For those of you who have been clinging to Windows Vista all this time, you have our respect. The same is true of vegetarians. With meatier alternatives out there, we cannot fathom why anyone would want to stick with Vista (or just veggies), but more power to you. However, it might be time to think about a change. As of today, Microsoft has ended any and all support for Vista.
This day was a long time coming. Microsoft had already ended mainstream support for Vista several years—April 10, 2012, to be exact. Now five years later, the extended support period expires as well. What that means is no more security patches or hotfixes for the legacy operating system, which is now three generations behind the times (or four if you want to count Windows 8.1 as its own generational release). Continuing to use Vista after today means you're rolling the dice with a vulnerable OS.
"Microsoft has provided support for Windows Vista for the past 10 years, but the time has come for us, along with our hardware and software partners, to invest our resources towards more recent technologies so that we can continue to deliver great new experiences," Microsoft stated last month.
"If you continue to use Windows Vista after support has ended, your computer will still work but it might become more vulnerable to security risks and viruses. Internet Explorer 9 is no longer supported, so if your Windows Vista PC is connected to the Internet and you use Internet Explorer 9 to surf the web, you might be exposing your PC to additional threats," Microsoft continued.
Microsoft has also stopped providing its Security Essentials for download on Vista. If you're using Vista and already have Security Essentials, Microsoft will continue to dish out signature updates, but only for a limited time. Once those stop coming as well, your OS truly becomes a sitting duck.
Not many people are likely to miss Windows Vista. It was panned from the day it released due to various issues, many of which Microsoft addressed with the first Service Pack. Even then, many users did not feel compelled to upgrade from Windows XP. Fast forward to today and less than 1 percent of desktops around the world are running Vista, according to Net Applications.
Image Source: Flickr (Andy Melton)