After high demand from consumers, Dell announced it will start offering Windows XP again on its desktop and notebook computers.
It's pretty hard to read all the tea leaves, and it may seem counterintuitive (given that Dell is talking home systems here), but what I believe will happen near term is that Vista will surge on consumer desktops, while Windows XP will remain entrenched on client-side systems in the enterprise.
That's because the split between the two operating systems has nothing to do with location, or who the user is, and pretty much everything to do with hardware configuration. Namely, if your system has a dual-core processor, a 256-Mbyte graphics card, and 2 Gbytes of memory, you can use Vista. No graphics card and less than a gig of memory, you gotta go with XP.
I'm going to get into a bit of trouble with Microsoft on the above, because Microsoft lists the hardware requirements for running Windows Vista Premium as: A 1-GHz processor, 1-Gbyte of system memory, and 128-Mbytes of graphics memory.
However, in my experience, a 1-GHz processor isn't even fast enough to run a decent XP set-up anymore. But the question is irrelevant, because $75 will get you a 3.2-GHz Pentium 4. As for graphics and memory, Vista will indeed run with the specs Microsoft states, but you'd be better off with the upgrade. My Vista system has 1 Gbyte of RAM, and my usage meter hovers around 75% most of the time. I'm planning to get another gig as soon as I free up $100.