You are RIGHT...stay on XP!!! I just upgraded my computer to Win 7 and I am very sorry I did. I have upgraded all of my computers starting with WIN3 to WIN95 and I have never had this much trouble before. Had to replace my printer, scanner and my computers video card just to get me back to where I was before. If I hadnt spent so much money on the new software, I would be reloading XP back on my computer now. I have heard 8 is even worse.
I have WinZip, which will extract embroidery files downloaded from the web. not sure if you can get it free with some designs, which is how I got it. I also have a program called Buzz Explore - from Buzz Tools - which is great. You can unzip files, change them to different machine formats, even change jpeg images to bmp, change colours and print out designs etc. I still am on xp, as some of my embroidery programs will not work on windows 8, and do not want to buy new ones. they cost too much. Please contact me if you need any more info