Microsoft is counting down until they will stop supporting one of their most successful Operating Systems, Windows XP which they will stop supporting on April 8, 2014 along with Office 2003.
What Microsoft is doing is stopping user and security support for Windows XP which means as of April 8, it will be vulnerable to any new security exploits or 0-day attacks. As one of the most widely distributed Operating Systems, this makes Windows XP a perfect target for hackers.
Microsoft states on their site that “you should take action.” and “should not be considered to be protected, and it is important that you migrate to a current supported operating system”. I guess with the release of Windows 8.1 Microsoft is hoping to get all those users migrated across to their newest Operating System.
You can still use Windows 7 (there will only be security updates, no user support) until 2020. However come April 8, Microsoft will bring back the Start Menu to Windows 8.1 via an update. This was one of the griefs I had when trying out Windows 8.1.
The other option would be to jump ship entirely (I own a Macbook Air) and love it, or you could use Linux or something else. However the one option is clear: You need to upgrade from Windows XP.