So about two weeks ago a message was sent to my laptop from Windows informing me that they will no longer will be supporting Window Xp, the OS I use for my laptop. They have been supporting Xp for twelve yrs which I know in OS yrs is forever. My question is what OS system should I upgrade too?
From the Microsoft portfolio, I'd say give Win 7 a try since you can easily apply a windows classic theme so it will look and feel like an XP machine using a classic theme. I'm not find of Win 8.x and I'm not thrilled about what I've seen so far for her 10.
If you are interested in venturing outside of MS, i'd say give Linux a try, Ubuntu is a good choice.
Id say that if you have a good machine, since you are familiar with windows, try Win 7, then install VurtualBox and give Linux a try as a guest VM and learn something new. The advantage of the VMs are that you can move the files from machine to machine and once you are done testing, just delete the files. No need to worry about reformatting your hard drive, partitions, mutli-booting, etc...
I would presume that your laptop is fairly old, right? Like from the time that XP still came pre-installed on new computers. If that's the case, I'm not too optimistic about getting a newer version of Windows (which would be Windows 7, as the others suck) to work smoothly on an older computer.
I would also highly recommend that you go for a distribution of Linux. Ubuntu is probably the first / default choice. If it happens to be slow, you can try a light-weight version, like Lubuntu (which I use on an old laptop, and it works great). KDE-based distributions (like Kubuntu) are also a very good choice (it's what I use), especially if you want something that feels familiar compared to Windows. However, KDE tends to be a bit heavier and might get sluggish on an old computer.
And don't fear making the move, modern Linux distros are very user-friendly (but be warned that you might expect one or two small snags when installing it... maybe, get your friend to help you, or we can help too).
Since April 08, 2014, Microsoft has ended their support to Windows XP. Im also a fan of Windows XP, but the technology is upgrading, so we must upgrade to, our skills and also, our computer too. Even the internet browser have a system requirements.
Ubuntu or Windows 7 is a good choice. But I recommend that you buy a new one. You will never be disappointed.I know that your Laptop has a sentimental value for you, but you must accept the reality the we must upgrade.