Anyone mind telling me what the difference is?
the ease in which the administrator can make changes; more tools & knobs to tweak.
that also says, unless you have experience, you can tweak the system into oblivion.
Two areas come to mind; controlling Print/File sharing and setting NTFS permissions.
mostly the differences lie in the business networking area. Home can only use local networking to a limit of 5 PC's. Pro can connect to professional windows servers with active domain security and others (linux, netware) with client software. This is impossible with Home.
Along with the domain joining ability the other really big difference is Remote Desktop.
Please clarify; to my understanding, XP/Home can connect to OS X and Linux with the correct uid/pwd. Can you elaborate please?
hmm; found explicit answers as posted here
XP Home does not have group policy editor as well as Advance securitie for documents
Yes two major differences I find in the two operating systems is the use of control over users and networking.. Home Edition (as with all Microsoft Windows) removes the use of Group Policy settings, which has a lot of controls people would not think about using but has great control over what each and every person using the computer is allowed to do.
One option "hidden" in XP Home is the use of ownership over a file.. In Pro you can see it by simple right clicking and going to Properties > Security, and fromt here you can give what permissions people are allowed and give a file/directory a new owner. (I use this on machines that I work on where a user sets a password on their account, and you can't access the information externally if the drive/windows is having issues, take ownership and now you can access the folder)
In XP Home, this option is hidden from normal mode, to use it, just go into Safe Mode then the option will be there, and it works in the same way.
Using Windows XP home edition you will not get full functionalities of Window NT4/2000. It also do not have the backup option as a part of Programs/Accessories.System Tools. Windows XP Professional edition contains NTFS Encryption Utility,Remote Desktop,Performance Log Manager,etc. It supports several multi-processor systems but the Home edition supports only one.
Home versions are just for Home Users without all the networking fuss. Professional is for business users who are on a domain or workgroup or Novell Client ware or running Windows Server. But a lot of us here run Pro at home also for all the bells it offers.
I'd stick with professional if you're experienced with computers and home if you're just going to use it for internet, word processing and such.