Windows XP support is set to end in April, for general use I can not be bothered to try to keep it supported using some ad hoc method like porting fixes from the things based on XP but still in support (certain versions of windows aimed at more embedded systems like point of sale systems and the like will be being supported for another year or two) and I will certainly not be paying for anything. For reasons unknown I have ended up using multiplatform open source software (between firefox, gimp, libre office, scribus, lyx, thunderbird, putty, audacity and so on all my needs are largely covered, between kdenlive and avxsynth even my video stuff should be sorted). Similarly my machine is not really a games machine any more (it aged out of it) and it looks like improved virtualisation (much like it can speak to my CPU and drives it can speak to my graphics card though it is still a bit beta software unless you are crunching numbers) and the increasingly low specs needed for games will conspire to make a VM an option for windows should games continue to need it (for the few games and sorts of them that I play it is not a certainty). Likewise I fix so many machines nowadays I do not feel the need to customise everything and will quite happily move between systems without much trauma (if select all, cut, copy and paste is not on ctrl and a, x, c and v respectively or at the very least a right click we will have problems though) To that end I have some choices. I am not inclined to install anything of note on bare metal any more so http://www.proxmox.com/proxmox-ve looks like a choice for that. Bonus there is I can pump things through RDP and the like quite easily -- my personal future is anything but cloudy but I do not need to sit at a real machine and can happily play with things within my LAN. Something in the linux/bsd world appeals and the other option is probably windows 7 (I can deal with 8, especially once classic start is installed and the interface formerly known as metro is sidelined at every possible point but why would I really bother). On linux and BSD I am reasonably familiar with everything on http://distrowatch.com/dwres.php?resource=major though as far as desktop stuff goes I tend to install Mint for clients and Debian for myself with occasional dalliances with opensuse and Fedora if I have a half nice "dead" machine cross my path/get given to me for "disposal". CrunchBang I played with in a VM but Debian is about as hard as I like to make my life with desktop machines, it is so lightweight though. If anybody here still has XP or clients on XP what are your plans? For the latter most are hardware stuff (so many car diagnostics and repair programs still want XP) that does not really need internet or can be completely air gapped or practically air gapped. Have I overlooked anything? Is my plan to avoid a bare metal OS a crazy one, especially on a core2 duo with 4 gigs of RAM?