Windows Vista has finally reached its end of life, here's what to do now
Microsoft has finally killed Windows Vista.
The Redmond-based technology company has pulled the plug on the much-loathed operating system, some 10 years after it was first released.
From today, Microsoft will no longer support Windows Vista.
The operating system followed the most successful version of Windows of all time, Windows XP.
Microsoft debuted Windows XP in late 2001, but Vista – codenamed Longhorn at the time – was originally pencilled in for a 2003 launch.
However it was delayed for years, and when it did finally launch – it was widely considered a flop.
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Windows Vista was plagued with negative reviews from the moment it launched, back in January 2007.
Users complained about file transfers being slower than Windows XP, video games were sluggish, and on-screen prompts constantly pestered PC owners.
But despite the harsh criticism of the operating system, NetmarketShare statistics show that Vista still runs on some 0.78 per cent of devices.
And while these devices will be able to continue to run Windows Vista without a hitch, it is not recommended.
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Windows Vista, the operating system that followed XP, was widely considered a flop
End of support means that Microsoft will no longer update its in-built anti-virus solution, dubbed Security Essentials, which in turn means users will need to be extremely careful when using their device.
Vista will not be updated to protect against any new threats, glitches or bugs discovered in the operating system after April 11th.
"Microsoft has provided support for Windows Vista for the past 10 years," the Redmond-based company wrote in a post on its support website.
"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."
So, what should you do if you're running Windows Vista at home?
Well, there is nothing really stopping you from continuing to use the operating system.
After April 11th, your computer will still work as usual.
However you will be more vulnerable to security risks and viruses – especially if your PC is connected to the internet.
That's a problem. Especially if you store sensitive or personal information on your computer.
Also, as more hardware manufacturers continue to updated and optimise their devices for more recent versions of Windows, expect to come across more apps and devices that no longer work with Windows Vista.
That could become a real headache – and could leave you unable to connect your digital camera, printer, scanner, and more.
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According to Microsoft, the best way to stay connected is to cough-up for the full version of Windows 10 – the latest version of Windows.
Windows 10 Home will set you back £99.99 while Windows 10 Pro costs £189.99.
Unfortunately, your outdated hardware might struggle to run Windows 10.
The next-generation operating system needs at least 1GB of RAM, between 16 GB and 20 GB of free storage, and a display with a resolution of at least 800 x 600 pixels.
Make sure you check-out the full specs page before you spend £189.99 on the upgrade.
If your old computer isn't up to the task, it might be time for an upgrade.
Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates speaks at the launch of Windows Vista
Microsoft pushed out its latest operating system upgrade, Windows 10 Creators Update earlier this week.
This will be followed by another all-new version, codenamed Redstone 3, later this year.
The company says that over 500 million Windows 10 installs have been completed since the software was released in July 2015.
However this still only adds up to just over a quarter of all PC devices across the world, with Windows 7 still leading the way with 48.41 per cent of total installs.