Even if you don't visit the website, you may still get a pop-up notification, depending on how your computer's configured to check for Windows updates.
Q. If XP will still run, why do I need to upgrade?
A. A big reason is security. Hackers know Microsoft will no longer fix security flaws, so evil-doers have extra incentive to look for them. In addition, if a flaw is found for Windows 7 or 8, there's a good chance a similar issue exists for XP as well. So when the fixes come out for Windows 7 or 8, hackers can go back to XP to look for an opening.
Hackers have become more sophisticated, and lately they have been breaking into computers for financial gain rather than just pride. So the risk is greater than when Microsoft retired past systems such as Windows 95 and 98.
There are also performance issues. If you buy a new printer or scanner, it might not work on XP. Same goes for new software, particularly if it needs faster processors and more memory beyond what was standard in XP's heyday. XP also lacks features that are common with newer operating systems, including energy-saving measures for laptops.
Q. What are my options for upgrading?
A. You can upgrade to Windows 7 or 8 by buying a disc. You will need to back up your files and have discs for any programs you may have installed, as upgrading requires completely wiping your hard drive and starting from scratch. Microsoft sells Windows 8 as an upgrade for $120; be sure to buy the DVD version and not the download. Retail sales of Windows 7 have ended, though you might be able to find leftover copies for sale online.
That said, it's probably not worth the upgrade. Your XP computer is several years old and might not even meet the system requirements to upgrade. Use this tool to check: http://bit.ly/KkZERx .