I can't really weigh the pro's and con's of the Pro version versus the home version of XP. The Home version looks dubbed down to the low level consumer, but the Pro version is $50 more. What true differences are there? Or should I just stick with Win2000?
pro has the remote connection thingy, i think it comes with the option to be able to either format in NTFS and FAT32, but i think home can do that too, not sure tho... also pro has better network and Security features/options.
Windows XP Home is Windows XP Professional with everything good stripped out of it.
Beyond the published list of differences, there are also a bunch of "little issues" that differentiate the products and it would take too long to list them all in detail.
In other words, XP Home is Microsoft's way of giving you a Sports car body with the engine of Geo metro.
Save yourself a bunch of headaches and go with XP Professional.
As a heads up, our company does not endorse, recommend or sell Windows XP Home Edition. We consider this to be another dead-end Microsoft product like Windows ME (which we also refused to endorse, recommend or sell.)
On average, we upgrade 10 users a day from Home to Professional, this should tell you something.
The biggest advantage over Windows 2000 Professional is the introduction of the latest Plug & Play capabilities which are far superior to anything Microsoft has offered to date. Obviously, remote desktop is a major benefit as well to anyone that wishes access to their PC remotely.
If you have to ask the question then more than likely, you don't need Windows XP Pro. As the name suggests, there's almost no reason why a home user would want Windows XP Pro. Are you going to be accessing your computer remotely? Are you going to be using 2 processors (not HT but 2 physical processors)? Are you going to be connected to a domain? Do you want to encrypt your personal files and risk inadvertently losing your private key and access to documents (it happened to me once, but I don't like talking about it)? If you answered no to all of these then there is absolutely no reason to get Windows XP Pro over Windows XP Home. Both are equally stable, perform equally, and behave similarly. In fact, I would say Windows XP Home shares 98 or 99% of the files of Windows XP Pro. Every person I've ever seen recommend Windows XP Pro to a home user tends to do so blindly. Why is Windows XP Pro better for you? Tell me? Why spend $50 if you don't have to? Why?
Intelligence is not merely the wealth of knowledge but the sum of perception, wisdom, and knowledge.
Without flaming, I would simply say that 90+% of all users interviewed on this issue (by our staff) have reported that they would wish to exploit at least ONE feature available in Windows XP Professional that is NOT available in Home edition sometime in the year following their purchase.
This puts the user in the position of potentially having to upgrade to a new OS (Home to Pro) immediately after purchase (which is spending MORE than the $50!). Additionally, there is the added labor of loading the software, installing the Gigabyte of updates and add-ins and of course "Tweaking" the OS based on the typical application uses of the consumer.
We'd rather not take these kinds of chances and simply give the user ALL of the capabilities versus restricting the capabilities by installing Home and potentially forcing the user into an upgrade scenario, which frankly is exactly what Microsoft is looking for.
It's not really a blind recommendation as you stated in your post, but rather just the opposite, an educated one. As an example, the features desired by customers are either remote desktop, Multi-Screen capabilities or the ability to restrict some system users from having administrator privileges or to hide personal files from some users. (Like hiding your personal files from your kids). Keep in mind that none of these functions are available in Windows XP Home.
There are MANY additional reasons, but again, I believe there are enough 3rd party sites out there covering the many differences between the two products and other sites simply detailing the limitations of XP Home to give any user a decent education in a short time.
If you want XP Home; great, but because it is a "limited" product, we won't endorse, recommend or sell it. I'm sure you can find thousands of OEMs and dealers that do should you desire it.
The XP Survery is completed by every customer desiring a new system as well as all customers bringing their systems in for a "Performance Tune-Up".
It is a mixed demographic of home users and business users. While we are a retail facility, we also serve a large number of business clients. Domain customers however do not complete this survey as being in domain situations, they don't qualify for this particular survey. Instead, they complete another survey which identifies Windows 2000, Windows XP Professional and Linux scenarios and options. The only exception to this rule being a business customer bringing in a system for upgrading, a performance tune-up or other type of computer service through our retail facility.