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Microsoft Operating Systems Software Windows Hardware

Microsoft To End Support For Windows Vista In Less Than a Month (pcworld.com) 167

In less than a month's time, Microsoft will put Windows Vista to rest once and for all. If you're one of the few people still using it, you have just a few weeks to find another option before time runs out. (I mean, nobody will uninstall it from your computer, but.) From a report on PCWorld: After April 11, 2017, Microsoft will no longer support Windows Vista: no new security updates, non-security hotfixes, free or paid assisted support options, or online technical content updates, Microsoft says. (Mainstream Vista support expired in 2012.) Like it did for Windows XP, Microsoft has moved on to better things after a decade of supporting Vista. As Microsoft notes, however, running an older operating system means taking risks -- and those risks will become far worse after the deadline. Vista's Internet Explorer 9 has long since expired, and the lack of any further updates means that any existing vulnerabilities will never be patched -- ever. Even if you have Microsoft's Security Essentials installed -- Vista's own antivirus program -- you'll only receive new signatures for a limited time.
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Microsoft To End Support For Windows Vista In Less Than a Month

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  • Much like how When Windows XP was released it was a hated OS with its FisherPrice Interface, All its problems from moving the Home PC to the NT kernel vs the DOS based Windowed Shell that use to be Windows. When went out of support we had a bunch of lover saying why get rid of it because it is so good.

    I would love to see what love letters are coming out from Vista (one of the most hated WIndows Versions (besides ME) to be released)
     

    • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

      by Anonymous Coward

      Except that Vista market share is far below XP, even today. So no, there probably won't be many rants.

      Windows 7's end will make the end of XP look like a formal tea party, however. The last decent desktop version of Windows ever.

      • by Opportunist ( 166417 ) on Thursday March 16, 2017 @11:13AM (#54051015)

        This is actually going to be the real problem here.

        Retiring Vista is no biggie. I don't know anyone who didn't immediately replace Vista with Seven as soon as it became available. On the other hand, I can also not name that many people who replaced 7 with 8 once that hit the market. Even with 8.1, the amount of people who made the switch is rather low. And I know a lot of people and companies, myself and my company included, that rely heavily on Win7 even today. On the other hand, I do not know any large companies that embraced Win8/8.1 in any way and the acceptance of Win10 so far is, at best, lukewarm, at worst hostile with a big "when hell freezes over" stamp from the CISO.

        More recently our development department even started to look around for a replacement of VS15, with the Telemetry blunder in VS15SP2 the switch to VS17 is not a given as it was in the years before from 10 to 13 and to 15. And I dare say we're not alone. CISOs talk. And I'm not the only one who is very unhappy with the direction Microsoft is heading. A simple Win10 rollout as it had been in the past with MS systems where the main concern was whether the key applications will run on the new platform will certainly not happen. This will at the very least include a lengthy and probably quite costly security audit as well. And not even whether it's secure against someone breaking in, more concerning the data that leaves the machine towards Redmond.

        You can see that reflected in changes in bidding catalogs as well. More and more you find demands that software development has to be "OS agnostic" or they demand outright that a client has to be provided for Windows and Linux. My guess is that quite a few companies that I have to deal with are at the very least pondering whether it might be possible to think about considering leaving the Windows platform.

        • I went from Vista to 8 and the 8.1. Was able to get 8 for $20. No such cheap deals for 7, and besides that, Vista worked fine for me.

        • Jet brains is doing a resharper/IntelliJ thing soon, apparently.

          • Jetbrains Rider (their .Net IDE) has been in beta now for about a year, and is coming along nicely, but still not a VS replacement.

        • This is actually going to be the real problem here.

          Retiring Vista is no biggie. I don't know anyone who didn't immediately replace Vista with Seven as soon as it became available.

          * Raises hand *. Me.

          I have an old HP laptop that could not upgrade to Windows 7, and it's been running Vista since I bought it in 2008. My wife uses it for e-mail, photography, web browsing, google docs, and stuff. As it is, it is a good media consumption machine for her needs. It is also the laptop where my daughter does her computer-assigned work.

          For what it is being used, we'd never had a reason to spend money in upgrading.

          I know that this day was going to come, but it still sucks. I need to find

      • by no1nose ( 993082 )

        I really hope Windows 11 goes back to the Windows 7 look and feel. Otherwise I am switching to a Mac or Linux desktop. Windows 8 and 10 have terrible interfaces. Classic Shell helps a lot, but it isn't as good as an actual Windows 7 interface.

