Microsoft has finally bid farewell to to 10-year-old Windows Vista operating system that had debuted with severe criticism in 2006. While mainstream support for Windows Vista ended on April 10, 2012 - five years after its general availability - extended support ended on Tuesday, April 11.
End of extended support means Microsoft will no longer provide security updates for the operating system, while automatic fixes, feature requests, warranty claims, and online technical assistance ended with the end of mainstream support. Mainstream support for Windows 7 ended on January 13, 2015, but extended support is available till January 14, 2020.
On a support page announcing the end of extended support for Windows Vista, the Redmond giant said, "As of April 11, 2017, Windows Vista customers are no longer receiving new security updates, non-security hotfixes, free or paid assisted support options, or online technical content updates from Microsoft. Microsoft has provided support for Windows Vista for the past 10 years, but the time has come for us, along with our hardware and software partners, to invest our resources towards more recent technologies so that we can continue to deliver great new experiences."
Microsoft also explains what happens if users continue to use Windows Vista. "If you continue to use Windows Vista now that support has ended, your computer will still work but it might become more vulnerable to security risks and viruses. Internet Explorer 9 is no longer supported, so if your Windows Vista PC is connected to the Internet and you use Internet Explorer 9 to surf the web, you might be exposing your PC to additional threats. Also, as more software and hardware manufacturers continue to optimize for more recent versions of Windows, you can expect to encounter more apps and devices that do not work with Windows Vista."
The company explained it has also stopped providing Microsoft Security Essentials for download on Windows Vista. Users with Microsoft Security Essentials already installed will continue to receive antimalware signature updates for a limited time. It adds however, that "Microsoft Security Essentials (or any other antivirus software) will have limited effectiveness on PCs that do not have the latest security updates."