Heads up, Windows Vista users; the ageing operating system has less than 30 days before Microsoft's support for it gets permanently discontinued.
By April 11, 2017, Microsoft will pull the plug on its support for the nine-year-old OS. After this date, the Redmond giant will no longer provide security patches or hotfixes, and support options will not be available to its users. Mainstream support for Windows Vista already ended back in April 10, 2012, but its extended support for the OS' second service pack is still valid until the following month.
Much like Windows XP's end of support, Microsoft warns that continuing to use Windows Vista could make a PC vulnerable to security risks and viruses. As the company notes, Internet Explorer 9 on Vista has long been discontinued, and surfing the web using the browser could expose the computer to even more threats. "As more software and hardware manufacturers continue to optimize for more recent versions of Windows, you can expect to encounter more apps and devices that do not work with Windows Vista," Microsoft writes.
Those running Microsoft Security Essentials will continue to get signature updates, albeit for a limited time only. Microsoft notes that MSE will only have limited effectiveness on PCs that do not have the latest security updates. "This means that PCs running Windows Vista will not be secure and will still be at risk for virus and malware," Microsoft explained.
Windows Vista was introduced back in 2007, as the successor to Windows XP. Although it introduced many modern features, the OS was heavily panned due to its hardware demands, as well as restrictive security features like the User Account Control (UAC), among other criticisms.
Moving forward, Microsoft recommends upgrading to Windows 10 in order to stay protected. You can purchase a copy of the latest OS, or opt to buy a new PC if your current one is not compatible with Windows 10.
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