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Blizzard is ditching XP and Vista — for real this time

Why it matters to you

If you are still running XP or Vista, you'll need to upgrade if you want to continue playing Blizzard games.

Blizzard has joined a growing number of developers and software makers who no longer offer official support for the aging Windows XP and Vista operating systems. Announced in a forum thread discussing the move, Blizzard said that it will drop support for those two OS’s before the end of the year.

Much like Microsoft, it has actually been quite some time since Blizzard officially supported XP and Vista. It announced in 2016 that it would be ditching both operating systems from its official support list, but since a good number of its players still used them, it continued to support them behind the scenes. Now though, with most having moved on to more modern operating systems, the firm has decided to cut the cord for good.

Throughout this year, Blizzard will release updates for its games — World of Warcraft, StarCraft II, Diablo III, Hearthstone and Heroes of the Storm – which will kill the ability of anyone running XP or Vista to play them. If you are still running one of those older systems and want to play any of the above games you will need to upgrade.

Blizzard hasn’t made it clear when these patches will arrive and we’re told they will be staggered rather than launched all at once, but the updates are coming.

More: Reinstall Windows 10 (and fix your problems) with these quick steps

Blizzard joins the likes of Google in its decision to drop support for those two operating systems. The software giant announced earlier this month that it would be reducing its support for Windows XP and Vista with its Gmail platform, over security concerns.

Microsoft ended any form of general, extended support for the near-16-year-old Windows XP a couple of years ago, and full support as far back as 2009. That means it lacks many recent security updates and improvements of its more contemporary alternatives. However it does maintain some support for key government industries, like the U.S. Navy.

Regardless of that specific case though, you really should upgrade to Windows 10, if only for its security benefits.