Windows XP Professional Edition - A version used by many businesses on workstations. It has the ability to become a member of a corporate domain.
Windows XP Home Edition - A lower cost version of Windows XP which is for home use only and should not be used at a business.Windows 2000 - A better version of the Windows NT operating system which works well both at home and as a workstation at a business. It includes technologies which allow hardware to be automatically detected and other enhancements over Windows NT.
Windows ME - A upgraded version from windows 98 but it has been historically plagued with programming errors which may be frustrating for home users.
Windows 98 - This was produced in two main versions. The first Windows 98 version was plagued with programming errors but the Windows 98 Second Edition which came out later was much better with many errors resolved.
Windows NT - A version of Windows made specifically for businesses offering better control over workstation capabilities to help network administrators.
Windows 95 - The first version of Windows after the older Windows 3.x versions offering a better interface and better library functions for programs.
There are other worthwhile types of operating systems not made by Microsoft. The greatest problem with these operating systems lies in the fact that not as many application programs are written for them. However if you can get the type of application programs you are looking for, one of the systems listed below may be a good choice.
Unix - A system that has been around for many years and it is very stable. It is primary used to be a server rather than a workstation and should not be used by anyone who does not understand the system. It can be difficult to learn. Unix must normally run an a computer made by the same company that produces the software.
Linux - Linux is similar to Unix in operation but it is free. It also should not be used by anyone who does not understand the system and can be difficult to learn.
Apple MacIntosh - Most recent versions are based on Unix but it has a good graphical interface so it is both stable (does not crash often or have as many software problems as other systems may have) and easy to learn. One drawback to this system is that it can only be run on Apple produced hardware.