M$ Depends on SUCKERS to Upgrade
For over a decade, I have been using Activation-free Windows 2000 on multiple machines, running everything from Time-Capsule-like, exact-system-image continuous backup, to Photoshop CS. I have plenty of QUALITY software, both commercial and free, that is STILL compatible with Windows 2000.
So, as a Windows 2000 user who has hardware drivers and diverse software that continues to be fully functional (and, often, still supported and updated), I have paid particular attention, over the years, to apps that still work great for Windows 2000. For some of them, a new version is subsequently released that breaks this compatibility, but not for any technically necessary reason: The break is due to nothing more than something akin to a default compiler setting imposed by Microsoft, put there to slip by developers silently and later frustrate customers and compel them to upgrade to XP (or later). For example, the build is now referencing some XP-only DLL that is totally irrelevant and unnecessary, and this dooms backward compatibility. The developer may not even realize this break, or, if he does, resign himself to labeling the newly compiled version with the requirement "XP or later" (perhaps, subconsciously buying in to Microsoft's PR fiction that "everyone is on XP, by now.")
My PCs have NEVER had a virus. They can run 98% of what's (truly useful) out there. I have saved TEN$ OF THOUSAND$ by not becoming a sucker for the UPGRADE TREADMILL to minimal-return, minimally "improved," XP-and-later-only versions. (Speaking of the TREADMILL, look at how Adobe will now no longer offer upgrade pricing to those more than one version behind! Go upgrade now, suckers!!!)
XP was nothing more than Windows 2000 warmed over and crapified by Activation.
Vista was bloated, HW-consuming, broken trash. WinFS? That was just PR.
Windows 7, another yawn, is patched Vista, with no upgrade path from 2000 and XP. Go throw out all your apps; buy new software AND hardware; and re-install? Microsoft, pick a finger.
Ugly Windows/Metro 8 is ANOTHER CUMBERSOME DISASTER and WASTE OF TIME AND MONEY.
Keep all your copies of 2000. Same goes for XP. Consider Linux.