Tuesday marks the first day of a world free from Microsoft’s OS disaster that we all knew as Windows Vista – sort of. After three years of warnings, Microsoft finally pulled the plug on its free support for Vista on April 10, 2012. For those of you still using Vista, you’ll find some relief away from the nagging pop-ups asking you to update and restart your computer every four hours, although technically that’s not necessarily a good thing.
The buggy Windows OS debut in 2007, and since then, Microsoft has offered the Mainstream Support that Vista users took for granted. For the next five years, Vista users will be covered by its Extended Support phase, which will only include free security updates. Fortunately, the extent to which Microsoft offers support offered ends right about there — unless you’re willing to pay for the latest Windows Vista patches.
It’s an annoying change, we know, but it’s in the benefit for the society as a whole. Think of it this way. If 5 percent of Internet users were stuck on Internet Explorer 6, while everyone else has moved on to more recent browsers, it’s cumbersome to have to compel programmers to develop for that 5 percent. That extra time could be spent innovating elsewhere, or in Window’s case, ridding Windows 8 of bugs to prep for consumer use. It’s a slight nudge from Microsoft to get you to move up to Windows 7. Trust us. You’ll be glad you made the jump. But if you’re stubborn for Vista, you do have another five years of its Extended Support, which will end on April 11, 2017. But by then, we imagine that Windows 9 would have be debuted.
For the Windows XP users out there, you outnumber Vista users, and Microsoft has taken notice. You can’t blame Windows users for reverting to or sticking to Windows XP, despite having debuted 6 years before Vista. Knowing this, Windows extended support for XP users, who will have two more years before XP enters the Extended Support phase on April 8, 2014.
As for its Windows Office products, Microsoft officially ended its Mainstream Support for Windows Office 2007 on April 9, 2012, and began its lifecycle yesterday in its Extended Support phase. If you’re looking to purchase a new Windows Office suite, we’d recommend that you make the jump to Windows Office 2010, but unless you’re using Access and Outlook on a daily basis, switching to the latest version of Word, Powerpoint and Excel really only comes down to a matter of preference.