Downgrading to XP is possible, in principle, but you need to find all XP-compatible drivers for whatever Dell put into the machine. And for that, you probably need help from Dell to tell you where to find them. So I'd start calling them. And probably, they just say "sorry, no", so then you're on your own. Start with downloading Belarc advisor (free) to see all hardware and then visit the original makers site for XP drivers. With some luck, you'll get the machine operational fully or nearly fully (such as: no wireless or no sound, but everything else working).
Also consider license issues. The old XP CD might accept the key on the old machine, not on the new one.
Vista isn't so bad if it's installed on a new machine by the maker. It will surely work satisfactory.
I don't know if WP12 is Vista compatible. Corel didn't know either when they wrote http://support.corel.com/scripts/rightnow.cfg/php.exe/enduser/std_adp.php?p_sid=NPxA1WUi&p_lva=&p_faqid=760194&p_created=1168263944&p_sp=cF9zcmNoPTEmcF9ncmlkc29ydD0mcF9yb3dfY250PTYmcF9zZWFyY2hfdGV4dD12aXN0YSZwX3NlYXJjaF90eXBlPTYmcF9wcm9kX2x2bDE9OCZwX3Byb2RfbHZsMj0xNDUmcF9zb3J0X2J5PWZhcXMudGl0bGUmcF9wYWdlPTE*&p_li=
http://www.wpuniverse.com/vb/showthread.php?threadid=26086 makes me think there are some issues with it.
I just signed up, here's my question and I hope you can help.
I just bought a new Dell Inspiron 1720 as a replacement for my Dell Inspiron 1000 (purchased in late 2004). The 1720 has Vista, which I'm hesitant to use because I've heard bad things about it (I did not have an option to get XP instead), and my word processing system of choice is WordPerfect.
My Inspiron 1000 came with Windows XP and WordPerfect 12 originally installed. I still have the original reinstallation CDs for Windows XP Home Edition and WordPerfect Office 12 that came with my Inspirion 1000; these disks have never been used and are still sealed.
I would like to use these disks to install Windows XP and WordPerfect 12 onto my new Inspiron 1720. Is there any reason why I should NOT do this?
Just in case it's a factor in whatever advice you can give me, it might help you to know that although I received my Inspiron 1720 last week, due to a busy schedule I haven't been able to do anything more than take the machine out of the box and take a look at it. I haven't yet attempted to use it, start it up, or otherwise get it in working order yet; as of now it still sits in the original shipping box.
Thanks in advance for whatever advice you can give me.