I put up with Vista as long as I could. Or rather, I put up with my wife's complaining as long as I could.
I got her a ThinkPad T61 for her birthday. (A bit of advice. Don't get birthday presents with power cords.)
As I mentioned previously, it came with Vista Business and relatively little crapware. I put Office 2007 on it.
It seemed like it was going to do fine.
Then it started hanging up. Sometimes it was the whole thing and it took a hard power down to fix. Other times, it was just Internet Explorer that froze. Printers seemed to come and go randomly. Wireless was never certain.
I must admit, she was way more tolerant than I expected.
The last straw was when I picked it up last week to put the latest patches on it. It took me hours. It hung up, crashed, complained about processes that weren't visible, you name it.
A call to Lenovo to inquire about XP downgrade disks turned up that they wanted to charge $45 plus shipping! Then the confusion started about how to activate using the downgrade rights. I'll explain that in a minute.
I went to the Lenovo site and downloaded all the drivers and software for XP.
I Ghosted off the Vista partition. To do this I had to go into the T61's BIOS and set the SATA drive from ACHI to Compatible. Without this, Ghost 8 couldn't see the SATA drive.
I installed Windows XP Pro from a SP3 slipstreamed consumer CD that I had. With SP3 you can defer entering the key so I did. Then after it came up, I clicked on the Activate Windows link and chose telephone activation. To shorten the story, I had to enter the key (that was previously activated on another machine) and give the Microsoft representative the loooooooooooong installation ID. I told him I was downgrading Vista Business to XP Pro and he gave me a new key. I never had to give him the Vista key. Very odd.
The coup de grâce was installing Office 2003.
It's so nice to get back to the familiar and stable Windows XP. Call me a Luddite if you must.