When Microsoft pulls the plug on your 'updates', which for Windows 7 will be 2020 and for 8 is January, and for 8.1 is 2023, what can you do? Surprisingly, your alternatives are many, and do NOT require you quit using the Windows you have. Do what many XP users are doing now:
1. Make sure you have enough RETAIL copies of the Windows OS you like, for only the retail copy
gives you the right to transfer the OS from one machine to the next;
2. Keep using the machine you have, but offline.
3. For online
use, you can buy a cheapie Chromebook, if you want a laptop;
4. Or, use a tablet or smartphone;
5. Or, plug in a Linux stick (click here)
and only learn Linux enough for surfing (takes about an hour).
6. Or, use BSD
as your online operating system, or
7. Use Apple/Mac stuff.
Microsoft has spent decades telling us that we're only safe with them. Well, maybe that was true in the past, but it's not true now. The risk is online
use. Frankly, no OS of any kind any time can guarantee you 100% protection from what you get yourself into when online. But the best protection, even before Windows expires -- is to be using one OS for online use, and a different one offline.
Then, your only issues are:
- email attachments (don't accept attachments from people you don't know)
- downloaded programs (are they trustworthy, what about adware, spamware, ransomware)
- stuff your friends send you (cuz maybe they aren't having problems, but you will).
Here's another thing to remember: businesses will not be migrating to Windows 10 anytime soon. Or, maybe not at all. Most are still on XP, don't believe all the pundit hype that everyone's moved to Windows 7. They've just taken the XP usage offline, or are 'covering' it by using Linux online, like you can do.
The point is, you can wait until 2020 or 2023, and then look around and see what's happening. So at most, learn how to use a Linux stick, for your XP machines, since they have already 'expired', and the Internet Explorer used in them, is no good. Actually, you can even keep using XP if you install Firefox or Chrome, and are careful where you surf.