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Jay Lozier wrote:
Also, there is no direct upgrade path from XP to W7 and I assume this
is true for W8 also.

I run openSUSE Linux on my computers and have for several years.  It's
generally possible to to an upgrade as new versions come out.  I
recently upgraded my motherboard & hard drive (old drive was IDE and new
MB only supports SATA), as the old MB was getting slow.  I just copied
my system to the new drive and then moved to the new motherboard and it
works fine.  With Linux, drivers also tend to be supported much longer
than in Windows, so that old hardware will generally continue to work
just fine.  For example, I have an Epson scanner, which I bought several
years ago.  It worked with both Linux and XP.  However, while it still
works fine in Linux, I cannot use it with Windows 7, as the drivers are
not available for it.

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