All the hype these days seems to focus around the Windows XP end of life date of April 8, 2014. XP has been a very good operating system and has been around for 13 years. In the technology world, that is very impressive. The end of life date has already been extended once so it is doubtfull Microsoft would do it again. Especially since they have since released Windows 7 and 8 which both appear to be pretty solid in terms of performance and reliability.
So, what does this really mean for businesses as well as home users?
For businesses, especially those under any sort of regulations, you must be running a newer version of Windows by the April 2014 date or you will be out of compliance and could face fines and penalties. Aside from the cost to upgrade, there certainly could be issues with older programs and drivers. This is always a risk. If you are unable to run critical business programs on a newer version of windows, there are ways to remain compliant, with firewalls, virtualization, etc but it can get complicated.
For home users, you need to upgrade as well. The hackers are holding back any new exploits (ways to get past windows security) until after the April deadline so when they do attack, the end users will have no way to repair it.