        • Supposedly there isn't going to be a Windows 11. Instead, 10 will turn into some sort of bastardized rolling release thing that you'll be tricked into paying for eventually. After you've gotten used to the phone-home privacy invasion and anal probes.

    • by Anonymous Coward

      What you're ignoring is that everything is temporally relative. When you factor that in, there's perfect consistency between what people said when Windows XP was first released, and when support for it was terminated.

      In the early days of Windows XP, it was being compared against Windows 98 and Windows 2000. Yes, it did have a childish and inferior default UI relative to what it was being compared against, and people disliked it for that reason. But when support for it was ended some years later, it wasn't b

      • by EndlessNameless ( 673105 ) on Thursday March 16, 2017 @12:05PM (#54051431)

        I sincerely doubt the UIs are getting worse year after year. If that were the case, we would have unusable devices by now.

        What is really happening is that people are resisting change. The new thing is different---unfamiliar and possibly confusing. That doesn't mean it's worse, but it does mean people will react negatively.

        A good UI is difficult. It needs to meet a lot of goals:

        *It must expose typical functions with a minimal number of key presses or mouse clicks, yet not overwhelm the user with too many options or unclear organization.

        *It should be reasonably configurable, yet it should be consistent enough that developers can rely on some essential elements.

        *It should be simple enough for a basic user to grasp intuitively, but it must accommodate a wide range of users and tasks.

        Each of those goals is a balancing act, and any change pushes that balance in a way that demands adaptation from either users, administrators, or developers. Of course people are going to be upset.

        The initial round of upset, ranting, and whining is virtually irrelevant. If complaints remain after sustained use of the new UI, then it's time to reevaluate. The real measure of a UI is how upset people are when it comes vs when it goes.

        • Of course making UIs is a balancing act. I'm with you there. The problem is. IMO, that recently UIs have swinged too much towards being good for touch use. That makes some sense since mobile is where the growth is but such an UI is problematic in certaing settings. e.g.: Windows 10. We know that Microsoft wanted to make it suitable for tablets and convertible devices but Windows is still used by a lot of people (I'd wager a big majority) with a keyboard and mouse. You can certainly use a touch oriented UI w
          • IMO, that recently UIs have swinged too much towards being good for touch use.

            I agree with almost everything you wrote, but I think the above overlooks the real problem, which is that it is almost impossible to design a good UI for some tasks when you're constraining yourself to what works on small touchscreen devices. You can do OK if your presentation and interaction requirements are simple, and that's where those kinds of devices are useful: share a photo, write a short message, log a site visit. However, for more complicated systems, we have big screens with multiple information

            • Yep, I think it's impossible to design an UI that works well for both touch and mouse and that's why my proposal for this kinds of situations would be to make 2 different UIs, one for every input method and make them the best they can be for the input method. Microsoft clearly disagrees and so we get the lowest common denominator
            • I agree with almost everything you wrote, but I think the above overlooks the real problem, which is that it is almost impossible to design a good UI for some tasks when you're constraining yourself to what works on small touchscreen devices.

              I wish somebody would go give Microsoft and Mozilla noogies (substitute knee to the groin for larger values of disapproval) until they agreed to stop fucking around with their perfectly alright UIs.

              Software projects seem universally doomed to achieve all their major goals, then suddenly realize they don't have an excuse to continue development and start fixing things that aren't broken.

        • by swm ( 171547 )

          I sincerely doubt the UIs are getting worse year after year. If that were the case, we would have unusable devices by now.

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        • by lgw ( 121541 )

          I sincerely doubt the UIs are getting worse year after year. If that were the case, we would have unusable devices by now.

          I couldn't use Windows 8 until I found classic shell. I seriously could discover how to do anything as far as box admin. BUt in think geek consensus is that 10 is better than 8, just still (much) worse than 7.

          A good UI is difficult. It needs to meet a lot of goals:

          But we had UIs that met those goals, and lost them due to "designers" seeking fashion over function. Heck, just last month some update pushed to my Android moved its UI from tolerable to unusable. I now cant guess what the icons on the lock screen mean, and I cant read the light-grey-on-white alerts

          • Can we just kill all the "designers" and start over?

            Or just hire some real ones. I'm sure they can afford it, and it's not like no-one in the design industry has criticised the modern generation of UIs for the same reasons many of us are here.

            • The problem is that the term 'designer' has been subverted to mean 'failed artist', rather than 'person who has studied human-machine interaction and has a solid background in cognitive psychology'. It's often easy to spot the bad ones, because they self-identify as UX people, rather than HCI people. They're far more concerned about making something distinctive than making something useful. Part of the problem is that users rarely notice when they're using a good UI, but they immediately notice a bad one
        • I sincerely doubt the UIs are getting worse year after year. If that were the case, we would have unusable devices by now.

