Users of the Windows Vista operating system have been receiving warning messages from Microsoft for a while, but the clock is ticking down fast with just a few weeks to go: on April 11, Microsoft’s extended support for this operating system will be officially – finally – up.
And yes, before you even say it, there are people still using Windows Vista… though not many.
Microsoft’s last update for the operating system was back in 2007, and the company ended mainstream support for the operating system in April 2012. At that time, Vista’s market share was a little under 10% of all operating systems according to NetMarketShare, and rests at a hair under 1% today. In comparison, Windows XP is still in use with about 8% of desktop users worldwide, especially with healthcare users, even though its extended support was officially pulled in 2014.
Even at its peak, Vista only held about 30% market share, nowhere near the ubiquity of its predecessor Windows XP or its successor Windows 7. Vista was sandwiched between these two operating systems, and often found itself overshadowed by XP’s popularity and longevity in the market: Vista was released more than five years after XP, but Vista’s commercial support was pulled by Microsoft two years before XP’s extended support was up.
Of course, having so many users on outdated and unsupported operating systems poses a major security concern, as these operating systems have numerous, well-known security vulnerabilities but are no longer receiving any kind of support or system patches to fix those issues. Needless to say, users on these unsupported operating systems are a particularly tempting (and easy) target for attackers, which is why we urge you to use an actively supported and updated operating system right away.
If for some reason you remain a Vista holdout despite the April 11, we’d certainly be curious to hear why – let us know in the comments.