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PSA: Mainstream Support for Windows Vista Ends Today

By - Source: ZDNet | B 41 comments

Just five more years of Vista left.

If you're still using Windows Vista on your PC, you might like to know that today is the last day of Mainstream Support for the operating system. Released in 2006 as a follow-on to Microsoft's hugely successful Windows XP, Vista never achieved the blockbuster status of its predecessor. Today, the operating system inched a little closer to obsolescence as Mainstream Support for the software ended.

Now, if you're still running Vista, there's no need to panic. Just because Mainstream Support has ended, that doesn't mean you'll no longer receive support of any kind from Redmond. Mary Jo Foley reports that though today marks the day of free and regular updates, including both security fixes and other patches for Vista, the OS is now into what's called Extended Support. Extended Support offers free security updates while most other updates are available for a fee.

Mainstream support for Windows XP ended in 2009. The OS has been in Extended Support since then and will remain supported until April 2014. Windows Vista users will enjoy Extended Support until April of 2017.

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Top Comments
  • 28 Hide
    killerclick , April 10, 2012 6:24 PM
    I hope Windows 7 supports lasts until Steve Ballmer gets ousted, Microsoft dumps their Metro fixation and realizes that PCs are not mobile phones.
  • 21 Hide
    scythe944 , April 10, 2012 6:23 PM
    willardAbout time. I'm sure the sooner people forget Vista happened, the happier Microsoft will be.



    I'm not sure man, Win 8 might leave the same bad taste, unless the entire world moves over to tablets pretty soon.
  • 13 Hide
    bystander , April 10, 2012 6:54 PM
    foscooterVista, like ME, was just......UGH!Windows 98SE and XP were good, but I must admit, 7 is great.Except for no native e-mail client, like Outlook Express and whatever Vista had, Windows Mail?

    Vista was a lot better than ME. There was nothing redeeming about ME, but you can see Win 7 is a success, and it's basically Vista with some minor tweaks. The biggest difference was when Win 7 was released the computers that were available at release were good enough for the OS.

    Vista was just too much for the average computer, but the hardware caught up by the time Win 7 released.

    I do believe Win 8 will suffer at the desktop, while loved on the mobile phone and tablet market. Not that it will suck, but I believe Microsoft releases OS's twice as fast as the public wants them.
Other Comments
  • 5 Hide
    willard , April 10, 2012 6:15 PM
    About time. I'm sure the sooner people forget Vista happened, the happier Microsoft will be.
  • 21 Hide
    scythe944 , April 10, 2012 6:23 PM
    willardAbout time. I'm sure the sooner people forget Vista happened, the happier Microsoft will be.



    I'm not sure man, Win 8 might leave the same bad taste, unless the entire world moves over to tablets pretty soon.
  • 28 Hide
    killerclick , April 10, 2012 6:24 PM
    I hope Windows 7 supports lasts until Steve Ballmer gets ousted, Microsoft dumps their Metro fixation and realizes that PCs are not mobile phones.
  • -4 Hide
    foscooter , April 10, 2012 6:31 PM
    Vista, like ME, was just......UGH!

    Windows 98SE and XP were good, but I must admit, 7 is great.

    Except for no native e-mail client, like Outlook Express and whatever Vista had, Windows Mail?
  • -4 Hide
    Anonymous , April 10, 2012 6:36 PM
    Everyone who complaiend about vista and ME were either early adopters expecting all of their applications to just work (which has absolutely NOTHING to do with Microsoft, go bitch at your vendors) or plain knob heads.

    I ran windows ME for 8 years with absolutely NO problems. I also ran Vista for a solid 3-4 Years and I was running 64-bit starting from the beta age. Sure there were application compatibility issue and hiccups but that IS TO BE EXPECTED when you are adaopting a new OS that is not fully supported. Windows XP was the exact same and I didnt touch that OS until 10 years after it came out and I still hated it.
  • 6 Hide
    dormantreign , April 10, 2012 6:38 PM
    I can smell disaster for windows 8. I hated vista as well but love 7. I don't think many people are going to install 8 on their desktop. You have a few people who dual boot, and some other people who just go out and buy a new PC with it on not knowing any better but its going to flop. I think id rather switch to OSX, nah...i think ill just keep 7.
  • 4 Hide
    jackbling , April 10, 2012 6:39 PM
    scythe944I'm not sure man, Win 8 might leave the same bad taste, unless the entire world moves over to tablets pretty soon.


    using windows8 on a touchscreen is fairly fluid, if your goal is a visually appealing interface; personally ill take function over form.

    instant search alone has giving back countless hours of my life since vista(i work in IT and am on a PC ~16hours a day.)
  • 1 Hide
    jacobdrj , April 10, 2012 6:48 PM
    foscooterVista, like ME, was just......UGH!Windows 98SE and XP were good, but I must admit, 7 is great.Except for no native e-mail client, like Outlook Express and whatever Vista had, Windows Mail?

    There is native mail in Windows 7.
  • 13 Hide
    bystander , April 10, 2012 6:54 PM
    foscooterVista, like ME, was just......UGH!Windows 98SE and XP were good, but I must admit, 7 is great.Except for no native e-mail client, like Outlook Express and whatever Vista had, Windows Mail?

    Vista was a lot better than ME. There was nothing redeeming about ME, but you can see Win 7 is a success, and it's basically Vista with some minor tweaks. The biggest difference was when Win 7 was released the computers that were available at release were good enough for the OS.

