Vista: End of support announced

Microsoft has ended full support for its ill-fated operating system as of 10th April with an extended support period through to April 2017.

This means that Microsoft will no longer be offering free technical support for Vista users nor will they continue honoring any warranty claims, and the only updates available to Vista users will be those concerning critical security issues. Customers also have the option of paying for support through to the final end of support date.

Some writers are reporting this event with a certain amount of trepidation  – a glass half empty outlook. While this is obviously a move designed by Microsoft to ‘encourage’  Vista users to upgrade to Windows 7, it is not all doom and gloom for the Vista brigade.

Vista is now quite mature, SP1 fixed a multitude of initial idiosyncrasies and, 5 years on, I believe it is pretty safe to assume that most (if not all) major vulnerabilities and bugs will have been patched – and bear in mind, any critical security issues will still be dealt with.  Plus, there are plenty of support alternatives available via the power of the internet::

Even though they no longer offer support on a person to person basis, there are still options available via Microsoft’s archived pages. The Microsoft Fix it site in particular offers automated solutions for a wide variety of issues. And, if you find Microsoft’s support documents difficult to follow or comprehend (as many would attest), just visit your favorite help forum…  Daves Computer Tips Forum no doubt. 🙂

So my message to Vista users is a simple one; there is no need for panic, it is not necessary to rush an upgrade. Your Vista will continue to perform as per normal and any critical vulnerabilities will still be patched.

On a side note to all this: one writer has suggested that, when Windows operating systems and Microsoft Office editions reach the end of their life and are supplanted by newer iterations, they should then be released as open source:

Perhaps Microsoft should turn these products loose, make them open source and leave the care and maintenance of them to people who care enough to do so. You know that instantly projects would emerge to work on core maintenance and then distros as wildly varied as those you find with Linux would spring up and a whole new ecosystem of computing would emerge.

It’s certainly an interesting notion and one I’m sure most would agree with. I can’t see Microsoft being amenable though and that alone presents an insurmountable hurdle.

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