Microsoft ends Mainstream Support for Vista

As if businesses using Windows Vista needed more encouragement to move away from the much-maligned operating system, Microsoft has given them another good reason to upgrade to Windows 7. 

As part of the company’s efforts to get customers to move to Windows 7, Microsoft ended Mainstream Support for Vista on April 10. The OS will move on to “Extended Support,” which is scheduled to last until April 11, 2017, according to Microsoft’s lifecycle fact sheet.

What the change means: Under extended support, Vista users will still get security updates, but reliability and stability updates will only be available for organizations that have support contracts with Microsoft.

Relatively few companies moved to Vista in the first place, and the more popular Windows 7 has driven many of them to upgrade already. Therefore, most organizations will likely be more interested in another date on the lifecycle fact sheet: April 8, 2014. That’s when Extended Support for Windows XP will finally end.

Businesses have been warned to get their upgrade plans in order well before that date for a few years now, though many organizations still use the nearly 11-year-old OS. They could face serious security issues if they’re still doing so after support ends.

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