          Lately, we are sometimes coming awfully close to that. The lack of affordances in modern flat, touch-friendly, most-things-hidden UIs is horrible for usability compared to the explicit menus and toolbars and consistent conventions we had before. The things some UI designers seem to think people understand or want and the comments you hear and behaviour you see if you observe real users trying to operate the UI seem to be in different universes at times.

          What is really happening is that people are resisting change.

          That is also true, but there is a good reason for that.

        • I sincerely doubt the UIs are getting worse year after year. If that were the case, we would have unusable devices by now. What is really happening is that people are resisting change. The new thing is different---unfamiliar and possibly confusing. That doesn't mean it's worse, but it does mean people will react negatively.

          I highly suspect you of being a microsoft employee.

          No, really. This is what they believe is going on in people's heads.

          YES, the windows UI has been getting worse over time. 98 was

        • *It must expose typical functions with a minimal number of key presses or mouse clicks, yet not overwhelm the user with too many options or unclear organization

          This part of a UI change is almost self defeating. A lot of "too many / unclear options" are not considered too many or unclear by veterans who have used the software for years. A UI change that therefore makes the software much more accessible to new consumers or a wider audience therefor appears as a jaring stupidification by the existing users. i.e. All new UI = bad.

        • "What is really happening is that people are resisting change."

          No, whats happening is that UI's are all being dumbed down for fucking phones. And more so, all new interfaces are designed first and formost for the web and fucking phones. (look at the new v centre for instance, where it was perfectly acceptable to have a thick client and that really didn't bother anyone. But no, vmware wants more people using their shitty unfinished web interfaces, so they obsolete the client thats better, and you got no choi

      • With Vista it wasn't just UI changes. Like most new versions of Windows, Vista had problems during the initial release with stability and driver support, etc. However, Vista development was troubled. Most companies didn't release new drivers partly because they didn't think MS would release it on time. Also the drivers infrastructure was so new.

        Adding to Vista's problems was the artificially lowering of hardware requirements so that the lowest computer models could advertise that they were Vista Capable* (*

    • by sims 2 ( 994794 )

      Not really I still think vista was a worthless POS.
      XP had a lot of updates that significantly improved it and added features.
      Vista at launch was slow as hell because microsoft didn't hike the minimum requirements enough for it to run decent this was never fixed they jumped to windows 7 and promptly gave up on trying to fix it.
      IME windows 7 actually runs faster than Vista on the same hardware.

      I noticed a lot of vendors actually dropped support for Vista long before they dropped support for XP I think that sa

    • All its problems from moving the Home PC to the NT kernel vs the DOS based Windowed Shell that use to be Windows.

      Windows moved to the NT kernel with Windows 2000. Windows ME was the last version based on DOS.

      Vista had the ignominy of being the first version where Microsoft tried to enforce the admin vs user privilege model that Unix had from its inception. Prior to Vista, Win32 app makers would just program assuming they had root privileges (as if they were writing a DOS program). This had the unfor

      • by Khyber ( 864651 )

        "Windows ME was the last version based on DOS."

        ME was more of a mix of NT and DOS (.VXD and .DLL driver hell was rampant) and real-time DOS mode was heavily restricted (which made a bunch of my older disk utilities no longer work.)

      • > Windows moved to the NT kernel with Windows 2000.

        That's misleading. The Windows 9x kernel was killed off with Windows ME.

        * Windows NT 3.1
        * Windows NT 3.5
        * Windows NT 4.0
        * Windows NT 2000
        * Windows XP
        * Windows Vista
        * Windows 7
        * Windows 8
        * Windows

        ALL of these use the NT kernel.

    • Much like how When Windows XP was released it was a hated OS with its FisherPrice Interface, All its problems from moving the Home PC to the NT

      I don't remember anyone hating Windows XP for this reason. It would be strange considering you could easily go back to spitting image of Win95 by adjusting a couple of settings in windows control panel.

      kernel vs the DOS based Windowed Shell that use to be Windows. When went out of support we had a bunch of lover saying why get rid of it because it is so good.

      The problem was software interoperability not a love of DOS. People just wanted their existing software to work.

