I have found myself in a bit of a predicament these last few weeks. Occasionally I’m approached by a real estate agent for recommendations on what computer to purchase. Up until recently, I have always had an answer for them. This all changed with the introduction of Windows Vista. As I discussed in my recent posting, “Real Estate Agents: Windows Vista Isn’t a Good View for You, Yet.”, it would be ill-advised to recommend a computer running Windows Vista to a real estate agent at this point in time. It could take months for all of the programs that a real estate agent relies on to become Vista compatible. There are still options of purchasing a Windows XP machine. Dell and HP are continuing to offer Windows XP on their business series computers. You can also find remaining inventory of Windows XP computers in local electronic stores. Recommending this option is difficult for me, though, since Windows XP is a 5 year old operating system. Why purchase dying technology? You could always upgrade to Vista on one of these machines once compatibility issues have been resolved. The upgrade would be a costly endeavor in both time and money. I have run across a solution to this recent dilemma. Polywell Computers (http://www.polywell.com/), an award-winning computer builder based out of South San Francisco, is offering to install both Windows XP and Windows Vista on the same computers. This is what is known as a “dual-boot” machine. Upon starting the computer, you are given the choice of working in Windows XP or Vista. Having a dual-boot machine gives you the best of both worlds. You can continue to run your real estate business on Windows XP and slowly acclimate yourself to Windows Vista. Once all of your programs are updated to run smoothly on Vista, you can simply phase-out your use of XP. If this solution sounds good to you, keep these 2 things in mind. First, you will be purchasing 2 operating systems, so your computer will cost you about $200 more than a single-boot system. Second, don’t skimp on hard drive space, since you will be actually splitting your hard drive in half. Additional hard drive space is cheap these days, so this shouldn’t be too much of a concern.