Should I install xubuntu, or stick with windows xp pro on my system?

I just got an old laptop from a family member a couple days ago (256mb of ram, 600 mhz celeron processor, and 8mb video ram) that has windows xp pro on it. It runs surprisingly well, however I want to try linux (preferably xubuntu, because it will be my first linux computer and I need it to run well on my old computer). Most of the applications I use are ported from linux anyways (open office, gimp, inkscape, firefox), so I don’t have a problem there. The most important thing to me would be a speedy operating system that doesn’t hang often. Do you think it would be a good idea to switch to xubuntu?

Also, it turns out that the copy of xp pro on this system is not genuine, as I ran the tool from microsoft (the people I got the laptop from don’t remember how they got xp since the computer is so old, but it seems to have come with ME and was upgraded. However, the only thing that that seems to mean is that I can’t get updates, but the rest of the operating system works fine. I think that means that if uninstall xp, I won’t be able to get it back.

PS: I tried the live cd, and xubuntu looked good but I can’t really make my decision based on that as it suffers a performance decrease because it is running off a cd. Thanks and sorry for the long question.
My hard drive is only 10gb (only 4gb left with windows installed) so I can’t really try wubi or dual boot.

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