In particular I have been sent publisher files which the old publisher on office 2000 doesnt recognise, but will open on publisher in office 2003- which wont run on win 98. I also have the option of putting win2000 on, would this run better than xp.
Don't know Publisher, but Microsoft programs usually have the option to save files using an older version format in the "Save as" option, could whoever sent you the 2003 files explore that option ? Compare the system requirements W2000 click here with XP click here As you can see W2000 is going to be much less demanding on your system than XP. If you did decide to take a shot at XP however then more memory would be advisable.