Reminder: Windows Vista support ends this year

Support for Microsoft's Windows Vista operating system will end on April 11, 2017; Microsoft won't publish public security patches anymore for Windows Vista after the Patch Tuesday in April 2017.

Windows Vista is currently in the so-called extended support phase. Microsoft divides the support period of its operating systems into mainstream and extended support phases.

Mainstream support refers to the first five years of product availability. The product may receive new features and updates in that period of time next to security updates.

When a product enters extended support phase after five years, only security updates are provided for it at this point in time. While Microsoft may push out other updates to the operating system, it is not mandatory anymore.

When extended support ends, only paying (Enterprise) customers may get another support extension. It marks the end of support for all Home users.

Reminder: Windows Vista support ends this year

windows vista end of support

Windows Vista's mainstream support ended on April 10, 2012. This is usually not a big issue for users who run Vista on devices considering that security updates are provided for another five years.

Feature updates may be welcome at times, but security updates are more important than that usually.



The end of extended support for Vista puts an end to public security releases for the operating system.

Users who run Windows Vista on devices have to make a decision when that happens:

  1. Stick with Windows Vista even though security updates are not provided anymore. This leaves security vulnerabilities unpatched which may increase the chance of being attacked successfully.
  2. Upgrade to a new version of Windows. Microsoft excluded Windows Vista from the free upgrade offer to Windows 10, and Vista keys are not accepted during the upgrade to Windows 10 (Windows 7 and 8.1 users can upgrade for free still). If the device is capable enough, you could grab a cheap key on eBay or another marketplace and use it instead.
  3. Switch to a different operating system entirely, e.g. a Linux distribution.
Read also:  What we know about the Windows 10 Fall Creators Update

When support for XP ended three years ago, many users decided to keep on using the operating system. It seems likely that part of Vista's smaller user base will make the same decision and keep on using Vista.

Vista has a low market share of around 1% of the market. The operating system never managed to grab a sizeable share of the market. Windows XP, an operating system for which support ended three years ago, has still a market share of 9% just to highlight the difference in popularity.

The next Microsoft operating system to run out of support is Windows 7. This happens in 2020 though, which means that three years of security updates are still happening.

Now You: What is your suggestion for users still running Vista?

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Reminder: Windows Vista support ends this year
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Support for Microsoft's Windows Vista operating system will end on April 11, 2017; Microsoft won't publish public security patches anymore for Windows Vista after the Patch Tuesday in April 2017.
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Ghacks Technology News
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Responses to Reminder: Windows Vista support ends this year

  1. Pierre January 1, 2017 at 10:42 am #

    a friend, who is still running Vista - -which has Never connected to the 'Internet',
    so any EoL - - is a non-event ! !.

  2. Jeff January 1, 2017 at 1:36 pm #

    Seriously Vista looks and behaves so much better than Windows 10. It is polished, it runs fast on modern hardware and doesn't annoy the crap out of you with countless little things. I would pay to get Windows 10 up to the quality of Vista.

    • Jed January 1, 2017 at 1:48 pm #

      You're being serious? Vista was okay but I encountered so many little bugs and annoyances that it drove me insane.

      • Yuliya January 1, 2017 at 3:43 pm #

        My first PC (laptop, precisely) came with Vista. I think it was fine :) Although that PC was capable enough of running Vista at that time, it had a dual core Intel CPU at 2+ GHz and 2 GB of RAM. People were trying (and some companies were advertising it) on PCs with 512 MB of RAM which resulted in a lot of memory swaps to HDD, moment when the machine became unusable for even a minute.

      • Jeff January 1, 2017 at 4:56 pm #

        Yes for me, Vista was only slow and it had a few broken things but nowhere near as many annoyances, issues and disgusting changes as Windows 10. Windows 10 is slow and bloated, has the most pathetic and dumbed down ugly toy UI, and constantly crashes, errors out, resets my stuff to defaults or reboots.

