Windows XP is old, outdated, insecure in comparison to modern day operating systems, and frankly it's a relic from the millennium which has gone well past its sell-by date.
It's the sour, emulsifying yogurt of the technology world, basically.
Sure, three-quarters of all PCs still run Windows XP, but coupled with the fact that the average age of a PC is nearly five years old, I'm surprised these machines aren't still run by mice running on a wheel on the inside.
I hate to side up to Microsoft's messages here but on a selfish point, it's no longer what it's cracked up to be. While Windows XP has been given another reprieve until 2015, Windows 7 SP1 has been recently released giving those in the enterprise the reliability and security they didn't feel they could get from the initial release.
Internet Explorer 9 might push the balance as Adrian Kingsley-Hughes points out, seeing as the next-generation web browser won't be made available for XP users. Even though IE still holds the majority market-share, there's no reason why say Firefox users could jump ship and move to the latest Ubuntu edition?
But these arguments are superficial frankly. I doubt you could find one person to give a single, good reason to convince every single XP user to upgrade to a newer alternative. If such a golden key answer was indeed possible, surely every operating system manufacturer would have used it long ago.
In a nutshell, XP is not "Generation Y" anymore. It hasn't been for a long time. If you're still desperate to use it - and why, I would love to know - you can still have it in Windows 7 as well as run it on Linux with WINE.
But, even though Windows XP Mode may well give you the application compatibility, it pretty much leaves the door open for suicide bombers by simply being there in the first place.
This coming semester when, or if, you buy yourself a new laptop - you'll be saddled with Windows 7 no doubt. Unless you're going for a netbook, then keep with the times and make the leap. Even then, there's no reason not to jump aboard the Linux train.
At least it's not like the latest iPhone which has been stuffed up from the start; XP was good while it lasted but it's time to pull the plug and ditch it for the latest and greatest.