Remember: Windows Vista support ends next month - gHacks Tech News

Remember: Windows Vista support ends next month

Microsoft plans to end the extended support for its operating system Windows Vista next month so that no further security updates will be released for the OS.

The client Windows lifecycle sheet on Microsoft's website lists April 11, 2017 as the end of support. Microsoft will release security patches for Windows Vista on that day, and stop support for the operating system afterwards.

Windows Vista mainstream support, support that may add new features, drivers, and support for new technologies to the operating system, ended in 2012 already.

While companies and organizations may pay Microsoft for extending the support deadline, all Home users face a difficult decision at that point in time.

While some may decide to continue running Windows Vista on their machines, it is generally not advised to to so as future security vulnerabilities won't be fixed anymore.

This may not be a problem if the PC is not connected to the Internet at all, or only occasionally. Windows Vista itself has no expiration date. This means that you can run it ten years from now without any issues.

Windows Vista end of support

Windows Vista Desktop

Windows Vista users are limited when it comes to available operating system upgrades. The only option provided is to upgrade to the next operating system in line, Windows 7. This works only if the right Windows 7 version is installed however, meaning that Vista Home users can only upgrade to Windows 7 Home, and Pro or Ultimate users to Pro.

Windows 7 support is guaranteed for another three years before Microsoft ends support for the operating system as well. Users would face the same decision then again, but with better options when it comes to upgrading the operating system to a newer flavor of Windows. Also, upgrades from Windows 7 to Windows 10 are still free right now. While that may change, there is no indicator right now that Microsoft will close the option anytime soon.

Some Vista users might consider switching to Windows 8 or 10 directly instead. Since there is no direct upgrade path available -- the only option is to upgrade first to Windows 7, and then to Windows 8 or 10 -- it is usually better to do a clean install. The only time when you don't want to do a clean install is when you need programs that run on Vista, but are not available anymore for installation on newer versions of Windows.

This is for instance the case if you have installed the program on the Windows Vista machine, but don't have the installer anymore for it.

Please note that some programs may not work under newer versions of Windows. Compatibility is good generally, but some apps or games may refuse to run out of the box, or at all. Also, direct upgrades from 32-bit Windows versions to 64b-bit versions are not possible either. You will have to run a clean install in that case.

Another option that Vista users have is to switch to a Linux distribution. There are Linux Mint and Manjaro  for instance which we have reviewed both before here on Ghacks.

Now You: Are you affected by Microsoft ending support for Windows Vista?

Remember: Windows Vista support ends next month
Article Name
Remember: Windows Vista support ends next month
Microsoft plans to end the extended support for Windows Vista next month so that no further security updates will be released for the OS.
Ghacks Technology News

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    1. Pierre said on March 11, 2017 at 10:39 am

      Some Vista users might consider switching to Windows 8 or 10 directly instead.
      – or to upgrade first to Windows 7 ..
      Why ?.
      – go straight to win-10, – that method does work.

      1. The Flash said on March 11, 2017 at 2:51 pm

        I guess you don’t understand how the windows upgrade system works. Going from Vista to Windows 10 wouldn’t be technically an upgrade, but a fresh install instead. Either way though, Windows Vista SP2 is still a kick ass operating system and it does work better on some systems than Windows 7 SP1.

        1. Jed said on March 11, 2017 at 11:45 pm

          I found I could crash/corrupt Vista easily back when I used to use it, and it was slower than Windows 7 on the same machine. I also found various bugs throughout (and yes this was on SP2). Differing experiences I guess.

        2. Anonymous said on March 12, 2017 at 6:01 pm

          Doesnt do any good when, effective next month, no browsers will support or run Vista.

    2. Henk van Setten said on March 11, 2017 at 1:17 pm

      I happen to know a few people who still use a Vista laptop. My impression is they keep using it because they refuse to fix what in their view still works well enough and serves all their needs, and also because they really don’t want the hassle and costs of migrating all their stuff to another OS or even new hardware. Yet.

      Of course what security risks they will run, depends largely from what online activities they indulge in. In most of these cases, where internet use consists of a few fixed routines (just things like mail and the daily news) the actual risk may be not that great. Which doesn’t mean there are no risks, of course.

      What I usually advise such stubborn conservatives is a combo of two things: (1) install a good real-time virus scanner, even if it slows down your Vista a little more, and keep that scanner up to date; and (2) use an external disk for daily backups of all your important data, and make it a habit to disconnect that disk every time right after backup.

      This way, they may (with some limited risk) continue to sail their leaky old ship until, four or five years from now, it will break down or sink anyway.

      1. Jody Thornton said on May 10, 2017 at 3:57 pm

        Server 2008 RTM updates are confirmed to work with Vista. The two operating systems are based on an identical codebase.

    3. CHEF-KOCH said on March 11, 2017 at 1:56 pm

      wayne? ;p

    4. RG said on March 11, 2017 at 6:17 pm

      Change article title to ‘Anybody Remember Windows Vista?’


