vista can run most any software made for windows xp either without change or configuring it to use xp compatibilty mode.
the only difficult compatibility problems are device drivers for some hardware or software that does low-level hardware access.
I recently purchased a refurb Dell Inspiron 1525 with Vista and although there are parts of Vista I like, many of the programs are not compatable with many of the companies I work with. Should I just purchase Microsoft Publisher and download that or get a computer that has a different operating system. My laptop did not come with the option to change operating systems. It is imperative that I be able to use programs that are compatable with these collegues, but I am wonering if Vista is on its way out and I will have an outdated unusable system?