So long, Windows Vista.

Farewells are in order for Vista, Microsoft's minimally lauded successor to Windows XP, to put it in the least harsh way possible. It's no secret that the operating system, released in early 2007, received mountainous flack for a number of things, with critics going as far as calling it one of the worst versions of Windows of all time, down there with Windows ME and, to an extent, Windows 8.

With the Windows 10 Creators update now rolling out mainstream, so will the last public patches for Vista, Microsoft announced. As of Tuesday, April 11, those who are still running Vista will no longer get security updates, non-security hotfixes, free or paid assisted support options, or online technical content updates.

The move, according to Microsoft, will help the company pivot its resources in the direction of more recent technologies so that it's able to deliver "great new experiences."

What Happens Now If I'm Still Running Vista On My Computer?

For those still running Vista, your computer will still be functional, but they'll be less immune and more vulnerable to security risks and viruses, according to Microsoft. For instance, those using Internet Explorer 9 on their Vista machines might be more prone to exposing their systems to potential threats, as that version of Internet Explorer is no longer receiving support.

Cutting off Vista completely also entails the eventual lack of third-party support, especially with more developers creating and building apps meant to run on more recent versions of Windows. Hence, Vista users can expect that many apps may soon be incompatible with their OS.

The Troubles And Trying Times Of Vista

Microsoft originally envisioned Vista as a more ambitious undertaking than what it ended up being. Its Longhorn project entailed a new database system called WinFS, a drastically new development model and set of APIs centered on .NET, complete with a 3D user interface built using these APIs.

But its development waned. WinFS never functioned properly, and was therefore abandoned completely. This made much of the development on certain fronts such as the new Explorer and a Mail client defunct, because they depended on WinFS. At times the code did work, but not without its numerous share of memory leaks and instability.

It's an incredibly long story, and one that deserves discussion for another day. But to shorten it, Vista contained an important element, a new display driver stack that enabled 3D acceleration of the Windows desktop. It involved pixel shader effects that was taxing for the GPU, albeit delivering some polish to the UI. But the fact that the whole desktop itself was on top of the GPU was damning. It required GPU companies to work hard on their cards.

But even so, under pressure from Intel, Microsoft haphazardly allowed systems without DirectX 9 GPUs to be branded as "Vista Capable," which made for slow, buggy systems. While it's technically true that relatively underpowered laptops were capable of running the OS, users were frustrated that they couldn't use every feature Vista offered. It led to a lawsuit.

But it's all a matter of perspective. Without the vehement upswell of Vista criticisms, Microsoft wouldn't have been pressured to step its game and unscrew its screw-ups. Vista's many debacles led to Windows 7, then to Windows 8, then eventually Windows 10, the latest version of which, dubbed the Creators Update, recently rolled out to everyone.

Thoughts or memories about Windows Vista? Feel free to share them down at the comments section!

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