Microsoft to end support for Vista SP1 on July 12

Windows Vista had a rough start when it first launched. While there were many reasons for the instability of the platform that were fixed with service pack updates, the platform brand image never recovered.

If you are still one of the few that are using Vista on a daily basis, Microsoft has announced that they will be ending support for Vista SP1 on July 12, 2011, according to TheWindowsClub.com. This is in accordance to the service pack support policy, support for Vista RTM was killed on April 13 2010. TheWindowsClub states:

Windows Vista users must upgrade their Service Pack to continue to be eligible for Mainstream Support on Windows Vista. Once support ends for Windows Vista SP1, users who have not upgraded to a support service pack will not have access to new security updates, non-security hotfixes, or the option to engage Microsoft product development resources.

Customers will need to update their systems to Vista SP2 to ensure that their platform is secure. If a user does not perform the required updates, it will leave their system vulnerable to attacks and exploitation.

While Vista got a bad rap, and Apple made a series of commercials pointing out the flaws of the platform, it did lay the ground work for Windows 7. Without this platform, Windows 7 would not be what it is today. 

Report a problem with article
Previous Story

Windows 8 Milestone 3 builds now being compiled

Next Story

Bing continues to gain, beats out Yahoo again

71 Comments

Commenting is disabled on this article.

Still have a Windows Vista machine running as my HTPC and it runs just fine. I think it's funny that everyone forgets how "bad" Windows XP was when it was new.... nobody wanted to touch it for years after it's release. Having said that, I'm floored when people come into my shop and absolutely refuse to purchase/build a machine with Windows 7, SCREAMING that I put on or find a Vista machine. Oh well.

so... it was a beautiful machine that can only be seen through extreme techs eyes? still seems like a waste to 99.5% of people... at least it was a hit to those .5% enjoy!

....for the instability of the platform that were fixed with service pack updates...

Actually the stability and performance issues were fixed with driver updates, not in the service packs. As network MFRs, sound chipset MFRs, and ESPECIALLY Video MFRs like ATI and NVidia got assistance from Microsoft on properly writing the new WDDM drivers, Vista was fast and solid before SP1 even hit.

Look at gaming benchmarks from Jan 07 to Sept 07 - Vista caught up to XP because of the Video driver changes alone. It was around June/July that Microsoft was able to pull engineers and send them to work with ATi, NVidia and Intel, as the WDDM was new and complex.

Microsoft knew how well the WDDM could and should work, as the XBox 360 is using an early version of the WDDM, which is how it can schedule the GPU, use the GPU for computing, and virtualize RAM between the system and GPU seamlessly for really good game performance.

Apple made a series of commercials pointing out the flaws of the platform

Which is ironic, as the 10.6 release of OS X had the same hardware requirements as Vista. Yet the hardware updates need for Vista, like 1gb of RAM was the basis of Apple's attacks on Vista.

The only real truth is that WinXP users had gotten away with 6 years of running on 128/256/512mb of RAM, where OS X had long moved past these RAM levels already.

The video card upgrades to use Aero was also overblown, as Vista worked just fine with WinXP drivers and WinXP level and older video cards, so a WinXP user wasn't losing anything, they just weren't gaining the features of Aero and the WDDM.

Apple didn't have the video card issues, as OS X has never used the GPU for much beyond simple simple 3D features for a surface and textures, as all all the animations, rendering, and 'effects' on OS X were done through multi-media extension in the CPU. (And sadly still pretty much are, which is why Apple is still OK with giving their users crap Intel GPUs in Macs.)

thenetavenger said,

PS OS X 10.6 did have video card issues, as some of the GPU features added in 10.6, although limited, created problems with older video cards with low amounts of RAM and missing OpenGL features. Mac users with older ATI cards found that some OS applications would not run, crash, or render incorrectly.
(Which was a goof when Time Machine was one of the applications that didn't run.)

-Probably also a good reason Time Machine shouldn't 'need' an application and should have been implemented in Finder as 'Previous Versions' was implemented in Vista's Explorer and common file dialog APIs.

Although to this day, Mac users don't realize they have a poor version of the Vista 'previous versions' and Windows Vista and Windows 7 users dont' realize they have all the features of Time Machine that also adds in versioning and timelines even without ongoing backups.

thenetavenger said,
Which is ironic, as the 10.6 release of OS X had the same hardware requirements as Vista. Yet the hardware updates need for Vista, like 1gb of RAM was the basis of Apple's attacks on Vista.

