Hello DennisH Welcome to the Seven Forums!
Sorry to hear that! For me XP was a "Blue Screen Special" from all the problems it seems others were having. Vista was far more stable but was growing in size and the minimum system requirements were set too low. Windows 7 on the other hand has been a working champion right out of the box!
As for new IE windows always being minimized that's how IE is regardless of which version going back even before XP and IE 6. One small program solved everything however. The IE New Window Maximizer can be found at: jiiSoft :: IE New Window Maximizer
The one thing to know about this one however is never check off the maximize Outlook or Outlook Express windows or the close button in Outlook will end up off of the screen entirely! That was the one drawback for the free program seen there.
Ran it when first found way back in the XP days, later on Vista, and presently on the 64bit 7.