So, one of my greatest regrets of upgrading to Windows 10 (though technically, this also applies to Windows 8.1, which I used until Windows 10 reached maturity) is the loss of compatibility with some classic MechWarrior
franchise titles, specially all three MechWarrior 2
games and, to a lesser (but still difficult to remedy extent), MechWarrior 3
This is an oddity: if something runs in Windows 7, as a general rule, it almost certainly runs in 8.1 and 10--that's Microsoft's absurd legacy support on demonstration. Not so the case with the (semi-ironically named) Windows version, which besides including some extra textures and visuals, has the added benefit of being playable at higher resolutions without turning even the most powerful machine into a phone emulator, unlike the MS-DOS versions when running in DosBox (which are Windows 10 compatible).
There are a few solutions, including just accepting graphically limited versions of the DOS versions, the bottomless pit that is virtual machine emulation, or even various dual-booting solutions (my own horror stories with boot errors, going back to Windows 7, still haunt me though). But for some time I've wanted a small form factor PC that I could stick in the corner of my desk, run to the same monitor, and use some of the same USB accessories with, for legacy software purposes, sporadic requests from family members still using Windows 7, and that sort of thing.
Is this even feasible? eBay is littered with what could be described as "stolen or rejected 10-year-old school hardware", which might fit the bill, but those seem extremely variable in quality (and also kind of big), especially since I'm not one to buy much used PC hardware (though I've sold more than my share). I know I'm not going to find a system-on-a-stick capable of running Windows 7, but something more Mini-ATX, in theory, would be convenient (and a competent on board graphics chip should be more than enough to handle MechWarrior 2
...anything more demanding should
be doable in Windows 10). I might even be able to get out of Windows 7 as a requirement, if someone could recommend a Windows XP mini PC that might be viable if
it could handle MW3.
So, gambling on a former library media PC, look for specialty hardware, or just a pipe dream?