Microsoft’s support for Windows Vista ended yesterday. This is by design: Microsoft provides at least 10 years of support for its operating systems, split into two distinct types. Mainstream Support ended on April 10, 2012, and now Extended Support is ended on April 11, 2017. Windows Vista hit general availability on January 30, 2007. Microsoft thus supported arguably its most hated product for just over its minimum 10 years.
About Windows Vista
The release of Windows Vista came more than five years after the introduction of its predecessor, Windows XP, the longest time span between successive releases of Microsoft Windows desktop operating systems. It was succeeded by Windows 7, which was released worldwide for retail on 22 October 2009.
Mainstream Support includes free incident support, warranty claims, fixes for non-security as well as security bugs, plus design changes and feature requests. Extended Support consists solely of security updates. In other words, Windows Vista is dead in Microsoft’s eyes.
If you continue to use Vista, your computer will still work but it will become more vulnerable to security risks and malware. Software and hardware manufacturers will be even less likely to make products that work with the operating system, opting to focus on more recent versions of Windows.
It’s also worth noting that Microsoft has stopped providing Microsoft Security Essentials for download on Windows Vista. If you already have it installed, you’ll continue to receive antimalware signature updates for “a limited time” but again, your computer is already compromised regardless of what security suite you use since the operating system is no longer being updated.
In short, you better not be using Windows Vista anymore. You have multiple successors to choose from, including Windows 7 and Windows 8, but Microsoft naturally recommends moving to Windows 10.
Be prepared for the demise of Windows 7
Microsoft has also announced that the extended support of the Windows 7 operating system would be terminated in 4 years. Although the mainstream support ended in January 2015, an extension of 5 years, which provides security and technical supports to users was given. Unfortunately, that will also end soon.
Windows made it clear that the extension support protects users of Windows 7 OS from malicious attacks, hackers, viruses or any form of internet spyware, that could corrupt their systems. However, when the extension support is terminated, users of Windows 7 risk exposure to harmful malware , which could wreak damage on the OS and sabotage its performance. Therefore, it is advisable that Windows 7 users upgrade their OS before its death on January 14, 2020.
If you’re still using Windows Vista — and thankfully less than 1 percent of the world is — it’s really time to move on.