I would argue that the claim that Mac OS X can run on 1GB by Apple as being unrealistic - absolute minimum even with Leopard was 2GB, back with 10.4 it was minimum 1GB, and even back with 10.3 on an eMac it really did need at least 1GB to do the job as well. As for Lion, I'd say minimum 4GB - I'm sure you can run it on 2GB but I'd suggest 4GB for the sake of not actually having to worry about things slowing down.

Apple didn't have the video card issues, as OS X has never used the GPU for much beyond simple simple 3D features for a surface and textures, as all all the animations, rendering, and 'effects' on OS X were done through multi-media extension in the CPU. (And sadly still pretty much are, which is why Apple is still OK with giving their users crap Intel GPUs in Macs.)

That is incorrect, the animations, rendering and effects were all done using Core Animation which is based upon OpenGL but even then it has its own set of problems. The reality is that Apple had it easy because they control the hardware and software, if they want to trash the whole graphics stack they can do so without having to then turn around and beg third parties to get their act together. In the case of 10.5 the completely rebuilt the graphics stack from the ground up using LLVM as part of the software rendering side and lots more. The two business operate in completely different ways - Microsoft could do things 100x's more radical than Apple but unlike Apple, Microsoft has to work with third parties - they can't just simply wave a magic stick and all will be done.

Mr Nom Nom's said,

That is incorrect, the animations, rendering and effects were all done using Core Animation which is based upon OpenGL but even then it has its own set of problems.

Actually what I said is correct, as Core Animation was only introduced in 10.5, and not everything uses Core Animation still.

(People still think all the OS X animations going back to 10.0 where GPU accelerated, and even today a lot of OS X animations are still done with Quartz crap that is not GPU acclerated.)

Remember the original knuckle dragging of Apple promising Mac developers and users GPU accelerated Quartz 2D/Composer, etc?

Also Apple DID NOT rebuild the graphics stack in 10.5.

Apple used LLVM to provide OpenGL features via software rendering to compensate for the crap GPU cards in Macs that do not support the OpenGL features needed for Core Animation to work.

There is not a new graphics stack, they rebuilt the OpenGL pipleline and added new Core Animation libraries.

This is far from a new graphics stack. In fact so far, that they had to use LLVM just to 'shim' the features into OS X so that the Core Libraries would even run properly.

Remember Core came from the iPhone, as they couldn't use the CPU SSE/multi-media extension on the ARM processors for animations. And this created a reverse problem as the iPhone GPU features supported more OpenGL features than most Macs.

Apple created a new library, and used a kludge to make it work on their existing hardware. This is not a new graphics stack, truly...

^^ those that say vista wasn't crap lose all credibility from any tech guy

here is a good saying for those that liked vista.... if you throw enough money at a problem, you can fix it. So yes, vista could be OK if you through enough power at it, but..... why?

rippleman said,
^^ those that say vista wasn't crap lose all credibility from any tech guy

here is a good saying for those that liked vista.... if you throw enough money at a problem, you can fix it. So yes, vista could be OK if you through enough power at it, but..... why?

Although higher level technical people, engineers, and OS theorists actually understood what Vista was doing, and liked the features that it introduced that still cannot be done on any other OS.

We were also able to look past the poor initial GPU drivers and see the potential that was realized a few months after release, and enjoy the features and stability that were more than a generational leap from WinXP and far beyond what OS X and Linux would EVER be capable of doing.

Sound a bit hyperbolic? Let's see OS X handle GPU thread/process scheduling or Linux offer even a handful of the features in the Network stack of Vista. Heck I would like to see OS X even someday have the audio capabilities of Vista where resampling didn't produce horrid levels of distortion.

We saw Vista as it was, the amazing jump in technology that most common users and technical people don't see, and we also understand how it would shape future versions of Windows, as can be seen in the performance and bullet proof stability Windows 7 offers.

Windows 7 is just the begining as the technology added in Vista is capable of things that will be used more by consumers over the next few years that hardware will need and Windows is already able to provide. (Things OS X, Linux, OpenBSD simply cannot do without major rewrites and OS model changes.)

Suren said,
those who say vista is crap, have no rights to be a IT Professorial.

what i meant to type is Professional not Professorial. (typo)

Suren said,
what i meant to type is Professional not Professorial. (typo)

Wasn't particularly professional of you not proof reading your post before posting it.

Vista was actually decent on modern hardware, but most people who were blindly running out to have the latest where complaining that it wouldn't work on their 10 year old systems

rippleman said,
i was happier when i finally decided to upgrade from Vista to windows xp

I can't count the number of computers I did that to!!

