Difference in Windows XP Versions
Windows XP Home Edition Overview
Windows XP Home Edition includes a number of enhancements over Windows 2000 Professional. These include:
Improved software (application) and hardware compatibility
Simplified log-on featuring new "welcome" screen
Fast user switching
A new "Whistler" user interface featuring context-sensitive Web views
Enhanced support for digital media (movies, pictures, music)
DirectX 8.x multimedia libraries for gaming
Professional Edition: Superset of Home Edition
At its most basic level, Professional is a business-oriented superset of Home Edition. Because of this, most features found in the Professional version wouldn't fit in a Home PC use orientation. The most obvious difference is security, which is vastly simplified in Home Edition. Each interactive user is assumed to be a member of the Owners local group, which is the XP equivalent of the Windows 2000 Administrator account: This means that anyone who logs on to a Home Edition machine has full control. Likewise, the Backup Operators, Power Users, and Replicator groups are missing from Home Edition, and a new group, called Restricted Users, is added. Administrative shares are unavailable in Home Edition.
"Professional Edition is a strict superset of Home Edition," confirmed Chris Jones, Vice President of the Windows Client Group. "Everything you can do in Home Edition, you can do in Pro. We think there are home users who will buy Pro."