At $199, Home edition is $100 cheaper than Professional and offers a marginally friendlier default interface. Professional offers powerful administrative and security features, including new backup tools, group policies, and roaming user profiling - meaning you can use any computer on your company's network and still access your files and settings. Professional also includes Remote Desktop - similar to Symantec's pcAnywhere - which lets telecommuters dial into their corporate networks, and vice versa. The good news is that Home edition includes the app, too, but it only works upstream there.
Our tip? Don't pay any attention to the box. Instead, look at the features you need. Remote managers or administrators of large networks (yes, we know many of you work from home) shouldn't think twice about upgrading to Pro, and telecommuters and other home-based professionals shouldn't scoff at a "Home" label.
Microsoft Corp., 800-426-9400, www.microsoft.com
--Eileen Bien Calabro