Yesterday marked a significant date. Windows Vista passed out of extended support. This means that there will be no further updates to this operating system, no further security patches and support from other software will start to be reduced as well. For many people, Vista was the operating system they hated most. There were a number of idiosyncrasies about it in terms of layout as well as operation. There was little support for 64bit device drivers for network, cameras, and printers. And that on an operating system that cried out for more memory.

So what does the passing of Vista mean? If you have a Vista computer, it will still work. You may see notifications in Google Chrome that this browser is now unsupported. You will probably find that anti virus software will continue to operate and update, though this is not guaranteed.

Longer term, there will be more of an effect. This brings me to the second significant date. Tomorrow, 14th April 2017 is the third anniversary of the passing of the much loved Windows XP operating system. I was recently asked to look at a browser issue on an XP machine. The issue could not be fixed. Internet Explorer 8 is no longer updated as of three years ago, and the web page the customer was using has moved on. It no longer formats the way they need it to under Internet Explorer 8. Chrome was no good either – not longer being updated on the XP platform. Eventually tried Firefox, which would format the page as required, but only if the page zoom level was set to 75%

I saw another example recently where a customer was wanting to get rid of an old XP desktop and use instead a newer XP laptop for the same purposes. It proved impossible to install his Hewlet Packard printer. The software for XP is still available on HP’s website, but the installer recognised that the operating system is unsupported and refused to run. I even tried setting the system date back five years to try and fool it, but it wasn’t having it!

The moral of these stories is that sticking with an old operating system, whether loved or despised, is only storing up trouble for the future!

If you are still running an XP system or a Vista system I will be happy to help with upgrade choices, data migration and recycling or re-purposing of your old equipment.