Microsoft has extended the reitrement date of Windows XP at least once already. Currently anyone can still purchase Windows XP at some retail outlets, so sales is not discontinued yet. Support will continue for some time aftwards, meaning, you can download Windows updates and patches to fix issues with Windows XP. Even after updates are no longer available, it is still possible to get support to fix issues from technicians, however, they will be limited in what they can do without having access to get updated patches. The only solution is a work around or a fresh install of Windows at that point.
My suggestion is try your best to get switched over to the new Windows 7 ASAP. Vista was absolute garbage and Apple dragged Microsoft through the coals over that mistake. But now with Windows 7, Microsoft has really done something amazing. The only issue will be compatibility with hardware and software applications. For the most part, things will work and there are ways to make it compatibile using features like “Run in XP mode”.
Run the Windows 7 upgrade advisor to confirm if your computer can be upgraded, as well as to see if the software running on your computer is going to be ok, and the printers you print to. Even if you’re not planning to upgrade the computer you have, it’s good to run the tool on that computer anyway, just to make sure the software and printers you use will work with that new operating system. Visit the following Microsofts website to download and install the advisor tool. http://www.microsoft.com/Windows/windows-7/get/upgrade-advisor.aspx