    Vista was just too much for the average computer, but the hardware caught up by the time Win 7 released.

    I do believe Win 8 will suffer at the desktop, while loved on the mobile phone and tablet market. Not that it will suck, but I believe Microsoft releases OS's twice as fast as the public wants them.
  • 9 Hide
    11796pcs , April 10, 2012 7:12 PM
    I liked Windows Vista and if it hadn't been for the minimum requirement computers released with Vista, the poor press, and the lack of available drivers at launch I believe Vista would have been much more of a success. Everyone complains about Vista but rarely do they actually say what they disliked about it. It looks VERY similar to 7, has the same core drivers, and has generally the same compatibility. If you want something to be mad at MSFT about, complain about 8. Now that's trash. Vista had a couple of problems. 8 is an attack on the fundamentals Microsoft has built for Windows during the last 20 years. I agree that Microsoft releases OSes too fast but Vista was not Microsoft's fault. It was the vendors and the press that made Vista into something bad.
  • -3 Hide
    olaf , April 10, 2012 7:16 PM
    goodbye, good riddance
  • 0 Hide
    drwho1 , April 10, 2012 7:18 PM
    foscooterVista, like ME, was just......UGH!Windows 98SE and XP were good, but I must admit, 7 is great.Except for no native e-mail client, like Outlook Express and whatever Vista had, Windows Mail?



    I use Windows 7 ...
    Still use Outlook Express (renamed windows live mail) but is still the same.
  • 1 Hide
    Mathos , April 10, 2012 7:21 PM
    I was actually an early adopter with XP, and I can tell you when it came out it had major issues. The IRQ steering, that was suppose to solve many of the BSOD issues due to resource conflicts wasn't working properly for example. In the bios on my kt133a board the IRQs were all different, but in Windows it would keep putting my vid card Riva TNT/2 I think and sound card AWE64 on the same IRQ, meaning the computer would hard lock any time You'd play a video game. Ended up having to force IRQ settings for a long time to work around it.

    And there were quite a few differences between Vista and 7, the little bit I'd dabbled with troubleshooting on vista to see what it was like, I could tell a huge difference when 7 came out.

    And Windows ME was a mixed back, either it worked for you or it didn't. It was more or less Win98se with the GDI stripped out to bare minimum. Which was ok, if you did only Windows based programs, or hardware. But, if you used a lot of ISA slot hardware, like say good soundcards of the time, or still played some games that used DOS launchers it was craptastic. Not to mention some printers that used generic dos interface based windows driver, the Okidata inkjet I had at the time, for example.
  • 5 Hide
    Northwestern , April 10, 2012 7:25 PM
    Vista was the first OS I truly understood. I was too young when the 9x line was dominating and didn't find an intrest in computers between 2000/XP. It wasn't until 2007 I started taking an intrest and began to understand Windows starting with Vista and I can honestly say that 95% of the problems I experienced was hardware related, but blamed on Vista.

    Vista was released into a bad time for hardware quality. I noticed many systems had faulty motherboards, chips or overall poor design. This resulted in complains by customers to companies that had horrible support, which just added on top of the disatisfaction. So in the end, the computer illiterate customer would somehow blame it on the OS for either being too slow, crashing or just not working because the devices refuse to work.

    Vista had other problems aside from this which did attribute to it's failure as a consumer product, but it takes more insults and disregard than it deserves.
  • 7 Hide
    kawininjazx , April 10, 2012 8:03 PM
    Microsoft is pushing out operating systems too fast, Vista was ok once it was patched and 7 is great, we should be able to run an OS for 8 years.
  • -4 Hide
    sporkimus , April 10, 2012 8:07 PM
    11796pcsEveryone complains about Vista but rarely do they actually say what they disliked about it.


    The main issue I hate about Vista is Windows Update. Have you ever run it before, especially on a fresh install? It's the most brutal task I've ever seen run on a PC. The last time I ran Windows Update on a fresh Vista install, it took nearly 12 hours on a cable modem connection to download the updates. WU takes FOREVER to scan for new updates. You may as well go take a nap while it determines what it needs.
  • 7 Hide
    maxinexus , April 10, 2012 8:16 PM
    Still running strong on Vista 64 Ultimate. I can not say a single bad word about it. It is hardware challenging but it works great. Windows 7 is basically the same just a lighter version of vista...Windows 8 well what can I say..." no start button no mercy..."
  • 0 Hide
    Vladislaus , April 10, 2012 8:17 PM
    jacobdrjThere is native mail in Windows 7.

    So what is the native mail client of windows 7?
  • 5 Hide
    bystander , April 10, 2012 8:19 PM
    sporkimusThe main issue I hate about Vista is Windows Update. Have you ever run it before, especially on a fresh install? It's the most brutal task I've ever seen run on a PC. The last time I ran Windows Update on a fresh Vista install, it took nearly 12 hours on a cable modem connection to download the updates. WU takes FOREVER to scan for new updates. You may as well go take a nap while it determines what it needs.

    Windows update hasn't changed in Win 7, there just may be fewer updates now due to age.
  • -2 Hide
    tleavit , April 10, 2012 8:29 PM
    My company is still 75% XP and the other 25% in Windows 7. We skipped Vista. I see no reason why M$ stopped with the silly version upgrades at xp and just updated it. In the modern age (2012) there's no reason XP couldn't be updated with everything Win7 has other then to make M$ more money. Its actually pretty silly now.
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