Re: Which OS would you choose?
8GB is pitiful for any modern OS, even XP. I'm assuming the hard drive is an SSD, but still you're not going to get awfully far without upgrading. You could try putting Ubuntu or similar on there which you can strip down / customise more easily, or use nlite to strip XP down, but personally I'd swap the hard drive out for more options if I were you.
Save the whales, feed the hungry, free the mallocs.