  3. peerer January 1, 2017 at 6:50 pm #

    Windows Vista feels so comfy
    And W8/10 feels so ice cold

  4. RG January 1, 2017 at 10:12 pm #

    Looking at those dates, January 2020 is final date to sell MS shares ;)

  5. Davin Peterson January 2, 2017 at 2:21 am #

    Most people & businesses use Windows 7, so very few use Vista.
    Firefox will support Vista until September 2017
    Windows 7 is better and improves features introduced in Vista

  6. Hoi Kay January 2, 2017 at 2:18 pm #

    I've had Windows Vista since 2008 on a family laptop (when our Windows XP laptop broke), it had a Intel Core 2 Duo running at 1.8Ghz and 4GB Ram. It was my family's only laptop until around late 2014 when we upgraded to Windows 8.1 (and then to Windows 10) on a new laptop. Windows Vista wasn't the best OS at launch, but after SP1 and now SP2 Windows Vista ran quite well on the laptop. I just wished Windows 10 had the Windows Areo theme to choese from...

  7. Ken January 2, 2017 at 11:46 pm #

    Choice #3 for what to do when Vista 'expires' was: "Switch to a different operating system entirely, e.g. a Linux distribution." Funny you should mention Linux; I've contemplated making the move from WinWorld to Linux for a while, but have been too squeemish to do so -- the task looks too daunting (I'm no "power user" but neither am I a newbie). Any suggestions?

    • Cymru Geek January 24, 2017 at 11:16 am #

      Yes, give either Ubuntu 14.04 or Linux Mint a try, download the ISO & burn it to disc. You can "try it out" without even installing it, running "live" from the disc makes ABSOLUTELY NO CHANGES to your hard drive, or current system configuration.

      I've been a very long-term Windows user, I actually started with MS-DOS back in the early 80's and loading Windows 3.1 on top of MS-DOS, but Vista is my last ever Windows system. 7 is crap, 8 is annoying as hell. WTF would anyone WANT to use 10? That's the worst piece of garbage going.

      I will continue to use Vista on my old laptop after the expiration of support, but it won't be connecting to the Net, solely as there is a few pieces of software I frequently use in "WinBlows", and have not found anything compatible I am happy to use instead of, in any Linux distro at the present time.

      I currently run multiple computers, laptops, and devices in different distro's of Linux, there are loads to try out, and best of all, they are FREE, so you won't be out of pocket if you try one and decide that version is not for you.

    • Bill February 4, 2017 at 1:07 pm #

      Switching to Linux is really quite easy, probably easier than jumping from Vista to Windows 7/8/10. Linux Mint might be a good choice as it's reliable and somewhat 'Windows like' in appearance.

    • tim March 4, 2017 at 11:23 pm #

      google and read how to install ubuntu on a windows machine .. backup all your passwords and data to a external drive and then disconnect that drive before you do the install

      2 steps demo run and then install.. for Demo run use linux mint cinnamon the desktop is close enough to vista you will be able to use it. TO install get the latest ubuntu and then install cinnamon meta package and switch to cinnamon desktop. Ubuntu has the biggest user base and less problems. IF you have an older machine there are lightweight "windows like" linux versions

  8. Owl January 3, 2017 at 6:42 am #

    I installed Mint on a laptop that had Vista on it. Vista was running like a dream untill updating became harder and harder, and in the end, impossible. Since putting Mint on it, it runs 4-10 degrees cooler, is as fast as a modern laptop, and internet speed is between 4 and 10 times faster.

    The updating on Vista became arcane, (before impossible), and the fixes were harder than installing Mint. The laptop had to have a utility downloaded, as it did not boot from usb, Plop Boot Manager, (download from author's site). It is a beautiful piece of software, thank you to the author - you must have saved so many older computers!

    Used Unetbootin to put Mint iso on a stick, (tick option to format flash drive on Unetbootin). After installing Plop to the Vista pc, (I shutdown Vista and started up to Plop, selected Usb option in Plop List, with Mint iso on drive plugged in before restart), and just overwrote the Vista install. I would recommend this to people who want to hang on to an older pc. (Installed Rafaela 17.2, used to it, and it is an older laptop). Vista was good, as some have said, after SP 1 and if you had enough RAM. I do wonder how people are coping with updating it now and until its eol, unless you just don't bother with updating - some of the WU fixes seem a whole lot tougher than installing another os!

  9. A41202813GMAIL January 3, 2017 at 7:23 pm #

    From Still A Stubborn XP User:

    If You Are Not A Power User And You Are Comfortable With Your Present OS, Do Not Believe The Hype, And Stay With It Until It Is Impossible To Do So Anymore.

