Microsoft ends support for Windows Vista as new version launches

Posted Apr 11, 2017 by James Walker
Microsoft has officially ended support for Windows Vista, the dated and never particularly popular Windows version launched a decade ago. While it's saying goodbye to the past, Microsoft is also looking forwards, launching Windows 10's latest update.
Microsoft branch office.
Microsoft branch office.
Elekes Andor
Microsoft has been publishing reminders that Windows Vista's end of support date is impending for several months. At this point, only a handful of users remain on the platform. Unlike Windows XP — which some customers still use today, three years after support ended — Vista doesn't have a loyal following of stalwart supporters. It's saying goodbye quietly, without anyone really noticing or minding.
Windows Vista launched in January 2007, five years after the launch of XP. Vista was meant to introduce a radical rethinking of the core of Windows, involving a dramatic new interface and a revolutionary approach to file storage. The project was cancelled though, causing a two-year delay for Vista where much of the development was rushed towards the end.
When it arrived, Vista quickly gained a name for being far more resource intensive than XP. It lacked support for many hardware devices and its eye-catching "Aero" UI could slow older machines to a crawl. Vista also suffered from early stability issues which didn't do much for its image.
These issues and others led many XP users to skip Vista entirely. When Windows 7 arrived in mid-2009, it immediately gained popularity and appeared to be what Vista should have been. Dependable, widely supported and with the Aero UI polished into a design many now miss, Windows 7 forced Vista into obscurity.
Microsoft ended "mainstream" support for its forgotten and little cared-for OS back in 2012, five years after its release. Today will see extended support removed too, leaving Vista without any future security updates. New vulnerabilities won't be patched and no hotfixes will be available. Continuing to use Vista-based machines will place you at increased risk of attack.
According to the latest Windows usage figures, there's still around 11 million people who use Vista each day. This is despite support for the OS having already been dropped many popular third-party programs, including Google Chrome.
Vista is an example of Microsoft during its low years of failing to respond to customer demands. It developed Vista for computers in the future, in the process alienating its existing users who it expected would also upgrade. When Vista turned out to be a poorly optimised operating system with an often unreliable core, the company learnt a lesson in customer retention.
As the company moves on from Vista this week, it does so to its latest version of Windows. The Windows 10 Creators Update begins rolling out to PCs worldwide from today, including a wide range of new features for media professionals, gamers, web surfers and productivity enthusiasts. It's available for free to all existing Window 10 users, but will take several weeks to reach every device.