What Operating System?

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My daughter is off to college. I just ordered a new laptop with a 2500 dual
core Intel processor, 2 gig of RAM, a 256 Meg video card, and a 100 gig 7200
rpm HD, and a DVD burner.

It will ship with XP home edition, but I have fully licensed versions of XP
Media Edition and XP Pro available. Before I load this with programs which
version of XP would you recommend? (and why?)


Re: What Operating System?

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If she is going to be accessing the network at the college, she may be
required to have a system running XP Pro.  It has specific networking
abilities, like joining a domain, that XP Home lacks.  Consult the college
for more information.  Personally, I have no idea why anyone would want to
use Media Center Edition.  It really is meant for someone who insists on
integrating their computer with their home entertainment system.  I don't
know anyone who does this with their Media Center Edition systems.

Re: What Operating System?

Media center is very popular for building a computer as part of an
entertainment system, and it works very, very well for that purpose.
Lots of people do it (ok, "lots" in terms of absolute numbers, but tiny
as a percentage of PCs sold or built).

I have to agree that I don't see much reason for MCE (media Center) on a
typical laptop.  You can add a TV tuner and remote control as USB
peripherals, and yes, MCE also has a great interface and capabilities
for both Music and still photos, but for the most part it's used as a TV
and video system (as a "super-TiVO"), and most people won't do that with

However, MCE is XP Pro in almost all regards and for almost all purposes
(the sole exception being domain-based networking).  Apparently, MS is
making XP MCE available to laptop OEMs for about the same price as XP
Home, while XP Pro costs about $100 more.  That makes it a "no brainer":
  Given a choice between XP Home and XP MCE (Media Center) AT ABOUT THE
SAME PRICE, one should always take MCE.  It doesn't matter if you will
use the actual "media center" or not, you are getting all of the XP Pro
features (remote control, NTFS security, etc.) free, and there is NO
downside to XP MCE over XP Home.

Kevin wrote:

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Re: What Operating System?

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The Home Edition is fine for what she'll need.  I'm sending my son off to
college as well and that's what his has on it. Besides, if you reinstall
with the ME OS, you'll have to hunt down any specific device drivers that
are not native to Win ME for the laptop, and the big killer is that you'll
have to contact MS to reactivate the new install and if you don't have a
multiple use license, you'll have to make up a story about reinstalling it
on your desktop.  You might then have difficulty getting updates on the
notebook.  It's just not worth the effort, IMO.


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