Microsoft has pulled the plug on Windows Vista, just over ten years after launching the operating system.
It’s considered one of the biggest disappointments in the company’s history, proving an unpopular successor to the excellent Windows XP.
Vista attracted widespread criticism for performance issues and didn’t always play nice with customers’ peripherals.
“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 said today.
Vista currently runs on 0.78 per cent of desktops, according to NetMarketShare, so the announcement shouldn’t affect too many people.
In fact, Windows XP, which came out in 2001 and had its support cut three years ago, currently has an eight per cent share of the desktop market.
Consumers still on Windows Vista can continue to use the software, but we’d recommend upgrading to a new computer and operating system right away.
Microsoft will no longer create or distribute security updates for Vista, leaving the software extremely vulnerable to viruses and cybercriminals.
“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,” adds Microsoft.
Two years after its launch, then-Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer admitted that it had a negative effect on the company.
“We got some uneven reception when [Vista] first launched in large part because we made some design decisions to improve security at the expense of compatibility,” he said.
“I don't think from a word-of-mouth perspective we ever recovered from that.”
Microsoft moved on to Windows 7 in 2009.