It is not a question of safety but one of a dead end OS. Like Win9x in 90's dead ended when Win 2000 and XP came out with new program support, those that clung to 9x fell behind. XP supported old 16 bit windows apps and sloppy 32 bit apps but that stopped with Vista. Now Win 8x supports old Win 32 apps and next generation apps coming on line. 7 does not like old 95/98 did not support modern apps. Word is next generation Office will not run on 7 or older OS because it will use new standard supported in 8 and beyond.
See you think it is all about security but it is about ham stringing yourself and missing out on changing apps and technology. You will be stuck 2012 or so apps/technology and locked out of new apps coming on line since 2012. Win 8 will run old your old apps and new and your just cutting off nose to spite face.... Come 2020 you will be so far behind curve it will be silly but you showed them you could sit on 7.
The only thing Win 8 offers that 7 does not, is touch screen interfacing in a nice way. Don't need that on my Ham Laptop. There is NO version of MS Office out today, that I am aware of nor listed on MS web site, that will run on Win 8 that won't run on Win 7. Office (including 365) runs on Windows, Mac OSX, iPhone, iPad etc. Win 8 is not required, it's a choice of many. What version is it you refer to that runs only on Win 8? For now, for my Ham Radio laptop, Win 7 is working fine. Theres nothing I need that is available on Win 8 and not on Win 7. The laptop I use for my radio machine, has a Wacom digitizer screen that I have been unable to find a Win 8 driver for. So until I find one, it makes zero sense to move to Win 8 and lose functionality of the touch screen/stylus. It's a early tablet PC from several years ago but it's got a quad core processor and 8GB of RAM so it makes a great ham radio laptop running Win 7 for now. So it sometimes make sense to NOT be on the latest and greatest.
Now for work . . . I am on my company's IT Beta testing program. I get PC Operating systems as an early adopter before the rest of the company to test and make sure company apps and web sites work. I have been using Win 8 and 8.1 for over a year. I like it, it works, I am converting co-workers over to it as well.
My personal machine? It's a Mac running the newest version of OSX available for general release.
It's about the total situation, security included. Besides, like I have said before. It's NOT about the operating system, it's about the applications! So play with Windows 8 and I'll be getting work done with an operating system that works for my situation. You don't choose the OS then find apps . . . the right way is to find the apps you need, then choose the OS that will run them.