.. I tried it out and then realized that XP was way outdated as an OS). ..
I sent Microsoft three dollars for the pre-release VISTA. I bought a new hard drive to test it; not risking my XP installation.
It didn't install on my 1.5 Ghz desktop until I went out to the local office supply store to buy more memory. When I finally got it working, my wireless mouse wouldn't work. My VISTA experience index was one out of ten. So I gave up on upgrading, put my XP hard drive back in and am still using XP today.
So, for my current usage, mostly Web Browsing and E-Mail it's really not miles ahead of (XP) or (Win2K) or (Win98).
Microsoft has the dumbest advertising. Take that 'Majave Experiment' nonsense for example. Those dumb computer illiterate people aren't who Microsoft has to convince. They're going to Best Buy when they think it's time for a new computer to buy one with VISTA installed and will be perfectly satisfied with it because the machine is configured at the factory to work.
Microsoft needs to convince those knowledgeable users who have untold time, effort and money invested in custom configured and smoothly operating XP systems/networks that spending hundreds of dollars per 'seat' (hate that term) for upgrades will return multiples of those expenditures in increased productivity.
When I build my next computer after the XP machine breaks, I'll certainly install VISTA or more probably Windows 7 but if Microsoft is arrogant enough to force me to subscribe or lock me out of support, I'll go Linux.