Certainly, a beginner should have XP for ease of use. I'm in the process of helping two PC novices with a similar lack of knowledge or a natural PC brain, and the results are quite different. My uncle has an old, donated piece of junk with Windows 95 - he and his wife are struggling by slowly. My neighbour, with his shiny new XP toy, is getting on just great. He used to have a Win98 machine and hardly ever used it simply because he couldn't.