      I would love to see what love letters are coming out from Vista (one of the most hated WIndows Versions (besides ME) to be released)

      There were a couple of real issues with Vista. It was less stable than XP at the time due to immature hardware drivers out of the gate and it used more ram than people had at the time. What peop

    • Much like how When Windows XP was released it was a hated OS with its FisherPrice Interface

      XP was hated because, when it was released, it sucked resources and it crashed. The FisherPrice Interface was collateral damage. It was hated because it ran slow on PC's that ran Windows 98 fine, and it disappointed Windows 2000 users because it ran slow and crashed where 2K ran solid.

      XP earned its love after many painful Service Packs, but not before people figured out how to write malware that ripped through XP's (and 2000's) lousy security model. I mean, NT and NTFS offered file permissions, but using

  • ...say nothing at all.

    Let the silence begin!

    • Well, to Vista's defense, it was equally easy to replace it with Win7 as it was to replace it with Ubuntu Linux.

  • ... and nothing of value was lost.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday March 16, 2017 @10:52AM (#54050835)

    It was more secure than Linux. Literally every time I tried anything on the standard Vista install on my brand new Dell, it froze or crash. No way an attacker could take that over.

    • by Big Hairy Ian ( 1155547 ) on Thursday March 16, 2017 @10:58AM (#54050901)

      It was more secure than Linux. Literally every time I tried anything on the standard Vista install on my brand new Dell, it froze or crash. No way an attacker could take that over.

      Ahh security through inoperability.

    • I have my own Vista anecdote that isn't too far off... One time I signed on and got the following (almost) infinite loop:

      1) Login

      2) (unresponsive for ~5 minutes)

      3) Dialog pops up with "The following program is forcing explorer to crash: explorer.exe. Do you wish to restart it?"

      4) Click okay

      4) GOTO 2

      It was a Toshiba laptop, so that could also be the reason...

      • Still nothing compared to our ME machine. Whenever it didn't shut down properly you'd get ScanDisk which would run the next time you booted it up. But if you let ScanDisk run past 10% completion or so, it would just hang. So of course you powercycled it, which would result in a dirty shutdown...then next time you hit Cancel before the progress bar got too far.

        In a few instances it actually booted directly to a BSOD. Impressive.

  • I just heard today from a control system vendor in a passing conversation that they expect to exhaust their Windows 7 licenses sometime mid year given how pre-installed sales were ended last year.

    If their goal was to get a sudden surge in sales it worked. We're trying to buy up a few new operator stations for a very large chemical plant before the only thing left with which we can control the plant is ... Windows 10.

    • Apart from refurbs, it's getting harder to buy machines with Windows 7 on them. We saw the writing on the wall last year, and, with a great deal of trepidation and no small amount of regret, bumped up to Win10. While Windows 10 does run better on older hardware (we've got eight year old Dell towers with 2gb to 3gb of RAM which run it fine), I still simply do not like Windows 10 at all. But seeing as we are in an Office/Backoffice ecosystem there doesn't seem to be any real escape.

      • it's getting harder to buy machines with Windows 7 on them

        As of October 2016 Windows 7 (all versions) preloads were withdrawn from sales. If you're buying a Windows 7 machine now it's either a large reseller with existing licenses, or (not all that unlikely) it comes pre-loaded with a pirate copy.

        I actually like Windows 10 as a desktop, it just doesn't have any upside and a hell of a lot of downsides on industrial equipment.

        • What downsides? Yes the upside is you are compliant now for security and insurance purposes. Machines break man. That is life. You can't keep expecting them and PCs to work forever.

          Reminds me of stories about a VP freaking out that the IBM 1981 hard disk went out on that mission critical machine or that 1978 digital PDP robot failing. The tech almost gets a write-up and raises hell that these things need to be upgraded !

          • Err PCs breaking had nothing to do with anything. Windows licenses are transferable. The only issue is vendor support and that won't change in the next 5 years for the equipment we have. We will be compliant until then. As for insurance, well if they don't complain about the ancient videospec system that predates the pc running in one side of the plant they won't complain about Windows 7 either.

            Downsides? Lack of a proven reliability track record and the shortest period to market from vendors for any major

      • Did any IT department learned any lessons from XP?

        The Enterprise edition has no spyware and is a lot more secure and quicker with SMB file sharing than 7. Go make a GPO with custom looks if you don't like UI?

        This can go very smooth if you plan and migrate and not be that costly if you start TODAY. A large enterprise should take a year to gradually migrate with little additional costs compared to wait and hire ontractors and 3rd party PM's

        • If samba file sharing is a critical feature of an industrial control system... You're doing it wrong. Actually if IT are touching it you're doing it wrong too.

          These things don't come with enterprise licenses.