Vista was dog crap from day one!!

Does seem like this was rather quick, ending support, to me also.

wait until Google comes out with its hologram base computer, where you be able to grab your file in mid air and place it in a folder of your choosing, able to open programs/apps with just a touch of a finger... It will be voice command also... imagine you can select who ever voice....and then i wake up.... Vista sp1 rip...

If Vista's launch wasn't a travesty, we'd probably have longer support. XP is still supported after all this time because people love it (~50% enterprise marketshare(?)).

Educated Idiot said,
If Vista's launch wasn't a travesty, we'd probably have longer support. XP is still supported after all this time because people love it (~50% enterprise marketshare(?)).
Vista SP2 is still supported. XP SP3 came out in May 2008 - this less than 3 years ago.

Educated Idiot said,
If Vista's launch wasn't a travesty, we'd probably have longer support. XP is still supported after all this time because people love it (~50% enterprise marketshare(?)).
So the reason Windows 1.01 was fully supported by Microsoft until December 31, 2006 was because people just loved using it, right?

Educated Idiot said,
If Vista's launch wasn't a travesty, we'd probably have longer support. XP is still supported after all this time because people love it (~50% enterprise marketshare(?)).

wrong.

XP support cycle is unusual , because of the delays that vista launch suffered

Interesting. Most of the complaints I remember from the Vista days were 'oh, I need to buy a new system now!, it runs pretty slow on my 2001 PC'. Which is sort of like saying Crysis sucked because it warranted a hardware upgrade. Anyway, actually I think of 7 as a refined Vista, rather than a big brother OS. By the way, what instabilities? I haven't had instabilities since the Win 95/98/ME days?

Breach said,
Interesting. Most of the complaints I remember from the Vista days were 'oh, I need to buy a new system now!, it runs pretty slow on my 2001 PC'. Which is sort of like saying Crysis sucked because it warranted a hardware upgrade. Anyway, actually I think of 7 as a refined Vista, rather than a big brother OS. By the way, what instabilities? I haven't had instabilities since the Win 95/98/ME days?

vista first year (2007) to the first 6month was plagued by horrible video drivers which crush so often and at time BSOD

speaking of nevdia forceware 100.x driver it was only untail forceware 150/160's that thing got solid

Yeah, Vista was cool and everything, until you use Windows 7. I never realized how annoying UAC was in it until I used Windows 7 for a year. Going back to the half a dozen prompts to create a folder make me want to punch a bunny.

"Without this platform, Windows 7 would not be what it is today." -- And that's a shame, because some pitfalls of vista can still be encountered in 7. lol

Master1 said,

does SP2 support end next year ?

to be exact mainsteam support end next year (so no support at all for starter , basic,home ,ultimate edition)

in 2017 extended support would end (professional, enterprise edtion)

James Riske said,
Microsoft should just give legitimate Vista purchasers a free copy of 7 as a form of apology.
What a highly original tro--... comment. It didn't happen, and it won't happen. Let's just move on.

James Riske said,
Microsoft should just give legitimate Vista purchasers a free copy of 7 as a form of apology.

Aww, its ok, hes coming from the land of Jobs and Co' where service packs cost money

Vista isn't that bad of an OS, it just has an image problem. On the flip side, Win 7 has a good image, and I use it extensively on all my computers, but it probably doesn't deserve all the hype it gets. IMHO it is the same old Windows under the hood with a few things I like added on (WMC, etc).

jb347 said,
Vista isn't that bad of an OS, it just has an image problem. On the flip side, Win 7 has a good image, and I use it extensively on all my computers, but it probably doesn't deserve all the hype it gets. IMHO it is the same old Windows under the hood with a few things I like added on (WMC, etc).

^ This. Windows 7 will probably delayed if not for Windows Vista. I personally used Windows Vista throughout the period of 1 and a half year and it was awesome.

jb347 said,
Vista isn't that bad of an OS, it just has an image problem. On the flip side, Win 7 has a good image, and I use it extensively on all my computers, but it probably doesn't deserve all the hype it gets. IMHO it is the same old Windows under the hood with a few things I like added on (WMC, etc).

