Windows Vista Mainstream Support Ends Today

Martin Brinkmann
Apr 10, 2012
Updated • Jul 12, 2018
Windows, Windows Vista

Microsoft offers support for three client based Windows operating systems currently: Windows XP, which was first released in 2001 by the company is in the extended support phase which will end on April 8, 2014. Windows Vista, which entered the extended support phase today on April 10, 2012, and Windows 7, which is still in its mainstream support phase.

Today's deadline covers all 32-bit and 64-bit versions of Windows Vista, including Vista Home Premium, Business and Ultimate.  The extended support phase extends the operating system's life cycle to April 11, 2017 after which support for the OS will end completely.

Vista Extended Support

Microsoft initially had plans to provide extended support for Vista Home Premium, Vista Business and Vista Enterprise only, and not for other product editions. The company in February 2012 decided to provide extended support for all Vista versions.

The extended support phase limits the support that Microsoft provides for the operating system. Microsoft will still create and distribute security patches for all versions of  Windows Vista during that phase, while hotfixes, non-security related updates or patches are subject to a fee from that time on.

windows vista support

Service Packs do not extend the mainstream or extended support phase beyond the dates.

The beginning of the extended support phase furthermore means that Microsoft will no longer accept warranty claims, or design changes and feature requests.

Companies that track the market share of operating system list Windows Vista's market share between 8%-9%. The fact that both Windows XP, the operating system's predecessor, and Windows 7, the system's successor, are listed at around 40% each highlight the poor reception and acceptance that Vista received.

Closing Words

Windows Vista users have several options on how to cope with the new situation. They can sit tight and hold on to the operating system for the next five years, as Microsoft continues to provide security patches for the operating system in that time.

Vista Home Premium, Business and Ultimate users can alternatively upgrade to Windows 7, or wait until Microsoft releases its new operating system Windows 8 at the end of the year. The upgrade decision should boil down to the "liking" of Windows 8's new Metro user interface, as both operating systems have similar hardware requirements.

Windows 7  will enter the extended support phase on January 13, 2015, and end of support on January 14, 2020. That's only three years after support for Vista ends.

Windows Vista Mainstream Support Ends Today
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Windows Vista Mainstream Support Ends Today
Microsoft's Windows Vista operating system switched from mainstream support to extended support on April 10, 2012.
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  1. chris said on February 26, 2013 at 9:34 pm

    there’s nothing wrong with vista the users don’t know how to use there pc is all

  2. Markus said on April 12, 2012 at 12:56 pm

    Also, it’s the “support date” for MS to come clean and apologize for ever releasing vista.

    1. Dean said on April 12, 2012 at 3:37 pm

      I’ve been running Vista for a few years now… and I can honestly say I’ve had one problem (Which was probably my fault) with it.

      Can anyone enlighten me as to what the problem with it is?

  3. Dean said on April 11, 2012 at 8:10 pm


  4. Dean said on April 10, 2012 at 5:11 pm

    I’m just going to do what I’ve always done – wait until I replace my PC.

    There is no way I’m going to shell out £££s for 7 or 8.

    1. Martin Brinkmann said on April 10, 2012 at 5:42 pm

      Nothing wrong with that, even though you still pay for the operating system when you buy a PC that ships with one :)

      1. Dean said on April 11, 2012 at 5:03 pm

        You know what… I’ve never really stopped and given that a thought.

        I don’t know what my aversion is to paying for a “retail” version of an OS… It’s just something I’ve never done and for some reason it’s stuck with me.

        I wonder what the price of 7 will drop to when 8 comes out….

      2. Martin Brinkmann said on April 11, 2012 at 5:20 pm

        It will drop, but not by much I’d guess.

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