Microsoft Ends Original Vista Support - InformationWeek

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Software // Operating Systems

Microsoft Ends Original Vista Support

Users will have to upgrade to Vista SP1 or SP2 to continue receiving updates and hotfixes from Redmond.

Microsoft on Tuesday officially ended support for the first version of its Windows Vista operating system.

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Going forward, Vista users who are still running the so-called RTM (released-to-manufacturing) version of Vista must upgrade to a version that includes either Service Pack 1 or Service Pack 2 if they wish to continue receiving full support from Microsoft.

However, customers who don't upgrade will still receive limited help under a new Microsoft support policy.

"The revised policy allows Microsoft support professionals to make the best effort to provide limited break/fix troubleshooting to customers on unsupported service packs, even without custom support contracts, and help them migrate to a supported service pack," a Microsoft spokesman said, in an e-mail.

"Microsoft requires customers to transition to supported service packs to receive hotfixes, security updates, time zone updates, or access to sustained engineering," the spokesman added.

Windows Vista debuted in January of 2007, but the operating system was largely deemed a flop by industry watchers.

Consumers complained about its intrusive security measures, while businesses shunned it en masse due to concerns about horsepower and memory requirements, and compatibility problems with their existing applications.

Microsoft in October released Windows 7 with the hope of erasing memories of Vista.

Windows 7 carries a lighter footprint than Vista and ditches the obnoxious security alerts that interrupted users even when they were performing routine functions like moving a file from one folder to another.

Despite the release of Windows 7 and relatively favorable reviews, Windows XP remains Microsoft's most widely used operating system. XP, first released in 2001, holds 64% of the installed base for PC operating systems.

Vista holds 16%, while Windows 7 holds a 10% share that's steadily increasing, according to statistics from market watcher Net Applications.

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