I had XP for a while on my machine, then decided to stay with it until something BETTER then Vista came out. When Windows 7 came out, I upgraded my computer to it, and I have NOT been sorry - I like the Professional/Ultimate versions of the OS because they can allow me to remotely communicate with machines in my office and I can communicate with others where I work. Microsoft does make the decision of when support will end, and as older OS's age, they are less likely to receive updates. XP was a great system, and it does a good job for those who want a stable OS - ME was a terrible
OS because it had so many bugs that it should not have been released - I had a machine with ME on it, and went to XP as soon as it was available - What MS fails to see is that if an OS does have problems, they should be working on them, rather then to listen to shareholders that want a new OS released to compete with Apple.
This is what happend with Vista - The Beta testers were telling Microsoft NOT to release Vista because of the number of bugs and problems that were being reported to them, but the shareholders won that battle - Vista was Slow and clunky, and a firiend of mine showed me an event log once, that had 60+ CRASHES in like 10-15 minutes time - I was shocked - that is UNACCEPTABLE for any OS!
When I got my first laptop, I talked to my boss about it, and wanted to update my laptop's Vista OS to Win7 Pro 64 Bit - Did that is minutes, and have been happy with Win7's proformance.
As far as Windows 8 - I am not a fan of the Metro Experience from what I have seen - I like having a Start Orb/button, and I also like the fact that Win7 is not based on Windows Touch Screen/Phone technology - I want to be able to use a keyboard to enter information. If voice technology gets better, maybe I would go for a change to it, but touch screen keyboards do not seem to work well for me yet. Maybe if I continue to work with my SIII, it will change my thinking, but for now, I stay with what works for me - Windows 7
By all means, I recommend abandoning Windows XP for the reasons stated within the discussion - Windows 7 is stable and can serve you well