Why step away from the XP? At least it works which is more that I can say about Vista. Win 8.1? Very unattractive and user unfriendly. XP was M.S.'s first truly succesful operating system and might just as well have been their last. Anything that comes after is just an exercise in extorting money out of users pockets. Same for Office apps. Is their latest Office (2013) really better than what came before? Not really. For almost all home users XP and any older Office version is more than good enough.
@CharlieTuba: It's called Windows 7 because it's supposed to be the version number of the operating system (Windows 95/98/NT was version 4, Win XP was version 5, Win Vista was version 6). But if you look closely, the actual version number for Windows 7 is 6.1, which lends credence to the suggestion that Win 7 is meant to be Vista with all the bugs ironed out.