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Switching operating systems since XP doesn't work

I have Windows ME and I bought Windows XP from GATEWAY as I did my whole computer. Now I have XP and cannot use it because it doesn't work with the software I have. Gateway wants me to purchase all the new software now. The problem is they knew this before they sold XP to me, but sold it to me anyway. Therefore I'm stuck with a copy of XP that I cannot use. Is there anything I can do? I have contacted them on this matter with no success.
Changing operating systems on a PC is a major upgrade and should always be done with as much planning as possible. After figuring out if your PC's hardware will run the OS, the next step should be to figure out if your peripherals (printers, scanners, etc.) will work, and then if your software will work. Then, and only then should you upgrade. There are software compatibility issues with every operating system upgrade, and it's the responsibility of the user to decide whether the trade offs are worth it, and not the vendor to act as "pseudo parent" to keep you from making a bad choice. If you have opened the software, the vendor is under no obligation to allow you to return it. If you didn't install it, or activate it, you may be able to press for a refund under the terms of the license agreement. If not, consider it a lesson learned.

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