Both Windows 7 and 8 provide advantages in terms of support, reliability, performance and improved security as noted below:

This “Crossroads for Windows XP Users: Windows 7 or Windows 8?” white paper is sponsored by Global Knowledge.  It explores the pros and cons of each option – including your options for staying with XP.  The choices are basically to gut it out with XP for some period of time; transition to Windows 7 with the plan of skipping Windows 8; or transition to Windows 8 and wait and see what Windows 10 brings