Currently it appears that some Windows 8 users are able to synch, others can't. I suspect it is a driver issue, but not sure which one needs to be updated, or if there is a possibility that hardware/software mix comes into play.
There is no reason - based on the limited info provided - that you can't run iTunes on a Vista machine. You might want to try some of the troubleshooting steps here: http://www.apple.com/support/itunes/install/
What iPad model do you have? What version of iTunes are you using? When connected to your computer, is the iPad recognized?
iPad not appearing in iTunes
iOS: Device not recognized in iTunes for Mac OS X
iOS: Device not recognized in iTunes for Windows
IOS: Syncing with iTunes
Apple - Support - iPad - Syncing
I ran iTUnes and my iPad 2 just fine on a Vista machine, and am now doing fine with it on a windows 8 machine. I ran though iTunes 10 and 11 on the Vista machine and iTUnes 11 on the 8 Machine. I don't think an upgrade to windows 8 will be needed.
It could certainly be a driver issue. The Apple Mobile Device driver is one biggie that you have to have.
Give this a try
remove iTunes from your computer
Remove the Apple MObile device driver
Restart your computer
Reinstall iTunes (You won't lose any content)
Reboot your iPad by holding down the shift and home keys, past when you see the red power down slider and until you see the silver apple.
Plug your iPad into your computer - directly, don't use any hubs or extenders. See if they'll start talking to each other. If it's going to work, within seconds of you plugging your iPad in, your computer should start installing the driver on its own.
This gives both machines a fresh start and may clear away any glitches getting between them talking to each other.
Thanks for the info. I tried this but still seem to be stuck on step 3 of 6 in the sync process. I ran a diagnostic and it confirms I have an Internet connection but I can not get a secure connection to the iTunes Store. The IT guy at my work thinks it may be related to my having Mcafee on my machine. Thank you for the response though.