Win XP is fine, just do it yourself
I ahve never used Windows Update ... This article is full of ridiculous scare tactics. I don't use update on my WIN 8 rigs as well. THe update service just clags up your OS, especially when you play around with drivers.
for XP I use three great programs:
1) Security Task Manager (non XP process evaluation package - includes "ratings" and great descriptions of the process
2) FILESECLAB Firewall (the XP firewall is enabled as well) when set-up properly GIBSON RESEARCH give the security a complete 100% passing grade - better than what you get with WIN 8.1's firewall
3) AVG ANtivirus free
I have let hacker friends try and get into my network through my XP machines, using email attachments, ping attacjks, and all the other specious modes - Never had a chance 100% protection.
It depends on YOU the user to do it right, I would never trust my system security to the MS softheads.