Why should someone upgrade Windows to the latest operating system like Vista or Windows 7? How long will the XP operating system be viable?
The article "The Future of XP" is Microsoft's statement on the subject. The short answer is they will support XP at least until 2014. This is probably three years longer than the computer you have now will be running - unless you turn it into a answering machine, print server or boat anchor.
If you purchased a computer with a "Vista Capable" sticker, consider this: Being "capable" of doing something doesn't mean that you should. The minimum hardware configuration for a PC to run Windows Vista is 2 to 3 GB of operating memory (RAM), a Dual-Core Processor and at least a 160 GB hard drive. A Pentium 4 with a 1GB of RAM and an 80 GB hard drive may get it done, but it won't be as fun or as fast.
Upgrading to a new operating system like Vista can mean buying new software applications, hardware and even a new computer. If you are interested in upgrading to Vista in particular, make sure you understand what is involved and why you are upgrading. Ask yourself "What will Vista allow me to do, that XP will not"? Your answer should help you decide the right course of action. Note: If you plan on buying a new computer anyway, it will come with Vista already installed - or you opt to buy another PC with XP.
Most likely, unless you just have to have the latest Windows operating system, there is no hurry to upgrade. Also, there are many advantages to being a “Late Adopter” – sanity for one, compatibility for another.