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The company announced it would end support for the operating system today, and force users to switch to a newer version or be vulnerable to viruses. The OS will no longer receive security updates, non-security hotfixes, free or paid assisted support options, or online technical content updates. Internet Explorer 9 will also no longer be supported, and therefore become open to attacks.
If, for whatever reason, you still use Vista, now is the time to stop.
Windows Vista was released worldwide to the public in early 2007 to strong criticism. Its graphic-heavy interface asked for hefty computer hardware requirements, while a number of launch-day bugs and a high starting price resulted in disappointing sales figures. Its adoption was so low, Microsoft extended its sales of Windows XP five months longer than initially intended, and laptop vendors including Dell, HP, and Lenovo continued to include a copy of XP after they were no longer allowed to sell laptops with it preinstalled.
But not everything about Windows Vista was a failure. Its Aero interface, while perhaps a bit before its time, made its way into the critically acclaimed Windows 7. And many reviewers lauded its new security and search features.
Vista was replaced much earlier than most expected. While it took five and a half years for Microsoft to upgrade XP to Vista, it would only take two more years to release Windows 7. By that time, Vista still hadn’t surpassed XP in market share. It was only in 2011 when Windows 7 took the title.
Vista ultimately paved the way for the fantastic Windows 7, much how the failing of Windows 8 has resulted in the significantly improved Windows 10. Vista might have been a trough in Microsoft’s reliability up-and-down Windows releases, but its still not easy to say goodbye—even to an old enemy.
Phillip Tracy is a former technology staff writer at the Daily Dot. He's an expert on smartphones, social media trends, and gadgets. He previously reported on IoT and telecom for RCR Wireless News and contributed to NewBay Media magazine. He now writes for Laptop magazine.