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Should I jump from XP to Windows 8?

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You neglected to mention Home Premium. Home Basic or Starter is primarily used on Netbooks. Home Premium is what you will usually find on laptop and desktops geared toward home users. Win 7 Professional is the minimum version required if your in a network with a Domain Controller. Home versions will not join a domain, so will not work with Active Directory, Group Policy, etc. so should not be used for anyhing more then a personal or home office setting. The Pro version also has access to the Security properties of all the various parts of the system without having to restart in Safe Mode, making it easier to troubleshoot and fix.
Personally I run Win7 Home Premium x64 on my personal laptop and I am very pleased with it. I still run XP Pro on my personal desktop.