As you probably know, Microsoft continues to provide security updates for older versions of Windows for several years after the next version is released.
Unfortunately, they have to stop supporting those old Windows versions at some point in order to better focus their resources on developing and supporting newer versions of the operating system.
You might recall that Microsoft officially ended support for Windows XP back in April 2014. Well, now it’s Vista’s turn.
The final security patches for Windows Vista will be released on April 11, after which there will be no more of them coming down the pike. That means Vista will essentially become an orphan on that date with Microsoft cutting it loose to survive in the wild on its own.
As always happens when Microsoft stops supporting an older version of Windows, it won’t take long for the hackers and scammers of the world to find and exploit previously undiscovered and unpatched security holes in the Vista framework.
What does all this mean?
Well, if you’re one of the relatively few people on planet earth who are still running Windows Vista on your PC, you’ll have to decide how you wish to proceed after Vista is abandoned by Microsoft on April 11.
Basically, you’ll have four options:
1 – Take your chances and keep using Windows Vista as you always have.
I strongly recommend against this if you use your PC for Internet banking, online shopping or using any online service that requires you to log in to an account.
However, if you only use your Vista machine to visit informational websites (news sites, Wikipedia, etc.) you should be fine using Vista even without future security updates.
2 – Replace Windows Vista with Linux, a free and secure operating system that works quite well on older PC hardware. This is an outstanding option, especially if you use your PC primarily for Internet use.
3 – Replace Windows Vista with Windows 7.
I don’t recommend replacing Vista with Windows 10 however because it’s likely that your hardware might not be fully compatible with Windows 10.
4 – Abandon your Vista machine altogether and simply purchase a new computer. (#ad)
Bottom line: Windows Vista will be officially abandoned by Microsoft on April 11. If you’re still using a Vista machine I recommend that you start thinking about your path forward right now so you’ll be in a position to make whatever move you decide to make on or before that date.