Actually Win7’s search functionality is astronomically better than XP. Win7 uses indexing to make searching faster. You just click the Start button and start typing in the “Search programs and files” line, et voila! It’s the exact same search functionality as XP but better results.
As far as Win8, I’m calling BS on this article. People DLed Win7 beta because they despised Vista. Most people I know now are very happy and comfortable with Win7. Win7 will be the next XP.
If you’re still on XP, I would suggest that you either disconnect yourself from the Internet or upgrade to a Linux distro. Linux has options for look and feel like XP, and it’s enormously more secure than XP. XP is going to start getting buggier and less secure since Micro$oft isn’t supporting it anymore. Eventually you won’t get updates, and thus security exploits will become more prevalent. Just my $0.02.
I tried Win8 and hated it. I’ve switched my laptops to Linux and when I’ve figured it out I’ll change my main desktop over, too.