintenance
Roaming User Profiles
Remote Installation Service
Multilingual User Interface
If you don't need any of these Services then XP HOME is for you. I use XP Pro because I can access my computer from any terminal. I can access the computer of my customers from my computer. I can read english and german on my computer. I have to 'cause my computer is hybrid in that I have both english and german programs running. Although the Pro version is a bit more expensive, I'd suggest Pro because of it's added features and of course the option to upgrade to 64bit eventually.