All good things must come to an end, and here we are with the closure of a chapter in many computer users’ lives -- one that is far less painful and emotional compared to the end of Windows XP. I am referring to the official end of support provided for Windows Vista by Microsoft. Just what does end of support for Windows Vista mean?
Basically, when the Gregorian calendar arrived at April 11, 2017, Windows Vista customers will no longer be on the receiving end of new security updates. Neither are they going to pick up non-security hotfixes, free or paid assisted support options, as well as online technical content updates from Microsoft. Over the past decade, Microsoft has provided all of the above mentioned, but they are moving on now with their hardware and software partners. After all, maintaining support for legacy systems can be an expensive affair, especially when the number of Windows Vista users continue to dwindle as more and more people go through hardware upgrades that include a jump to newer software -- such as Windows 10, for example.
I still love my Windows Vista! What happens next?
Should you decide not to make the jump from Windows Vista to other newer operating system versions (such as Windows 8 or Windows 10), then be prepared to face the following consequences.
Your Windows Vista-powered machine will continue to run, but over the course of time, there is a very high possibility of it being exposed to additional security risks and viruses for the simple fact that there are no more patches or updates from Microsoft to stop malicious exploits and code. Internet Explorer 9 will also lose its support, hence any Internet connected machine that relies on Internet Explorer 9 while surfing the Internet would see exposure to extra threats. It is also most likely that more apps and devices will no longer be compatible with Windows Vista in due time.
In addition, Microsoft has ceased from offering downloads of Microsoft Security Essentials on Windows Vista. Those with Microsoft Security Essentials installed will be able to receive antimalware signature updates for a limited time only, but the effectiveness is limited since the newest security updates will be missing.
Am I even running Windows Vista?
Just to make sure that you are on the same page with us, how about finding out just which particular version of Windows your machine is running?
Click the Start Start button icon button, followed by typing winver in the search box. Double-click winver in the results listed, and the About Windows dialog box will open. That is how you know what version of Windows is powering your current machine.
What do I do if my machine still runs on Windows Vista?
Easy peasy. Just make the jump to the latest version of Windows, which is Windows 10. You can either upgrade your existing PC by purchasing a full version of Windows 10, but ensure that it has the processing muscle to handle this new version. Otherwise, the best way would be to purchase a new computer with Windows 10 running on it already.