Microsoft has ended today the free support period for all Windows Vista users, as developers moved from Mainstream to just Extended support. From now on, users have only two years to enjoy support for Windows XP and Microsoft Office 2003.
Microsoft urges all users to upgrade to Windows 7 and leave older versions behind. As from today, Vista users will have to pay for every support action, except for security updates.
These updates will be served during the next five years and on the 11th of April 2017, the period of Extended support will be terminated as well.
With Mainstream support, Microsoft served free and regular OS updates that came as security fixes or other patches. In Extended, most of these patches have to be paid.
Microsoft has stretched the Extended time-frame of Windows XP or Office 2003 for three extra years compared to Vista.
This is likely because of the lower number of people still using Vista compared to Windows XP.
Other products moved inside the Extended Support phase include Office 2007, which will completely be discontinued in 2017, as well as Vista.
All versions of the OS are affected by this change, including Visa Business, Business N, Enterprise, Home Basic, Home Basic N, Home Premium, Starter and Ultimate editions.