Yay: End of Life for Windows Vista! Where to go next?

Hi everyone!

Vista is Dead!

Windows Vista is finally dead! It was yet another version of Windows that was slow, and to be honest, quite buggy. While it does seem that it stabilised later, it still maintained its reputation as one of the more disappointing versions of Windows. Thankfully, it wasn’t as bad a Windows ME XD

Anyway, getting back to the point, Windows Vista’s extended support period is ending tomorrow. This is good, because Vista is 11 years old now, and the alternatives are much better. Windows 7, for example, works almost exactly the same way, but runs much better, and has support until 2020. Also, if your computer can run Vista, it can probably run 7, or Windows 10, so you won’t be left with no choice but to buy new hardware if you still use Vista. If you do use Vista, I have to say that I feel sorry for you XD

But I liked Vista…

Really? Well, okay, Windows 7 might be a good bet for you then, and Windows 10 may float your boat too. Seriously though, do not, I repeat DO NOT get Windows 8.1. Might sound funny if you’ve heard about Windows 8/8.1, but I’m serious here. Unless you like using a tablet interface on your desktop or laptop, Windows 8.1 is probably not for you.

Alternatives to Windows

Well, any laptop or desktop that can run Vista should be able to run some flavour of Linux, be it Ubuntu, or Mint. If you like Windows, Mint might be the better choice because by default it mimics some of the features and styles found in Windows, so it should feel familiar. As you may well know if you’ve read any of my other posts, I love Linux, so it’s very tempting to say it’s the best solution for everyone, but unfortunately, it isn’t. I know some people might hate me for saying this, but macOS, and, ugh, Windows, both have their merits.

Windows probably has the best hardware support of the three (if you don’t mind it crashing yada yada…), but macOS is often the best for arts people like musicians and photographers, because it has excellent inbuilt tools like iMovie, Photos, Garageband and Logic. As always, there are very good alternatives to these tools, but the average user probably doesn’t want to spend the time and faff required to find them and then make them work, get used to them and so on.

I’m not anti-Linux, or pro macs. In fact, I’m definitely pro-Linux, but I do recognise that there are genuinely great use cases for the other systems. It really does pain me to say this, but even Windows has good bits, like, if you develop apps for Windows Phones, or, umm…

Yeah, maybe not, because more and more developers support macOS and Linux now. Joking aside, there are still programs and hardware devices that only work with Windows, so it really is essential if you need to use them.

How did I get so off-track? Never mind:


Many people hate Windows Vista (me included), but if you are one of few who uses it, you need to upgrade soon (really, now), if you haven’t already done so. There are alternative operating systems to run if you don’t want to or can’t afford to upgrade your hardware, or if you simply don’t like Windows. Despite all the hate, Windows Vista had a good 11-year run, which is far better than the 6 years Windows ME was supported for.

For all the details of upcoming (and past) end of life dates for Windows, see Microsoft’s page at https://support.microsoft.com/en-us/help/13853/windows-lifecycle-fact-sheet.

That’s all for this post, but I have some new ones coming up soon. What do you think of my new weekly schedule for posts? Let me know in the comments.


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About Hamish McIntyre-Bhatty

I'm a self-employed software developer working on Free Software projects, as well as studying for my degree with the Open University. Being pedantic when it comes to detail is fortunately useful for both of these things! A strong believer in free software, I have a few pay-for programs available under the GPLv3 and enjoy reporting bugs and helping to improve various open source projects, including volunteering at Wimborne Model Town to work on their river control system.

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