Another way would be to find a friend who's a full-time student. Most (US) universitites give BIG discounts to students on just about all m$ products. That's how I got XP Pro and XP Office Suite for around $20 - with licenses!
I've used XP and can't see any thing special over 98/SE for general home or small business use.
Well General Stability, Being able to install multiple programs without restarting the machine, Restore Features, Recovering Features, Repair Features, Working well with the newest programs coming onto the market, You're posting here with someone thats dual booting WinXP Pro and Win98SE, I like Win98SE I'm still using it because it will run the older games I own that I'm just not ready to put out to pasture yet, but it has its limitations and they become more and more obvious, so for just plain general use I use XP, and I find myself using SE less and less, because of its limitations. I also have Win2K Pro, WinME, WinXP Home, and Linux Mandrake, and each one has its plus's and minus's.
If you like all the extra display and security features of XP, it would be worth buying.
If you use WinXP and set your PC up correctly, Hey, did you set your PC up with XP correctly or just instal and use it? You can cut out all the frills dude and run XP in performance mode, didn't you know that?
If you use 98/SE and set your PC up correctly, it is just about and sometimes faster in certain applications than XP.
In certain applications thats a true statement, but not in all applications, but thats a good reason to dual boot, and mainly why I do it.
Hey, did you set your PC up with 98 correctly or just instal and use?
I don't believe you threw that little crack in! ROFLMFAO
I'm sure Win98 is *ok* for some people, but I don't see the point in recommending waiting for longhorn - it's still miles away, and anyway AFAIK M$ charges the same $ for a license of older software as it does for the latest (you have to purchase Office 2003 licenses to run any other version of Office for example) so it's not even worthwhile waiting just to get a cheaper WinXP.
I'd argue that WinXP is more stable, at least in my experience, than Win98, I've experienced far less BSOD, though of course, I have no evidence to back this up, but most people I speak to agree.
One other thing... you can wait forever. You'll read it all the time in other forums... "Don't buy a graphics card now, there are new cards on the horizon"... "I wouldn't get a Prophetview 920, 12ms TFTs will be here soon" etc etc But the fact remains, at some point you have to buy, and if you're waiting for the latest software or hardware to arrive, it will be (relatively speaking) expensive, and yet still there will be something bigger and better looming in the not too distant future.
Personally if I need to run something under 98SE I run it with VMware. XP is great but I wouldn't call it the most stable of MS os's I personally feel that title belongs to Win2k. XP would have it hands down if it didn't have IE 6 so far up it's crack. IE6 IMO is the worst of the IEs since early 4 versions. Not trying to derail but XP would have been better if they had spent a little more time on IE6.