Microsoft Kills Support for Early Editions of Vista

Dennis Faas's picture

Microsoft has announced that it will no longer provide support for the first retail version of Windows Vista, which was released to manufacturers (RTM). The move is intended to force early adopters of Windows Vista to upgrade their systems using at least Vista Service Pack 1 or 2.

Microsoft made the announcement on Vista RTM Tuesday. According to a spokesperson for the Redmond-based firm, "Today, Windows Vista RTM has reached end of support... End of support means that customers can no longer receive support benefits from Microsoft and will need to upgrade to a supported service pack (Windows Vista SP1 or Windows Vista SP2) to continue receiving security updates, hotfixes or assisted support from Microsoft." (Source:

Having an Up To Date Operating System is Critical

For most users, the upgrade to Vista Service Pack 1 or 2 is not an issue. That said, there are some users who purposely ignore security updates because they don't understand the security implications.

Those least likely to have made the upgrade are corporate businesses that see the upgrade process as long and costly (in terms of rolling out the update to all machines affected). IT managers for firms not sure about the move to Vista SP1 or SP2 can visit support for more information.

Microsoft has added that it will not cut the "Up To Date Discount Program" intended to help businesses deal with the cost of upgrading to a supported operating system, which will run through July 2010.

End of Support: What it Means

Microsoft's termination of support for un-upgraded versions of Vista means that users will be at the mercy of hackers interested in exploiting parts of the operating system which have not been patched.

"In the event that you encounter an issue/outage in your environment on an unsupported product, our engineers may not be able to help resolve this until you have upgraded to a supported level," noted Microsoft's Eric Ligman, who added that upgrading to Vista SP2 should be approached as a "bare minimum" towards maintaining system security. (Source:

It is for the same reason above that it is not recommended to run any version of Windows that is not supported by Microsoft, including Windows 95, 98, NT, ME, and 2000.

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