Today is the day where Microsoft finally ends mainstream support for Windows Vista (remember that?). The company, however, won’t stop supporting the OS altogether as Vista now moves off to ‘extended support’.
What does that mean? Well, ‘Mainstream support’ basically means Microsoft will release patches – security or not – for free. Once it goes to ‘Extended support’, non-essential patches (i.e. the ones not relating to security holes) will be supplied if you pay for it. The security-related ones, however, will remain free.
After that, it is no longer supported by Microsoft entirely – and that date is set for 11 April 2017. So, if you still have Vista, you’ll get some support for another 5 years.
Vista, however, is least popular than its predecessor – Windows XP. It doesn’t leave extended support until 2014 (more specifically, April 8 2014); and Microsoft has a big problem in its hands since that has nearly 47% market share of all computers. If the number doesn’t go down to something smaller – like less than 10% – then Microsoft might be forced to support it even further.
So, while you may like Windows XP, UPGRADE! It is time to move on.