My 2 cents
First, I'm not a IT guy - I'm just a Windows user since the days of DOS. I couldn't program a VCR - so I needed an OS that just WORKED for my home PC. Been through the wringer with MS: 95 - good, 98 - meh, 2000 - balls, XP - liked it as much as 95, vista - balls for different reason. XP remembered where the window was placed for every program, and reopened them in the same place. Vista, W7 - windows forgets window placement - EVERY - SINGLE - TIME. I have to rearrange my windows every time. Spent many hours trying to get Vista to remember window placement - before I found out that MS sees it as a feature instead of a bug. I'd still be using XP if I didn't need the extra memory and CPU cycles to play the latest and greatest games.
After an MS update, I discovered that my Search functionality in the folder view had stopped working. The Search function off the Start menu worked, but not in folder view. It took me two weeks of trial, error, giving up, coming back, more trial and error before I chanced on the problem, and managed to correct it (something had cleared some of the file types in MS's deservedly maligned "search indexing"). I don't have the luxury of an IT department - just me, and my mini-frig full of beer.
So I figure, what's to stop MS from a final MS "Update" for Win XP, containing instructions to disable key functionalities of XP (and if they're smart, disable them after a set time period, so the malfunction will not be easily linked with the MS update). This would force XP users to update, whether they wanted to or not. And no, when you deal with MS, this is not paranoia - it's a very real possibility. I would turn off MS updates NOW, just to be on the safe side.
As for WIN 8 - eh - let's just say that touch screen OS's and fried chicken don't go together well. MS should man up, grow a pair, and admit that Win 8 isn't the greatest idea they ever had. Now, licensing Win XP support for a fee - that is a good idea. Requiring users change to incompatible OS's every few years - bad idea. That's my 2 cents. And beer because, well, because I'm a Windows user. Gotta have something to dull the pain.