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I'm looking at a new Windows-based netbook, but I need some help deciding between installing Windows 7 Starter and Windows XP Home.

The main things we are unsure of:

  • Ability to run iTunes
  • Connecting to a IP network printer (not a shared printer) - Wikipedia suggested Windows 7 Starter may not be able to but this is not clear
  • Long-term XP support
  • Any other considerations we need to think about
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Microsoft ended support for SP2 on July 13, 2010 [Source Microsoft]

They will end support for SP3 on 8 April 2014 [Source Wikipedia]


On April 14, 2009, Windows XP and its family of operating systems were moved from Mainstream Support to the Extended Support phase as it marks the progression of the legacy operating system through the Microsoft Support Lifecycle Policy. During the Extended Support Phase, Microsoft will continue to provide security updates every month for Windows XP; however, free technical support, warranty claims and design changes are no longer being offered.

From the Wikipedia article.

So, unless you plan to upgrade the OS again within 4 years, installing Windows 7 might be the better option.

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I have never needed support directly from MS before and XP is very stable so I am not sure this issue would overrule the others. However useful to know. Thanks – John Aug 15 '10 at 12:55
Support is more than getting help with an issue. It includes patches for security vulnerabilities. For example there's a terrible LNK vulnerability that affects everything from web browsing to email. It didn't get patched in xp sp2 but did in sp3 because sp3 is still supported – Knox Aug 15 '10 at 14:28

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