If your company will allow it, consider switching to Window XP Pro x64. Although some software would not previous run due to driver issues on 64-bit XP, this has mostly been solved with the 2007/2008 software releases. This may require a software upgrade. Is your company considering Vista 32-bit or Vista 64-bit? For FEA, CFD, etc., you should be considering 64-bit software.
Initially, XP Pro x64 was a pain to configure, but my problems have mostly gone away after working through some of the IT issues. I think Win XP x64 was due to stop shipping sometime in 2008, or late 2007.