You're probably aware that Microsoft is now discontinued support for the XP operating system on the 8th of April 2014. Although XP is long the tooth it has been a solid and reliable platform and is still has thousands of users including some very large corporate users. So where are we now and should we upgrade or can we stick with XP? Well with all things this is a complicated question and although you probably do not need to rush into changing your operating system is certainly need to be considering it within the next 12 months. There's the issue that Microsoft will no longer provide patches to any security breaches it finds Microsoft has stopped support for its antivirus software 'Essentials' although many other antivirus software vendors will still provide support certainly in the medium term.
If I have to upgrade what? My personal preference is to move to Windows 7 it's a solid and stable platform and well supported but if you're a single user you may find it difficult to obtain. It's interesting to see the large computer vendor's which supply SMB to large corporate have a large range of computers that can be readily downgraded to the Windows 7 pro. This can only be because most IT professionals do not want to roll out Windows 8.1 across their network so why can't the individual user make the same choice!
If you do not have a choice and have to move to Windows 8.1 then I would recommend that you install 'Classic Shell'. This is an open-source software project which basically turns Windows 8.1 into a Windows 7 or even Windows XP looking computer and manages to make 8.1 workable. In fact, with classic Shell, it can be hard to tell the difference.
So what's wrong with Windows 8.1 well it stable, it works and it's well supported but its interface just does not work on a desktop computer it will be fine on the mobile phone or tablet but the interface, in my opinion, is just useless in an office. No doubt the time will come when we all have touch screens in our office but until that time it's not worth the bother.
You will find that the FHC hydraulic calculation software will work across Windows XP, Vista, Windows 7 and Windows 8.1 so you need not worry when choosing your operating system. You can be assured that Canute will keep developing hydraulic calculation software to work with Microsoft operating systems for many years to come.