    If It Aint Broke, Do Not Fix It - Period.

    XPOCALYPSE FOREVER !

  10. Ian January 6, 2017 at 6:28 am #

    I have no intention of leaving Windows Vista behind.

  11. pat January 6, 2017 at 9:07 pm #

    totally ridiculous, the fact that perfectly good computers are going to be scrapped and end up in the landfills! something else i can't understand, is why microsoft, for a nominal fee, cannot continue to provide updates past apr11/17. the real question for vista users who do not want to spend money on an upgrade, is whether they can continue to use their computers after the deadline in april, without fear of viruses. according to Norton, the answer is yes, that any attacks would be picked up by a good antivirus, regardless of the fact that ms security patches would no longer be present. microsoft's reply to this question is a lot more ambiguous, and they say that you can continue using vista for "a year or two" after which files will begin to become corrupted. also, i hate the idea of some day moving on to windows 10, as i find vista much better, period!! any comments associated to this would be greatly appreciated.

    • A41202813GMAIL January 8, 2017 at 12:28 am #

      A - I Have A Quick Enough Dual Core Machine,

      B - I Am Still Using XP,

      C - I Visit Shady Sites Every Single Day ( I Use CHROME - I Refuse To Use IE8 ),

      D - Because Of The Hype, Since MAY, I Started An Experiment Of Not Having Any AV Installed, Whatsoever,

      E - I Never Did, And Never Will, Make Financial Transactions OnLine,

      F - So Far So Good.

      XPOCALYPSE FOREVER !

      • John February 8, 2017 at 7:34 pm #

        You have a lot of guts man. Not having an AV installed while frequently visiting shady sites on an old OS. I give you credit!

        In all fairness, though, Windows XP was indeed a great OS. I only had one blue screen during the 13 years that I had it....which was caused by hardware limitations for a game that I was trying to install. My computer at the time was a single processor Dell Dimension Desktop with 1GB of memory. She was slow and noisy, but reliable.

        I now have a Dell XPS 8700 with an i7 processor, 16GB of memory, and Windows 7 Professional. I had the option to install Windows 10, but opted out due to all of the problems with privacy and updates. Since ownership, I have had several random blue screens, but have pegged them down to the "NVIDIA GeForce Experience" bloatware that was pre-installed on my machine when I bought it. Since then, it has been running fine. The noticeable difference in processing speed is nice too.

      • A41202813GMAIL February 9, 2017 at 6:08 am #

        A Dual Core Machine With 4GB Of RAM Is Just Fine.

        I Use A File Manager Called **ZTREE** And, With It, I Quickly Changed Every Single .EXE Filename To A Specific Pattern Of Lowercase And Uppercase, So...

        ...When I Check The Task Manager, It Is Easy To Spot If There Is Any Rogue Program Running...

        ...Of Course, When I Install Software, I Have To Repeat The Process, But, As I Said, It Is Done Quickly...

        ...Also, As I Said, Since MAY, No Problems, Whatsoever.

        XPOCALYPSE FOREVER !

      • ghackuser579 February 17, 2017 at 1:41 am #

        I don't think A41202813GMAIL is the actual user posting these messages, but the guy who controls the bots that have infected his computer.

      • A41202813GMAIL February 17, 2017 at 11:57 pm #

        @ghackuser579

        How Can I Prove You Wrong ?

        Anyway, GOOGLE Is My Friend - Is It Yours, Too ? - If Yes, Do Some Basic Research And Stop Posting Nonsense.

        XPOCALYPSE FOREVER !

    • Ian January 8, 2017 at 12:56 am #

      "they say that you can continue using vista for 'a year or two' after which files will begin to become corrupted."

      Source? Surely that is false. Windows Vista will continue to operate beyond 2017 or even 2019.

      • John February 8, 2017 at 7:36 pm #

        I have to agree with you on that. My Aunt still has her XP computer with a dual core processor and it's fine aside from a failing power supply cord.

  12. Toddster / Ohio St Univ January 17, 2017 at 8:20 pm #

    i am VERY proud to be a one percent VISTA user !! cause its the OTHER 99% of op systems that get all the hack attacks , everyone knows its nothing but a BIG SCAM to upgrade so that gates can make more billions, I for one won't give him the satisfaction,

    Todd
    Ohio St univ

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