April 8, 2014 is the official Microsoft End of Life date for what has been a very good Operating System (OS)Windows XP <bugle playing Taps>. Windows XP was launched on August 21, 2001 and after 12 years it will be unsupported by Microsoft and many others. This means official support will end and it would be a good idea to consider upgrading, if you have not already, or at least just knowing of this XP retirement so you can plan accordingly. Announcement from Microsoft: http://windows.microsoft.com/en-us/windows/end-support-help
Most current software from Autodesk as well as most other software vendors has already been, or will be discontinuing official support for Windows XP as it is extremely difficult to program software to work on current OS and APIs and shoehorn in fixes or hack ways for new software and features to run on OS that did not have certain APIs and features. The support of older OS for software is a real cost of resources for software companies and the further they must support back the less they can implement new features. The other HUGE consideration is thee OS security updates that will be stopping. As much as I loved Windows XP, it is no longer being updated or has the same amount of security built in for todays computer security threats and vulnerabilities.
Windows 7 is a great OS choice and the OS I use on my Windows PCs currently. If you can adapt to changes or your computer manufacturer only supplies the very latest release of Windows OS then Windows 8 and better yet Windows 8.1 may be your best option to enter the modern day of Windows OS. You can also look around at other OS flavors like Apple OSX, Linux, or Chrome OS and see if they meet your needs and the hardware and software you use.
Will the world end and your computer running Windows XP stop on April 8th, 2014, no but it will be much more difficult. In any case not upgrading your OS is tempting fate with all official updates, software support, and hardware and drivers making your computing life very difficult. It is every important you have the hardware and software current for what you so. I cant tell you how many times I get an email asking why a person cannot run their 1996 software on their year 2013 hardware or their 1996 hardware run their 2013 software. Both hardware and software need upgrading when you make the decision, not just one.
"The only thing constant in life is change"