I would suggest the OEM version of XP Pro. As you stated, there is no support but I think any questions you have or problems you may encounter would be answered here promptly. Your trepidation regarding the educational version is valid. Therefore I would avoid it. There are no problems registering or downloading updates with the OEM version.
I am intending to buy XP but am put off by the cost of the full retail version.
When checking on the prices I find that I can buy an OEM or educational version for half the price.
1. Which version do I buy?
I understand that there is no technical support from microsoft for the oem version, but in 7 years of using win 98 se I have never needed microsofts help. I have used these forums for help.
I think I qualify for the educational version as I attend a local community college class 3 hours a week, but what happens about the licence when the course finishes.
The Pro version is only about