Ok, so as many people will know I am still a happy bunny using Windows XP on my laptop - there are countless reasons for this, mainly the fact it was probably the best operating system to be released from Microsoft's lair. However with XP's support soon to be running out, I think I may have to either stick with XP forever and just find a few "underground" places for future patches (or the so-called Windows XP SP4*) or get slightly with the times and upgrade.
Now, the usual route would be XP -> Vista -> 7 -> 8, however I cannot stand Vista (it was a mistake of an operating system... it was basically Windows 7, but released far too early just to keep Windows' lifecycle ticking along). Vista's bulky, slow, crap and don't even get me started on the UAC problems with it (UAC - User Account Control ... them annoying boxes that pop up asking "Are you sure?" *click yes* "Are you really sure?"), so I thought maybe switching to Windows 7 would be wise as I've seen Windows 8 in action and I don't think I'd be comfortable with that lousy "Metro" design, so Windows 7 it'll have to be. Plus another reason that falls in the "getting away from Windows XP" category is the fact that the Speech Recognition engine in Vista upwards is much better.
Microsoft do offer a tool, Windows 7 Upgrade Advisor, that allows you to check the compatibility of your current computer/laptop and see if Windows 7 can/will run on it. Looking over the minimum requirements, my laptop (albeit an old one) would work perfectly, though for some reason Microsoft's piece of naff won't give me any results and just keeps flinging this error ("Windows 7 Upgrade Advisor ran into an unexpected error. Please reinstall Windows 7 Upgrade Advisor and try again.") back at me.
I have reinstalled it four times now and still no help, so what I may have to do on a rainy afternoon this week (that's if we're due any rain) is to find an empty laptop harddrive, hook it up to my laptop and install Windows 7 to see if it works fine. If so, then I suppose I'll have to get used to using it if I want to keep with the times. Though, in all fairness, I believe I will still be happy to continue using Windows XP. My main computer is still running on either Windows 98 or Windows 2000 (*NOT* Windows ME) and everything works a right charm on there. Hardly anything running in the background, ah it's great, even with its 256MB of RAM (yes, only 256MB) it beats my laptop (2GB of RAM) on boot up speeds.
Another option, I suppose, would just be to save some pennies and buy a brand new tower AND laptop instead of constantly harvesting old pieces and reusing them for more modern stuff.
* - Microsoft have/will never release a "real" Service Pack 4 for Windows XP, it's more a term being given to Service Pack 3 (but also bundled with all the upto date patches aswell, instead of having to download hundreds and hundreds of individual patches after Service Pack 3 has been installed).