Microsoft Will End Support for Windows Vista on April 11
If you continue to use Windows Vista after April 11, your computer will still work but it might become more vulnerable to security risks and viruses
If your computer still uses the Windows Vista operating system—listen up! After April 11, 2017 Microsoft will no longer provide new security updates, non-security hotfixes, free or paid assisted support options, or online technical content updates for Windows Vista.
In a released statement, Microsoft says that it "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 says that if you continue to use Windows Vista after April 11, your computer will still work but it might become more vulnerable to security risks and viruses. Additionally, 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.
Microsoft has also stopped providing Microsoft Security Essentials for download on Windows Vista. If you already have Microsoft Security Essentials installed, Microsoft says that you will continue to receive antimalware signature updates for a limited time. However, Microsoft Security Essentials (or any other antivirus software) will have limited effectiveness on computers that do not have the latest security updates. This means that PCs running Windows Vista will not be secure and will still be at risk for virus and malware.
To find out if you're running Windows Vista, follow these steps:
1) Click the Start button icon button, and then type winver in the search box.
2) Double-click winver in the list of results to open the About Windows dialog box, where you'll see the version of Windows that your PC is running.
The moral of this story—if your computer still uses Windows Vista, you probably want to upgrade to a more recent operating system prior to or soon after April 11. Microsoft says that the best way to stay protected is to get Windows 10, which is the latest version of Windows.
You can purchase a full version of Windows 10, but you should first make sure that your computer can run it. Very few older computers are able to run Windows 10. Check out the Windows 10 specifications page to find out if your PC meets the system requirements for Windows 10.
If your current computer can't run Windows 10, it might be time to consider shopping for a new one.