Mainstream support for Windows Vista ends in mid-April 2012

“Mainstream” support for Windows Vista will die in mid-April 2012.

What does this mean for you?

Microsoft follows [with minor exceptions] a policy of theirs that any Windows version as well as Office applications are given 5 years of full support and 5 years of extended support.

Full support means that within the 5 years from the official retail release, service packs, non-security updates, and feature add-ons will be available in addition to security updates. Non-security updates would generally include fixes, corrections, and enhancements. Feature add-ons would include updated versions of Internet Explorer, Windows Live Essentials, Microsoft Security Essentials, etc. Information and updated support will be available from Microsoft’s web site in addition to telephone support availability [usually for a fee].

As an example, Internet Explorer 10 is in development but probably will not be available for Windows Vista as it will only be released after mid-April 2012.

After the first 5 years and up to 10 years (i.e. extended support), there will be primarily just security updates and the rare non-security update. While Microsoft’s web site will have all the support information for the first 5 years intact, there will be less after. Telephone support will still exist, but you will have to pay for it. Towards the last year or so of extended support, less and less third-party software as well as device driver support will be available.

As an example, a printer company may not supply any software for a new printer that goes on the market at the end of 2016.

What should I do?

Well, it will still be business as usual after mid-April 2012. Windows Vista will still function for 5 years. Security updates and some non-security updates will still be available. The software that you use (from Microsoft or others) will continue to function.

You will obviously have the option to purchase an upgrade to Windows 7 (as well as Windows 8 somewhere in late 2012 or the next version of Windows after that somewhere maybe in late 2015).

If you purchased your system prior to Windows 7 with the free upgrade to Windows 7, you can take advantage of that option as well.

There is no rush on this. Still another [roughly] 63 months.


About ebraiter
computer guy

2 Responses to Mainstream support for Windows Vista ends in mid-April 2012

  1. ebraiter says:

    If you didn’t by your system with the free Windows 7 upgrade option [you had to buy the system right before Windows 7 came out to get this option], you can also upgrade to Windows 7 but you have to pay. Assuming you have the Home Premium or Home Basic edition of Vista, you can upgrade for about $130 CDN. If you have more than one computer [or you know that you have one or two friends who are also running Vista or Windows XP] you can purchase a three computer upgrade pack for roughly $200 CDN. There are some issues when upgrading but it’s too lengthy to mention here.

  2. The end of mainstream support assumes that you have the latest service pack. In Vista’s case, that’s SP2. Mainstream support for Vista with only SP1 actually ended last year…

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