Xp Pro versus Xp Media Center Edition

Puting together a new pc, but just wondering your thoughts on which one to go for??? :doh:

That really depends on what your needs are. If you need a lot of control over all the hardware and software aspects of your pc, you may want to look at xp pro. If you plan on doing a lot of media related activities, then look at media center…


Media Center is an extention of XP Pro with some additional functionality…

Most notably the biggest difference is the inability to join domains (which can be fixed by some registry modifications if you search the net). But if you do that you loose the ability to use media center extenders.

If you want the best of both worlds. Buy media center edition

I was under the impression that mediacenter was a dumbed-down version of the standard xp. I’ve only ever seen it work in commercial centers and never operated it personally, though, so I may be wrong.

look at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Windows_XP_Media_Center_Edition

Although microsoft doesn’t have it listed on its site it IS pro based. It is assuredly not based on XP home.

Thanks all, I have now decided on go with ‘XP Pro’. Your comments were most welcome.

Media Center is… well, yes it’s a dumbed-down version of Pro, but not in very many ways. However, it’s ALSO an extended version of Pro with lots of happy slappy media stuff on it.

My personal take on media centers is that they are useless.

No, seriously! Think about it. Most people have digital cable. So the media center can’t even change the channel without some kind of external IR thingy to control the cable box. So what good are they? For an extra $10 a month Comcast offers a DVR box. Many other cable providers offer Tivo units. A media center is… pretty pointless from my point of view, unless you have a TON of AVI’s and WMV’s that you want to watch on your TV.

Is it possible to dual boot the two together, for the purposes of when I get my Xbox 360?


Sweet, might just add a little HDD for it and store the files on my main. Or add another big HDD!

Another big HD is always good :slight_smile:

Install your second OS on it, in case one goes belly up … you have a plug and play spare :wink: with just a simple bios change … aka “First boot device” from IDE0 to IDE1/2/3 or SATA :wink:

I’ve googled and wikipediaed (“to wikipedia” should be made a verb), and I see that it’s possible with a hack or two to install the media center software on a standard version of XP Pro. So it seems the dedicated version is as useful as a submarine in space.

Well, as a useful as a bicycle to a fish certainly.

The media centre edition REQUIRES certain hardware to be installed in the machine, and apparently doesn’t support as many devices. The interface is possibly more limited also.

Different target audience, right?

Taget audience of people willing to have dictated to them what hardware to use, no thanks, not for me. It was just a little idea with the 360, but not that big a deal.

I can assure you all that MCE 2005 is just XP Pro with some .net programs, some bits are only disabled so they do not affect the .net program.

If you install MCE then dont put in disk 2, you get a fully working XP Pro.

Disk one of MCE is only a XP Pro disk, then (based on the serial key entered) it installes the optional MCE components