This news has come out a few days ago, I am surprised it has not been reported here.
So Microsoft will make a free edition of Windows 8.1 bundled with Bing that any users (XP, Vista or 7) will be able to upgrade to for free.
There is no confirmation as yet but all the information seems to suggest it' very real. Very surprising and the new management of Microsoft is indeed full of surprise (or desperate?)
The news right here: http://www.extremetech.com/computing...e-market-share
So it seems that Linux will probably not be the first and obvious choice for XP users, as this free edition will probably be fairly lighweight and basic which various hardware might actually be able to support.
Alas! still, Linux is freedom and remains a very good option, if not the best, for these users.