Your choices are as follows:
1. you can keep using windows 8, but after that date it won't be getting any more updates (no security updates and no other updates either) and if you ever contact microsoft about it they won't offer any support, your system will get more insecure with time because new vulnerabilities will be dscovered but none will ever be patched.
2. you can upgrade to windows 8.1, windows 8.1 isn't too diferent from 8.0, any programs that ran on 8.0 should run on 8.1, settings should mostly be the same, you should be able to upgrade and still have all your files and progtams intact and running after the upgrade (but you should back everything, personal files and installer exe files for your programs, up before upgrading) windows 8.1 gets support and security updates for years to come. if you do this you will get some unwanted updates installed during the upgrade process, you will have to uninstall these after upgrading, thy include such horros as KB3035583. Aslo you should disconnect the computer from the internet as soon as it has downloaded the informstion necessary to upgrade itself, if it remains connected during upgrade it might try and force you to have an ms account if you are connected. You need to make sure your hardware is windows 8.1 compatible befoe beginning and must ave a system image about just incase, after upgrade, if all goes well, you must immediately make a new system image, because the ones from befoe the upgrade might no longer work if you ever need them.
3. you can upgrade to windows 8.1, then "upgrade" again to windows 10, judging by the number of issues with windows 10 (and un-proven yet also un-disproven rumours regarding it) you probably don't want to do this.
4. you can switch to a linux OS, this might be trciky, but it's certainly betetr than going to windows 10 and you might find you prefer linux to windows. You can try out linux use live versions, or versions instaleld to an EXTERNAL drive to give you a chance to make up your mind.
Edited by rp88, 25 August 2015 - 10:42 AM.
Back on this site, for a while anyway, been so busy the last year.
My systems:2 laptops, intel i3 processors, windows 8.1 installed on the hard-drive and linux mint 17.3 MATE installed to USB