Sidestepping your ignorance or deliberate deception on periods of typical Linux support contracts
He didn't say if he was stating lengths from release or length of overlap (to me the latter is the more important figure)
Who cares if support goes out 10 years
It's 10 years (5 mainstream, 5 extended) minimum from release, 7 years (2 mainstream, five extended) minimum overlap between releases and 2 years (all extended) minimum overlap if you skip a release. IIRC XP will have exceeded all of those.
if you can't buy a new hard drive that will work with the OS?
These "advanced format" drives will work fine with XP, they just require a little extra effort (either using a third party paritioning tool, fitting an extra jumper to change the sector mapping or using the WD tool to realign the partitions after setup) if you want maximum performance. Besides I can still by PATA drives so I doubt these drives will be the only ones on the market any time soon.
Similarly if I go to almost any major vendor I can still get computers and computer parts that are supported with XP, some of the consumer crap isn't but virtually every buisness machine and seperately sold peice of hardware i've seen lists XP as supported.
It's articles and comments like this that give me difficulty discerning what exactly Microsoft "support" entails.
For most of us the most important part of the support is continuation of security updates (though they have occasionally refused to release one that they really should have released by claiming that it's not nessacery in a default environment), I would be very uncomfortable running exposed systems (and I coun't any machine used to browse the web as exposed) on an OS that was no longer getting security updates.
There is also problem support and non-security hotfixes (free if created while in mainstream support, pay for if created during extended support) but for most of us these are fairly irrelevant.
As I alluded to above though what really matters is support from third party vendors, I can still buy the latest hardware and run XP on it with no problems, just try doing that with a comparable aged linux distro (e.g. debian woody).