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XP Home vs. Pro; Feature Contrast
Awesome, thanks for the HUGE amount of info
On Wed, 21 Jul 2004 14:25:52 -0400, "Chad Harris"
All these guys have made some good, clear points and given you some nice
links. Just to add some links:
Paul Thurrott's Win Supersite: Windows XP Home Edition vs. Professional
Edition: What's the difference?
MSFT Site Links:
Also this is from a newsgroup post a while back and does a very good job of
covering the features of each:
The following features are not present in Windows XP Home Edition.
- Remote Desktop - All versions of Windows XP--including Home
Edition--support Remote Assistance, which is an assisted support technology
that allows a help desk or system administrator to remotely connect to a
client desktop for troubleshooting purposes. But Only Pro supports the new
Remote Desktop feature, which is a single-session version of Terminal
Services with two obvious uses: Mobile professionals who need to remotely
access their corporate desktop, and remote administration of clients on a
network. You can access a Windows XP Remote Desktop from any OS that
supports a Terminal Services client (such as Windows 98 and, interestingly
XP Home). XP Home can act as the client in a Remote Desktop session; only
Pro can be the server.
- Multi-processor support - Windows XP Pro supports up to two
microprocessors, while Home Edition supports only one.
- Automated System Recovery (ASR) - In a somewhat controversial move,
Microsoft has removed the Backup utility from the default Windows XP Home
Edition, though it is available as an optional installation if you can find
it on the CD-ROM (hint: it's in the /valueadd folder). The reason for this
the integration of Microsoft's new Automated System Recovery (ASR) tool into
Backup. In Pro, ASR will help recover a system from a catastrophic error,
such as one that renders the system unbootable. ASR-enabled backups are
triggerable from XP Setup, allowing you to return your system to its
previous state, even if the hard drive dies and has to be replaced. Unlike
consumer-oriented features such as System Restore, ASR is not automatic: It
must manually be enabled from within the Backup utility in Windows XP Pro.
In any event, while there is a Backup utility available for Home Edition,
you cannot use ASR, even though mentions of this feature still exist in the
UI. Confusing? Yes. But it's better than no Backup at all, which was the
- Dynamic Disk Support - Windows XP Professional (like its Windows 2000
equivalent) supports dynamic disks, but Home Edition does not (instead, HE
supports only the standard Simple Disk type). Dynamic disks are not usable
with any OS other than Windows 2000 or Windows XP Pro, and they cannot be
used on portable computers. Likewise, Home Edition does not include the
Logical Disk Manager.
- Fax - Home Edition has no integrated fax functionality out of the box,
though it is an option you can install from the XP Home CD.
- Internet Information Services/Personal Web Server - Home Edition does not
include the IIS Web server 5.1 software found in Pro.
- Encrypting File System - Windows XP Professional supports the Encrypting
File System (EFS), which allows you encrypt individual files or folders for
local security (EFS is not enabled over a network). EFS-protected files and
folders allows users to protect sensitive documents from other users.
- File-level access control - Any user with Administrator privileges can
limit access to certain network resources, such as servers, directories, and
files, using access control lists. Only Windows XP Professional supports
file-level access control, mostly because this feature is typically
implemented through Group Policy Objects, which are also not available in
- "C2" certification - Microsoft will attempt to have Windows XP
Professional certified with the "C2" security designation, a largely
irrelevant status, but one which will not be afforded to Home Edition.
- Domain membership - Home Edition cannot be used to logon to an Active
Directory domain. For obvious reasons, the Domain Wizard is also missing in
- Group Policy - Since Home Edition cannot be used to logon to an Active
Directory domain, Group Policy--whereby applications, network resources, and
operating systems are administered for domain users--is not supported
- IntelliMirror - Microsoft lumps a wide range of semi-related change and
configuration management technologies under the IntelliMirror umbrella, and
none of these features are supported in the consumer oriented Home Edition.
IntelliMirror capabilities include user data management; centrally-managed
software installation, repair, updating, and removal; user settings
management; and Remote Installation Services (RIS), which allows
administrators to remotely install the OS on client systems.
- Roaming profiles - This feature allows users to logon to any computer in
an Active Directory network and automatically receive their customized
settings. It is not available in Home Edition, which cannot logon to an
Active Directory domain.
- Multi-language support - Only Windows XP Professional will ship in a
Multi-Language version or support multiple languages in a single install.
- Sysprep support - Windows XP Pro will support the System Preparation
(Sysprep) utility, while Home Edition will not.
- RIS support - See the IntelliMirror heading in the previous section; Home
Edition does not support RIS deployments.
The following networking features are not included in Home Edition:
- The user interface for IPSecurity (IPSec)
- Simple TCP/IP services
- SAP Agent
- Client Service for NetWare
- Network Monitor
- Multiple Roaming feature
User interface features
Windows XP Home Edition has some different default settings that affect the
user interface. For example, Guest logon is on by default in Home, but off
in Pro. The Address bar in Explorer windows is on in Pro by default, but off
in Home. During the beta period, Microsoft had intended to use a
business-oriented shell theme ("Professional") by default in Pro and the
"Luna" consumer theme in Home Edition. But feedback from corporate users
suggested that everyone liked the consumer-oriented Luna theme better, and
development of the Professional theme was cancelled. Other user interface
features that are present in Pro but not Home include:
- Client-side caching
- Administrative Tools option on the Start menu (a subset of the Admin tools
are still present in Home, however).
_________________________________________________ __________________________________________________ _____
wrote in message
I've done some reading on MS's website about some of the differences
between Pro & Home version but was hoping for some feedback from
people who are familiar with both.
MS makes it sound like there's more security in the Pro version as
well as advanced recovery options, so one of the things I'm wondering
is what those differences are.
Also I'm wondering if Pro is more stable & reliable than Home and what
those differences might be.
Thanks in advance for any and all input!