10 Major Differences between Windows XP Home and Windows XP Professional


Two CPU recognition
Windows XP Professional is equipped to recognize and use the resources of two CPUs if available in the system. Windows XP Home can use the resources of only one CPU even if the computer has more than one CPU. Here CPU means Processor.
Remote Desktop
Windows XP Professional has a feature called Remote Desktop using which a computer running Windows XP Professional can be controlled from a remote location over the internet or the network. Remote desktop users can login to their Windows XP Professional systems over remote desktop and view the actual desktop itself and control and work in the system sitting in a remote location. Windows XP Home does not have this feature.
Remote Software Installation
A Windows XP Professional system’s software can be upgraded or installed from a remote computer over the Windows Server-based Network by the network or system administrator. This saves a lot of time for the administrator since he need not physically go to each and every system to install software upgrades or new software. This feature is not available in Windows XP Home in which software has to be installed or upgraded by physically working on the system.

Centralized Control
A Windows XP Professional System can be maintained by using system management tools over a Microsoft Server based network. This is not possible in a Windows XP Home system because Windows XP Home does not have the feature of Windows Domains or Server based management.
User Group Control
In Windows XP Professional users can be clustered under groups and rights and privileges can be assigned to groups of users. This allows system administrators ease of control and maintenances of users. Windows XP does not have the feature of user groups.
Roving User Facility
Windows XP Professional gives its users a feature called Roving wherein a user can recreate the exact same environment in his System in another System under the same Windows server network. This is like the user carrying the PC settings and environment wherever he works in a network. This facility is not available in Windows XP Home.
File encryption and restrictions
Windows XP Professional has the facility of keeping the files and resources of on user of the system private from another user of the system. One user’s files and folders cannot be viewed by another user. This is achieved by local system security policies and file encryption features available in Windows XP Professional. In Windows XP Home true privacy is not achieved since users with administrative rights can view other user’s files and data.
Application Control
Not only files can be restricted on a per-user basis, but also applications can be restricted on a Windows XP Professional system. Certain applications or programs can be made available only to certain users and access or ability of the user to run or execute certain programs can be blocked. This faclility is not there in a Windows XP Home based system.
Offline File Access And Synchronizing
Certain files available on the network can be made available and usable even after disconnecting from the network on a Windows XP Professional based computer. This feature is called File Synchronization wherein the changes or updations made in the network files are synchronized once the computer is connected back into the network. This automatic synchronization facility is not there in Windows XP Home.
Easy Localization and Switching
Windows XP Professional gives its user the ability to change the display and input languages anytime and switching of languages is done on the fly. This is very useful for users working on a multi-lingual environment. But in the case of Windows XP Home you can select a language during installation and it cannot be changed later.

Who Needs Windows XP Professional
Windows XP professional is for
1.Multi Processor computer
2.Computers connected to a huge windows server based network, controlled and administered by system administrators
3.Power users who use features like remote desktop, user roving etc
4.Systems where multiple users login and file security is important to keep each users data private
5.For users who use more than one language at a time or switch langualges frequently

Who needs Windows XP Home?
Windows XP home is for
1.Systems with a single processor
2.Users who just use it for simple applications like word processing, internet browsing etc
3.Standalone systems or systems on a simple home, SOHO network
4.For users who are on a budget


  • clear, simple & concise. better to read this first before trawling through the microsoft pages….

  • Matter is very concised, easily understable and clear abt the differences(Prof & Home) and provide information for the end user to choose from XP Professional and XP Home based on his/her needs(from section Who Needs Prof/Home XP).

  • It really helped me a lot & improved my knowledge abt, wind’s XP Prof., & Home.

    Thanks & Regards,
    Devendra Kshatriya

  • I’m a computer applications student, mostly using a lots of programming languages like C , java, VB etc and application developing softwares like Visual Studio, Silverlight etc.
    Which OS will be better for me?