RAID 0 will not help to speed up Linux because neither file is big enough to take advantage of it. All files are few hundred kilobytes and few of them are a little over a megabyte. One IDE hard drive can easily output 30 to 60 megabytes per second. RAID 1 will really help speed up accessing files because it can access two or more files at once instead of one at a time with RAID 0. Though going from Windows to Linux will be hard with software RAID. I suggest hardware RAID like 3ware or some other server grade controllers. Before attempting to install Linux. I suggest you backup or the word fire will come the next day if something goes wrong.
Next you may want to show them Wine, but I suggest compiling it instead of RPM files. This is because it will be a lot easier for your company to switch or port their code to Linux.
IMO, Redhat relates too much to MS Windows because many jobs are summarized by the distribution's tools instead of getting dirty with the real Linux commands. I tried Redhat and I did not like how it controls itself. This is ok for a Linux novice but I thought using Linux is to be in control of your computer and to get out of the baby chair. I typed the command ps to figure out what Redhat is doing to make a partition or mount a partition. There is nothing there that begins the command mount. I like Mandrake even though it has its own tools to help you. Mandrake tools are front ends to Linux commands. what I found with using the ps command in Mandrake is it shows that running fdisk to make partitions, mkfs to format partitions, and mount to mount the partitions.
Windows XP does not take advantage of 3.5 GB of RAM. IMO, 1 GB is the maximum memory that Windows XP will take advantage. Linux will really take advantage of the 3.5 GB of RAM and a lot more.
You may want to show your company VMware because it has the ability to run another OS besides the host OS and testing programs can easily be done in a few minutes instead of hours.