Technical support memos


October 22, 2002
XP Professional vs. Home
Anthony J. Frates (Copyright 2002 Addsum Business Software, Inc.)

For any computer that will be connected to a network (whether it is a college student intending to connect to a campus network, a business owner intending to purchase a laptop for home use but planning to bring the laptop to the office and connecting it, or any PC purchased with the intent of connecting to an office or home network), our strong recommendation is to only consider either Windows 2000 or XP Professional as the operating systems of choice in connection with any new computer purchase/update.

XP Home does not have anywhere near the robustness and choice of networking options as compared to XP Professional or Windows 2000 (we view Windows 2000 as every much the equal of XP Professional). XP Home cannot log on to Windows 2000 domains. So, even if you have a Microsoft network, a laptop purchased with XP Home many not be able to connect to your office network.

Further XP Home does not provide connectivity options to non-Microsoft network systems, the most noteable being Novell. So, for example, a college student who buys a laptop with XP Home may find that s/he cannot connect to their campus network.

XP Home also will not be able to support the new generation of Intel hyperthreading processors. Windows 2000 and XP Professional will.

XP Home further only supports "simple file sharing." This is very limited in a business/PC networking environment because you cannot set user permissions to restrict access to, for example, only certain folders or to configure secure remote access. While "simple file sharing" is XP Professional's default, it can be easily configured to have the types of sharing controls found in Windows 2000. XP Home cannot.

By default most PC manufacturers/resellers tend to offer XP Home as the "base" choice because it provides a lower bottom line price. It is hard to blame these companies for doing this when the XP operating system series carries such a relatively large price tag. However, unknowing consumers will then tend to naturally choose the lower priced systems.

We believe that it is irresponsible for anyone selling a PC to knowingly offer XP Home to a business (just as the same was true with WIN 98 ME) or to anyone purchasing a laptop without completely disclosing all of these potential issues.

It is also unfortunate that Microsoft has created a situation where users are caught having to make this choice. More than ever operating systems need to be released that are universal in concept and it is in our view inappropriate in this day and age to try to make a distinction between a "home" user and a "business" user. In today's world the emphasis is on connectivity anywhere and any time by anyone, and it is therefore completely illogical to make a distinction between "home" and "business" use and this has worked only to the disadvantage of users in general.

Copyright © 2002 Addsum Business Software, Inc.
ADDSUM is a registered service mark of Addsum Business Software, Inc.
Technical support phone number: 801-277-9240