Don't Judge Software by its Cover

By SmallBusinessComputing Staff | Posted December 10, 2001
The recent release of Windows XP has brought confusion to many home-based professionals. Though the majority of you use Windows, and the robust operating system is worth the upgrade, should you install Home or Professional? For telecommuters and home business owners, the answer isn't as easy as it looks.

At $199, Home edition is $100 cheaper than Professional and offers a marginally friendlier default interface. Professional offers powerful administrative and security features, including new backup tools, group policies, and roaming user profiling - meaning you can use any computer on your company's network and still access your files and settings. Professional also includes Remote Desktop - similar to Symantec's pcAnywhere - which lets telecommuters dial into their corporate networks, and vice versa. The good news is that Home edition includes the app, too, but it only works upstream there.

Our tip? Don't pay any attention to the box. Instead, look at the features you need. Remote managers or administrators of large networks (yes, we know many of you work from home) shouldn't think twice about upgrading to Pro, and telecommuters and other home-based professionals shouldn't scoff at a "Home" label.

Microsoft Corp., 800-426-9400, www.microsoft.com

--Eileen Bien Calabro

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