On April 10, 2012 i.e; today Windows Vista support moves from mainstream to extended (meaning paid for everything but security updates).If you own a PC and still have Windows Vista installed, you may want to upgrade ASAP.
Mainstream support is the period during which Microsoft provides free and regular updates including both security fixes and other patches for a product. Once a product exits the mainstream support phase, it enters Extended Support. During this period, security updates for a product remain free, but most other updates are only supplied on a paid basis, and require a separate Hotfix Agreement.
Any hotfixes for Windows Vista that are not considered to be security patches must be handled via an extended hotfix agreement. Microsoft will let Vista users pay for that agreement up to 90 days after mainstream support ends.
As previously announced, Microsoft ended its mainstream support for Vista on Tuesday, April 10th. This deadline covers all of the SKUs for Vista, including the Starter, Home Basic, Home Premium, Enterprise, Business and Ultimate, along with all the 64-bit versions of those ports.
If you ask Microsoft, officials there will likely tell you that the end of mainstream support means it’s the ideal time to upgrade to Windows 7. But in reality, there are still a number of years left — five, to be exact — before Extended Support for Vista ends. That date is April 11, 2017, for all versions of Vista.
Windows XP and Office 2003 are currently in Extended support. Once this ends in 2014, they’ll cease receiving even security updates, leaving anyone still using that software vulnerable to whatever malware the Internet throws at them.Windows Vista and Office 2007 will be in Extended support from now until April 2017.
Launched in January 2007, Windows Vista is considered to be one of the most poorly reviewed Windows versions that Microsoft has ever released, thanks in part to a number of post-release bugs as well as a lack of drivers from a number of PC hardware makers at launch. Net Applications reports claims that Vista was installed on just 7.64 percent of all PCs in March 2012, over five years after its release.
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