An appeal to collective tech wisdom…

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My current desktop is ailing and I fear it may have reached the end of its life span (had it for about five and a half years). I’ve been eyeing a new machine, just about settled on one but I now have a sticking point: every thing I see for the most part is loaded with Vista, and the current box is running XP pro, meaning that ell the programs I’m currently running are geared towards the old OS. I have no interest in being one of Mircosoft’s unpaid beta testers, nor do I wish to buy all new versions of everything I need to use, so here is the question I have for folks out there: How difficult would it be to buy the new computer, de-install the Vista OS it came with and install XPpro instead? What would this entail? Anything I should watch out for? Is this even advisable? Thanks in advance for your erudition.

*a caveat: I was a Mac user for years and have no interest in going back at the present time. And some of you may be wanting to urge me to switch to Linux, which I support in theory, but which seems to me to only be intensifying the problem I allude to above.

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