You can change a lot of the look and feel. For example, right-clicking the task bar, selecting Properties, Start Menu, will allow you change the Start Menu to "Classic." Also, it will allow use of the quick start bar (unlocking it will allow you to change itís size). My first impression, however, was not good either. The cartoon-like screens actually bothered these old eyes so much I turned-off the computer after less than two hours of use. Changing the Start menu doesnít get rid of that glaring green Start button (which there may be a way to change somewhere else). But after doing quit a few installs, I got used to it a started to like it. Iíll say one thing, however, it certainly is not simpler than Win 9x for working on in a shop, and my customers are having problems using it. A good example of the increased complexity and inconvenience is finding and using the equivalent of scandisk (http://duxcw.com/faq/win/xp/scandisk.htm).
I have not bought a copy of XP, and may not. I am concerned that the Windows product activation (WPA) restrictions will stop or hinder me from upgrading my computer (I am not going to get a phone and beg Microsoft for anything!), doing normal shop work (I often substitute parts in my computer), and testing new products. If it were not for WPA, I would order a personal copy Monday. Larry