    • We're trying to buy up a few new operator stations for a very large chemical plant before the only thing left with which we can control the plant is ... Windows 10.

      You should make the migration now. Then you would get informative pop-ups that could help you improve your manufacturing process:

      It looks like you're synthesizing "polycaprolactone". Users of that compound were also interested in: polybutadiene, polymer initiators, reaction vessels, and industrial tubing. Click [here] to shop now.

      • I'm more worried about:

        Click here and pay 100BTC to not send your entire control system code to Bayer.

    • You have to switch to 10 anyway. Perhaps your IT department should be spending this time preparing for a migration strategy instead of panicking and waiting until the last minute.

      • We don't have a choice and the IT department doesn't get a say.

        But I'll let you come up with a business case for our management. I'll put some figures in to get you started:
        1. Upgrade 6 control stations with Windows 10 and current vendor: $90k, 2 weeks
        2. Migrate away: $30m 5 years.

  • Oblig (Score:2, Funny)

    by Anonymous Coward

    Hasta la Vista, Baby!

  • Only one of our user groups is running Vista, don't even know why. We have quite a few running XP. Most have 7, some finally moving to Windows 10. Don't remember any of them using 8 or 8.1. It is very hard to get businesses to change once they get everything working.
    • by kevinT ( 14723 )

      I saw a recent article about the United States Navy spending MILLIONS of dollars for Microsoft XP support. Sad and most likely a waste of money, but they (the Navy) have applications that will not run on anything else and instead of spending the Millions of dollars to rewrite or replace, they spend Millions of dollars getting XP support.

      Sigh - government contracts make me cry

      • That's because they use IE 7 and hired an Indian contractor to writethe software with quirks in all just to get the CSS to work. The thought process was it was more future proof being web based

  • by kackle ( 910159 )
    Still on XP at home and haven't had malware after 15 years without antivirus software... Of course, I block web ads and know not to click on email linkies. (And, my 11-year old XP machine at work out-boots the modern Windows 7 laptop sitting next to it. Sigh.)
    • by darkain ( 749283 )

      Serious question: How do you KNOW you don't have malware? Modern malware is designed to be invisible, not the virus style of the '90s that would pop up a skull and cross bones telling you "OMGZ UR H@X0R3D"

      • Modern malware is designed to be invisible

        Modern malware is designed to be invisible yet not ineffective. It must show up somewhere or it will have no effect. The last time our house had malware I was informed by my ISP. The time before that by poor network performance. Ransomware by its nature will show up front and centre. Background mining will grind your computer or decimate your battery life (if on mobile). In the good old days of email viruses your friends will start shouting at you to stop spamming them. But it was nothing compared to the go

  • Windows Vista wasn't a bad OS if you threw adequate hardware at it. When I decided to upgrade from Windows XP, I built a new AMD system with a Vista-compatible motherboard, quad-core processor and 4GB. I've never had a problem running Vista, 7, 8 and 10 for nine years. I retire that motherboard combo last year for a newer Windows 7-compatible motherboard, eight-core processor and 8GB.
  • To install Linux on that old laptop and be done with that vista thing once and for all... I feel better.

  • It was really never ready, was it?
    • Microsoft even wrote it TWICE! The first time (Longhorn), it had some strange database file system embedded in it. I understand the whole OS was written in Microsoft's .NET to showcase it's programming language. However, the performance was terrible, so they had to re-write the code in C++ just so it would be acceptable. By this time, users were fed-up with waiting, so Microsoft ditched the database filesystem.
  • Nice to have an SP3 or SP2 rollup ISO or installer. If just to have install for older systems that have a vista key.

  • Vista hit what I call the sour spot in memory. If you had less than 2 GB, it was slow. If you had more than 2 GB, it only saw the first 2 GB and was still slow.

  • I used Vista for years on my laptop. It came with it. I think now, looking back, we did not fight the enemy, we fought ourselves, and the enemy was in us. The war is over for me now, but it will always be there, the rest of my days. As I'm sure Eric S Raymond will be, fighting with Steve Ballmer for what Linus calls "possession of my soul." There are times since, I've felt like a child, born of those two fathers. But be that as it may, those of us who did make it have an obligation to build again. To teach
  • "No new security updates"

    I'm fine with that: I'll keep reinstalling the old ones over and over until everything will be OK.

  • I remember when Vista was first released. The teenagers around here would say that someone had "Vista'd" if they screwed up completely.
  • install 7 I guess
  • Kudos to you for providing, with Windows Vista, the experience that we all expect from the reputation inextricably associated with this company.

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