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Support officially ends on 14th April 2014, but M$ will still be supporting it - if you pay! http://www.computerw...tors_picks=true Advice: XP users should give Ubuntu Linux a try. It's not a flavour of Linux I use personally but it's the one where you will get most help. And, if you recoil at C> (in Windows), it's surely the best way to go. If you don't want to fully commit just yet you can boot it from a USB stick, or even from inside your existing Windows installation whilst using the existing Windows file system. If you are buying a new machine then make sure you at least look at Chromebooks. They are incredibly good value and far easier to maintain than any Windows machine. They also have a very low cost of ownership. You are unlikely to see them feature in computer shops so don't be sold by a slick salesman on commission! It seems the latest commission driven up-sell is Symantec/Norton Anti-virus, which you shouldn't even take for free!