Go with Windows 7 Pro, and not just because your an "oldie".
If you're buying a new desktop PC, you can save yourself a lot of trouble if you shop ON LINE. It doesn't matter who you are buying from, but you MUST shop in the BUSINESS section of the Web Site. All the home, and home office computers automatically come with Windows 8.x pre-installed. Whereas, the computers in the BUSINESS section almost all come with Windows 7 Pro pre-installed.
Let me tell you, I make a nice living upgrading to Windows 7, and downgrading from Windows 8. I have been testing Windows 8 Pro from the time it was released to the public. I don't hate it, it's pretty good operating system. If you have a tablet, or touch enabled laptop. However, on the desktop, there is no advantage to it. In my opinion, the Modern/Metro interface, just gets in the way, and you have to install 3rd party software, just to be able to use the Desktop the way you're used to.
Think about that, Microsoft has released a brand new operating system, which the vast majority of computer users (the desktops & non-touch enabled laptops) have no use for. As I said, I've been testing it out on my desktop (in a Virtual Machine), and there is nothing there for me, or for most of my clients.
So get yourself a Windows 7 computer, with a quad core 64 bit microprocessor, at least 8 GB of RAM, and the biggest hard drive you can afford. Make sure that the Windows 7 Pro is also 64 bit, that's pretty standard anyway. Then get yourself an external hard drive for backups, that's at least as big as your internal one.
Lastly, if your dealer won't configure it before they deliver it to you, and they should, log onto Microsoft's Web Site, and download & install the Windows XP Mode. If you get Windows 7 Pro & above, it's a FREE download. That way, no matter what, your Windows XP software will run on your new computer. Windows 8 has no such feature.
You'll be looking for two files on the Microsoft Site;
This sets up the Virtual Machine on your computer
This is the actual Windows XP operating system that will run in the Virtual Machine.
Well, that's my opinion. I'm sure the debate is going to be heated. I'm getting on in age myself, and this is what works for me. It's also what I'm asked to do most often by my clients. Lastly Frank, you are right about Microsoft supporting Windows 7 for years to come. I'm not sure, but I believe that it will be supported for another fourteen years.
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