Windows 8 is great.As long as you continue to use it as if it were Windows 7 (Start 8 helps a lot, as does 8GadgetPack).Gavin, your cat needs to move forward and be less negative. My cat has adapted and prospered with Windows 8. Is the poor thing getting up in years? Geriatric cats can become so retentive as a curmudgeon. Pay more attention to the poor thing. Let it know you won't abandon it. It could be happy with Windows 8 too, just like Mikey.And note that Windows XP won't be supported any longer by Microsoft.I'm sorry. I have to stop posting. Mikey is purring too loud and is so distracting.
Windows 8.1 ... That said, be it known that your old software from Windows XP won't work. Yep, you only thought you saved that stuff on a disk - only to find out that it won't install on your new machine ... Well, it kinda will, but it won't work. You will have to uninstall and reinstall after each use. Of course, that's just for stuff you actually want to use, the rest doesn't matter, right...right? That will teach you to buy software that is compatible with Windows 8.1 next time, won't it? But, when you do, make sure they're compatible with Windows 9 and 10 or you may have trouble with them 5 or 6 years from now.Remember all that stuff saved on your old plastic encased floppy disks? That's gone, right? Yep...things change - you'll get used to it, in time, in time for the next version to come out and mess you up all over again.
Windows XP is ancient history. It is no longer supported, but that doesn't mean you need to migrate to Windows 8. Most techies skip certain versions. Anybody remember Windows Vista? Similarly, the techies I speak with are taking a pass on Windows 8. They're sticking with Windows 7 until something better comes along. The same goes for most businesses. At least one major employer in our area is dealing with the phase-out of Windows XP by migrating their thousands of computers to Windows 7. This stuff is all about market acceptance. The market accepts Windows 7. Windows 8? Not so much. Most users plan to stick with Windows 7 and wait and see what happens next.
You can get there from here, but it takes a few steps:1) Migrate XP to Windows 7 -- most of it will migrate;2) Migrate from Windows 7 to Windows 8.1;3) Get Start8;4) For the software that you used but won't work any more, either use such open products as LibreOffice or go with the major software vendors (Microsoft, Adobe, etc);5) Get the best anti malware you can, such as Kaperski (I don't use it, but it's about the best), MalwareBytes, Webroot Secure, BitDefender;6) Get good backup software and back everything up -- with the capability of reinstalling the operating system should you lose the computer and not just a hard drive;7) Document all your licenses so that if you crash, you can reinstall you products without having to buy them all over again.Forget going from Windows to Linux unless you have geek talent.It may be well to upgrade to new PC hardware. There are benefits to the latest Intel processors and for sure having USB3 ports.If you can, it is best to replace your hard drive with an SSD.You might also consider other options depending upon your situation, for example, you may go to a Mac, use a smart phone or a tablet instead. These are not for everyone, but it may serve your purposes better.
Yes, you could do all that. OR, you could just stick with Windows 7. It'll be around a long long time. And in a few years Windows 9 will address all the shortcomings of Windows 8. Just sayin'.