Windows XP is no longer supported - Meaning Windows XP security vulnerabilities will NEVER be patched!
You do not need to buy new hardware or buy a Windows upgrade to continue using your computer.
A currently supported (free) version of Linux can give that old computer a whole new life.
Not all versions of Linux will work on older computers but there are lots of versions that are specificely designed to work on computers with older hardware. The beginners tutorials on this website are designed to work on Windows XP computers - If you have a computer that was upgraded to Windows XP from Windows ME or something else, the versions of Linux demonstrated in these tutorials may or may not work, but (as long as all the hardware is still functioning properaly) there are versions of Linux that will work on that computer.
You are encouraged to make a system backup of your computer or at least create file backups of any important files on your computer before installing any version of Linux. Even if you are going to install Linux and keep your current Windows operating system, it is still possible for an unexpected issue to cause you to loose all data on that hard drive. If you have your data properly backed up, you can always return to the point of your backup.
Is Linux really Free?
Yes, most distributions of Linux can be download and used for free.
Nobody gives something for nothing, how is this possible?
For the most part, the people supporting the distributions work on a value for value basis, meaning they accept donations from their users, the more users they get, the more donations they get. Also, because everything is open sourced, that means everyone that has internet access can view the code. Hobbiest view the code and can make suggestions for changes and updates - they can complile the code on their own computer with their changes, but any changes submitted, will have to be approved by the software owner, before being accepted into an official release of that software.
Other frequenly asked questions will be answered in the Linux tutorial series "Going from Windows XP to Linux"