There are so many operating systems and combinations, it's not really possible to offer assistance without additional details. I didn't have an problems follwing the instructions for Windows Vista. Verizon Tech Support can help you with specific problems relating to the phone or operating system specifics.
I disagree. There is a lot of FUD out now about Vista, but it is a solid operating system, and the first service pack is due shortly. If you are getting a new computer, I would recommend Vista. It's true that there are some unpolished edges, but updating an operating system has always been problematic as opposed to acquiring a computer with the operating system natively installed.
XP will be discontinued. The recently announced deadline extensions are designed to give businesses more time to prepare for the migration, as the security model is significantly different from a network administration point of view. If you go back in time, you'll see the same kinds of comments were posted about XP, Win2K and other previous versions.