    5. Wright Micah said on March 11, 2017 at 6:42 pm

      Wright Micah Final Build 19.5 (spilling corrected & working software) MSFT (Windows Vista)

      I am a windows vista lover, that I’m running on intel hd graphics 4000 drivers and intel hd graphics 4600 that I made on top of that 4000 drivers. also, not supported by intel. good luck finding drivers for it. By the way, I was very Happy that somebody has id knowledge, vista end of support. even thew a lot of people hate it so mach. I trend to confance people to give it a choice but I filed as a customer.

      it is still a greet system that I can run all sorts of software that many company’s clam does not work. adobe reader dc, does work on vista by rerouting a lot of APIs performed. the for an average user who does not understand programming it will not work. windows xp mode that highly advertised for legacy applications. runs on vista with no problems. You must use Hyper-V so windows server 2008 support only as of this time of writing. so, Mach for windows 7 exclusive.

      including Microsoft .net framework 4.6.2 works, that is Microsoft own product. so Mach for last supported sense 4.6. & a lot more. From other companies
      also for steam, Sid Meier’s civilizations VI even batman arkham knight still runs on windows vista however some people has reported kernel panic’s that is because windows vista does not have Kernel-Mode Driver Framework and User-Mode Driver Framework installed on the system.

      why should I upgrade from windows 7 when it will be dropped by Microsoft in 2020? or windows 10 that is an epic nightmare on software compatibility ex: i had problems with Microsoft .net framework 1.0 support even 1.1 under windows 7 has varies errors notable 1011. that I use for business use and old games never updated sense 1996, at the time with windows 10 it refuses to work. If it does it has software issues.

      even java Microsoft vm. I stall use in 2017. that can be installed on windows 7, however starting in internet explorer 10 even worse on 11. it cannot detect it under 64-bit windows, it might on 32-bit windows but it is extremely unstable. so, internet explorer 9, is the last for me. I trend on windows 10 it just refines to install. of some odd reason, Microsoft .net framework 3.5 won’t allow it, to run on windows 8 and above?
      i have been thinking about going to windows server 2008 sp2. I have been doing my testing on it as were speak as it is supported from Microsoft until 2020 instead of 2017 like vista. for someone who wants new games or a very good programming. I highly advised windows vista. If not 2nd best windows 7.

      I am dyslexia so I try my best I catch my wrong words. but spilling & grammar check feels 30% of the time.
      so, I’ll stack with windows vista as long as I can. As long as the game supports windows 7 it will run with windows vista with no problem. However, this might change any time sense windows vista will not get new updates after April 11 of next month.

      thick you From Wright Micah.

    6. Jeff said on March 11, 2017 at 7:32 pm

      Well Vista is better than Windows 10 for sure although with Windows 7 or 8.1 and a Start menu, there is no reason to hang on to Vista.

    7. Rick A. said on March 12, 2017 at 6:23 am

      lol, i still use my Windows XP laptop. it still works good. i have Bitdefender anti-virus and Malwarebytes which both still gets definition updates, Malwarebytes Anti-Exploit and i use Firefox which still gets updated, now on 52.0 ESR. But i’m officially retiring it between very soon and by the end of the year. Then if the laptop still works good i’ll try the newest version of Linux Mint Cinnamon or XFCE and see how it runs on there. And before anyone calls me stupid, i know how to browse and i also have a Windows 7 / 10 laptop.

    8. A41202813GMAIL said on March 12, 2017 at 6:38 am

      Both FF52 Versions Broke Some Of My Extensions – I Will Stick With FF51.0.1.

      I Never Reached VISTA And I Doubt I Will Ever Do.


    9. kalmly said on March 12, 2017 at 4:10 pm

      Using one XP machine and 2 Win7s. The XP runs better than ever since MS stopped messing with it. I’ll be storing up peripherals for the day it gets impossible to find them for the Win7 desktop.

    10. mokey900 said on March 14, 2017 at 10:37 pm

      Vista users should directly upgrade to Windows 10 after the security dead line. Windows 10 is more enhanced in performance, security and speed. Plus windows 10 will be supported until 2025 in terms of security. Now for features only excluding security it will supported until late 2020. The window’s life cycle states here Most software and game companies support windows 10 as their main os other oses don’t get supported as much as windows 10.

    11. said on March 16, 2017 at 12:50 pm

      As much as I bashed Vista back in the day, I didn’t think it could get any worse.

      Well it has. It’s called Windoze 10, the biggest piece of spyware and adware crapola in computing history. Bar none.

      1. Jane said on April 20, 2017 at 10:55 am


    12. Diana said on March 18, 2017 at 3:15 pm

      I have one laptop with Vista on it. I’ve decided that, since it has some broken keys anyway (I use an external keyboard and mouse), I will empty it and get rid of it. But I still have a large HP CPU that runs on Vista that I’d like to keep. It works fine, and my hubby’s favourite computer. It also has ALL my music on it. What I’m not clear about, reading this article and the attached one, is where I buy a licence for Windows 7. Is it best to get it from a reputable retailer? (The only thing I’m worried about was one I saw said it would only work on a completely new install.) I’ve never re-installed a complete operating system. Help!

    13. Ian said on July 16, 2017 at 5:49 pm

      Support for Windows Vista unfortunately ended, but one can still use virtual folders—particularly those based on versions in pre-release builds of Windows Vista—in Windows Vista RTM and in later versions of Windows (e.g., Windows 10).

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