Agreed. it just has this bad publicity image to it. but it was actually a solid OS but then again i believe when i first started using it, it was at SP1 level which i suspect by that time most of the big kinks have been worked out.

but either way Vista is much better than it gets credit for overall. and i think Windows 7, even though solid, IS overhyped but because everyone hyped it it got wide spread use because of it.

p.s. at least Vista don't have the Thumbnail Cache random deletion issue that Win7 has which is annoying and still not fixed people say with SP1 as it looks like ill have to use my temp fix, which just adjusts permissions so Win7 can't delete stuff in certain folders etc, as a permanent fix as i doubt Microsoft will ever fix it and i am not the only one with that issue.

jb347 said,
Vista isn't that bad of an OS, it just has an image problem. On the flip side, Win 7 has a good image, and I use it extensively on all my computers, but it probably doesn't deserve all the hype it gets. IMHO it is the same old Windows under the hood with a few things I like added on (WMC, etc).

I also agree. Vista worked fine for me.

jb347 said,
Vista isn't that bad of an OS, it just has an image problem. On the flip side, Win 7 has a good image, and I use it extensively on all my computers, but it probably doesn't deserve all the hype it gets. IMHO it is the same old Windows under the hood with a few things I like added on (WMC, etc).

+1 to that

been using Vista 64bit for over two years now.. works perfectly fine

jb347 said,
Vista isn't that bad of an OS, it just has an image problem. On the flip side, Win 7 has a good image, and I use it extensively on all my computers, but it probably doesn't deserve all the hype it gets. IMHO it is the same old Windows under the hood with a few things I like added on (WMC, etc).

There was more to Windows 7 than just 'a few things added' - go over to Channel 9 on MSDN and look up the changes they made at the kernel level to improve scalability, stability and security then come back to repeat the same comment with a straight face.

dave164 said,
That was faster then normal, no?

Had Vista not had the debacle, I think Vista would be supported for much longer. But since Apple, had to blast it into oblivion...

I'll still run it, I still need it to play a few old games 7 x64 won't run.

dave164 said,
That was faster then normal, no?

Vista SP2 is still supported.
However, there is no extended support for Home/Ultimate versions of Vista/7. Only the Professional and Enterprise versions have it.

Frylock86 said,

Had Vista not had the debacle, I think Vista would be supported for much longer. But since Apple, had to blast it into oblivion...

I'll still run it, I still need it to play a few old games 7 x64 won't run.

There shouldn't be any difference in running anything between Windows 7 64bit and Windows Vista 64bit....

dave164 said,
That was faster then normal, no?

not really no, if i remember correctly by then vista sp1 is three years old and sp2 two years old. So cutting support from sp1 now is a very normal timeframe

Frylock86 said,

Had Vista not had the debacle, I think Vista would be supported for much longer. But since Apple, had to blast it into oblivion...

I'll still run it, I still need it to play a few old games 7 x64 won't run.

Apple was riding the media bandwagon that blasted it into oblivion. But it was largely the media who decided that Vista was utter crap. And I think that was mostly due to a very unsuccessful public beta. The RTM of Vista was actually quite decent IMHO.

xendrome said,

There shouldn't be any difference in running anything between Windows 7 64bit and Windows Vista 64bit....


My Vista install is x86

Shadrack said,

Apple was riding the media bandwagon that blasted it into oblivion. But it was largely the media who decided that Vista was utter crap. And I think that was mostly due to a very unsuccessful public beta. The RTM of Vista was actually quite decent IMHO.


True, but I often think because Apple was very vocal about it, that many picked it up from those frakkin commercials.

Shadrack said,

Apple was riding the media bandwagon that blasted it into oblivion. But it was largely the media who decided that Vista was utter crap. And I think that was mostly due to a very unsuccessful public beta. The RTM of Vista was actually quite decent IMHO.

RTM vista had loads of probems, from poor memory usage, stammering video when used with network, wireless problems. It was only when SP1 was introduced that Vista become workable.

REM2000 said,

RTM vista had loads of probems, from poor memory usage, stammering video when used with network, wireless problems. It was only when SP1 was introduced that Vista become workable.

Did you experience any of it?
My Vista machine was always connected to the network and videos never lagged. The memory usage was rather good and it was more responsible than XP when low on memory. I know this firsthand since I have to deal with XP at work. Opening Firefox freezes my dual-core machine with 2Gb RAM for 20-30 minutes.

Frylock86 said,

My Vista install is x86


True, but I often think because Apple was very vocal about it, that many picked it up from those frakkin commercials.

Once Leopard itself got delayed twice, they seemed to be a bit more quiet about Vista.

dave164 said,
That was faster then normal, no?

Vista, whether some people here want to admit it or not, was an Epic Failure, so yes, it is time to throw it in the trash for good and forget it ever existed.