Hi, Tomos. I recently bought a computer rather similar to the one you've described: Win 7 Professional 64-bit, 8 GB RAM, i5 2400. Like you, I have some programs that date from the 1990s, and I was afraid that they wouldn't run on this machine and so I would have to figure out how to use XP mode. Well, to my surprise, almost all the programs I have will run under Windows 7. Every now and then, I'd be asked whether I wanted to run the program in "compatibility mode." If I said yes, I was given a choice of various earlier versions of Windows. I didn't have to install anything to make the computer give me this choice. It seems to be a feature simply built into Windows 7 (or perhaps Windows 7 Professional). Whether this is what is meant by XP-mode, I'm not sure. I didn't expect the process to be so seamless. Anyway, I think you too may find that all or almost all your programs will run on Windows 7 without your having to do much to make that happen.