Windows Vista mainstream support ends Tuesday

If you own a PC and still have Windows Vista installed, you may want to upgrade ASAP. As previously announced, Microsoft will end its mainstream support for Windows Vista on Tuesday, April 10th. This deadline covers all of the SKUs for Vista, including the Starter, Home Basic, Home Premium, Enterprise, Business and Ultimate, along with all the 64-bit versions of those ports.

Ending its mainstream support means that Microsoft will no longer offer any free support for Vista users after Tuesday. The OS will still get extended support until April 11th, 2017, where Microsoft will continue to release security patches for free. However, any other updates and customer service support will be subject to a fee after Tuesday.

Any hotfixes for Windows Vista that are not considered to be security patches must be handled via an extended hotfix agreement. Microsoft will let Vista users pay for that agreement up to 90 days after mainstream support ends.

Launched in January 2007, Windows Vista is considered to be one of the most poorly reviewed Windows versions that Microsoft has ever released, thanks in part to a number of post-release bugs as well as a lack of drivers from a number of PC hardware makers at launch. Net Applications claims that Vista was installed on just 7.64 percent of all PCs in March 2012, just over five years after its release.

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20 Comments

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Josh the Nerd said,
As usual, the final service pack was delivered about the same time the successor was released.

There is nothing "usual" about it as the final service pack for previous releases wasn't delivered when its successor was released. Imagine the poor soul (if anyone) stuck with Vista til 2017 - will have to install 8 years of patches using Vista's super-slow patch installation system.

xpclient said,

There is nothing "usual" about it as the final service pack for previous releases wasn't delivered when its successor was released. Imagine the poor soul (if anyone) stuck with Vista til 2017 - will have to install 8 years of patches using Vista's super-slow patch installation system.

Service Packs increment the support lifecycle of the product. I assume Microsoft does not want to do that since it probably would push Vista's support cycle for another 2 to 3 years. Considering that support will officially end in 2017, by 2014 Microsoft will have 4 versions of Windows in support phases (XP, Vista, 7 and 8).

For Vista users though, I think Microsoft should at least provide a Roll Up Pack. They did this for Windows 2000 I believe.

Mr. Dee said,
Service Packs increment the support lifecycle of the product. I assume Microsoft does not want to do that since it probably would push Vista's support cycle for another 2 to 3 years. Considering that support will officially end in 2017, by 2014 Microsoft will have 4 versions of Windows in support phases (XP, Vista, 7 and 8).

In the 9x/NT days, Microsoft has had more than 4 Windows versions in support phases. Service packs have nothing do with support. The last service pack is usually produced around or slightly before the end of mainstream support. Assuming Microsoft did not injustice to Vista users, SP2 should have been released for Windows 7 in Feb this year as the last service pack, or probably around Windows 8 RTM and then no service packs for W7 till 2020 (8 years from now) - exactly as Vista situation is right now. So admit it or not, Microsoft screwed Vista users. And note that Windows Server 2008 also needs its 2nd service pack.

xpclient said,

There is nothing "usual" about it as the final service pack for previous releases wasn't delivered when its successor was released. Imagine the poor soul (if anyone) stuck with Vista til 2017 - will have to install 8 years of patches using Vista's super-slow patch installation system.

Glad you mentioned that super slow patch installation issue. Thought I was the only one who thought that sucked to high heaven, which is my main reason for despising Vista, other than the fact it was/is a total POS anyway!!

I wouldn't give a rats a** if they TOTALLY stopped supporting it yesterday!!

cork1958 said,

Glad you mentioned that super slow patch installation issue. Thought I was the only one who thought that sucked to high heaven, which is my main reason for despising Vista, other than the fact it was/is a total POS anyway!!

I wouldn't give a rats a** if they TOTALLY stopped supporting it yesterday!!

Windows 7's patch installation isn't terribly fast either but it's faster than Vista's but a ton slower than XP's.

xpclient said,
A final SP3 would have been nice for Vista customers but Microsoft doesn't care about them at all.

Nah, they only extended support for 5 years and keep providing updates. But indeed, they just don't care at all because they're not releasing a pointless service pack.

xpclient said,

There is nothing "usual" about it as the final service pack for previous releases wasn't delivered when its successor was released. Imagine the poor soul (if anyone) stuck with Vista til 2017 - will have to install 8 years of patches using Vista's super-slow patch installation system.

NT 3.1 SP3 - two months after NT 3.5
NT 3.5 SP3 - four months after NT 3.51
NT 3.51 SP5 - two months after NT 4.0
NT 4.0 SP6a - month before 2000
2000 SP4 - three months after Server 2003
Vista/2008 SP2 - three months before 7/2008R2.

XP and Server 2003 are the exceptions, and 2003 didn't get an SP after 2008 either.

If its working great for you, I don't see why you should be forced to upgrade. Of course, Windows 7 is a nice upgrade that performs really well, especially after nearly 3 years running it. Windows Vista's problems were more perception and opportunistic media and competitors such as Apple. The problem that plagued Vista disappeared nearly around Summer of 2007. Initial Vista systems were poorly configured. Come on, 512 MBs of RAM, Sempron processor? That is what Companies like Dell and Toshiba were pushing out as far back as March 2008 with Windows Vista knowing well the memory management features of Vista worked differently from Windows XP. In contrast, I remember using a few systems at an institution I was studying. These laptops had Windows Vista Home Premium 32 bit installed. 1 GB of RAM, Intel Pentium M CPU's and I was really amazed at how efficient these systems were to use considering that they were not tricked out with the fastest CPU and lots of memory.

I believe if Microsoft had those at launch it would be a different set of reviews 5 years ago. Anyway, its all in the past. I just hope history is not gonna repeat with Windows 8, since a lot of changes are intentional.

FalseAgent said,
Without Vista, we wouldn't have Windows 7. Hipsters gonna hate.

Thanks for been the guinea pig. I appreciate your sacrifice.

FalseAgent said,
Without Vista, we wouldn't have Windows 7. Hipsters gonna hate.

Vista was really just a shoddy beta version of Windows 7. It was rushed out before it was ready.

Aside from users who don't know, people must be pretty crazy to stay Windows Vista without SP; SP1 made a big turn and SP2 improved it tenfold.