Youngest son needs a new laptop for Brooklyn Polytechnic, where he will be starting in the fall. Polytech offered a Lenovo T61 with Vista thru the student union for $1900. The Lenovo website offered the same machine for $1080. Some searching found a Dell with XP on it for $1100. XP was the deal maker, neither son nor I wanted to touch Vista with a ten foot pole. Thinking that Microsoft may drive XP off the marker completely, we ordered now, before the last XP machines are gone.
How Microsoft managed to bungle Vista is a story that needs telling some where.
The effort to retrofit XP into a Vista machine is unknown. The drivers, tiny bits of software that pass intructions down to the hardware, had to be rewritten for Vista. So a Vista machine will have Vista drivers, that probably won't work under XP. In principle the necessary XP drivers can be found on the Internet, but that is not guaranteed.
This is the second time this year that a child has needed a laptop and managed to avoid Vista there on.