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Vista Alternatives

Tuesday, March 21st, 2017 by | Filed Under: Computer Terms, Security Help

A reader is not happy about the upcoming end of Windows Vista support. “Are any other seniors and/or poverty-stricken people complaining about Microsoft no longer supporting certain Windows, including VISTA. which is what I have.  My computer is now a MESS.   Every day I get messages from sites that say I must upgrade.   Buy a new computer etc.   Well, when you live on an SS check there is no extra money for a new computer.  I personally think it is outrageous the Mr. Gates and his crew are doing this.    Everyone doesn’t have a bank account like his.  Do you have any suggestions for this problem?


There are always plenty of complaints when support for an operating system comes to an end.  Not as many about Vista as there were about the end of support for XP.  Currently, Vista is used by less than 1% of computer users out there. Windows offers security and bug support for operating systems for 10 years from the time they are introduced.

While a lot of folks get angry when that support stops, they actually do support their products longer than most other operating systems.  Mac pulls support as well, after a time, but they usually aren’t as vocal about the change as Microsoft.  Even free operating systems, Like Linux, will have to be updated and upgraded over time to stay secure.  I know this is when many of you are going to yell at me in the comments. Whether or not it should be this way is a question we can debate, but this is the way it is and the situation users must work with.

Security is a big factor in why operating systems become obsolete. The cyber world is nothing now like it was 10 years ago when Vista came out. There are many more threats and also many more requirements for a computer to keep up with current technology.  It takes an incredible amount of work to keep up with the latest viruses, malware, and ransomware. There are millions of folks creating ways to break into computers all day, every day. To offer support for an operating system, Microsoft must not only track these items daily but also design ways to protect the operating system from them with patches that can permanently block these items from attacking your PC.


That would be a lot of work for a 10-year-old operating system used by less than 1% of users.  Current software and hardware are just not designed to work with older systems like Vista. So, a system like Vista would experience many more bugs and glitches.

As for what to do about it, the best thing is to consider any technology disposable and begin saving towards replacing it as soon as you buy it.  For example, if you purchase a new tablet today, start putting 5 bucks a month in a fund to replace it in four years. In four years, you’ll have $240 ready for your next tablet.


A couple of years ago, I told you about the upcoming end of Vista and advised users who needed to replace their PC to consider putting $10 a month away for that. If someone put away $10 a month for two years, they’d have $240 to use towards a netbook, Windows tablet, or a refurbished PC with an up-to-date operating system.  It’s a good reminder for Windows 7 users that support ends on  January 14, 2020. So you have 34 months to work out your replacement plan.  At $5 a month put away, you’ll have $170 by then, more than enough to upgrade your PC to Windows 10 if it’s in good shape. At $10 a month, you’ll have $340, more than enough for a tablet or a value-priced laptop.  It’s wise to think of tech like car maintenance. You’re going to have to change that oil and fix those spark plugs. It’s best to always plan for it.


One option is for find out if your PC can upgrade to Windows 7.  You may be able to find a disc out there still available. Or you could consider switching to the free Linux operating system. There’s a bit of a learning curve, but you’ll always be able to upgrade your Linux operating systems for free.

Just a reminder, support for Windows Vista ends on April 11, 2017.


~ Cynthia

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4 Responses to “Vista Alternatives”

  1. Jadesqr says:

    Hey Cynthia, Excellent tip, many fine deals especially on refurbished boxes, research is key and you might be surprised at what all you can get. 10 is a big jump for the uninitiated, suggest first step is to have initial setup done by a pro, add RAM if you can and get an external backup drive you can detach, enough said.

  2. Tim says:

    Jadesqr is correct that having your existing PC gone over by a pro would be a good idea. Most communities have senior centers where people can also find someone who can help, usually for free. I’ve personally helped a number of seniors (for free) with getting their computer(s) back in working order, upgraded (cost of parts only), etc. And many of those were running Vista, and are now running Windows 10, although a bit sluggish. But the retired folks didn’t mind that too much because they didn’t have as much pressure on their time.

  3. Walter Nezbit says:

    Linux is a good option. I am writing this on a PC that came with Vista that I have now replaced with Linux Mint Cinnamon Edition. Both Linux Mint (Cinnamon or XFCE Editions) and Linux Lite are similar to Windows, are easy to learn, and have good support communities. There is a learning curve, but there are a lot of good free guides available on the Internet (several on this website). If you can install Windows you should be able to install Linux. Remember though, Windows programs do not run under Linux (a program called Wine allows some Windows programs to run under Linux), and some Linux Operating Systems can be very difficult to install and use. The nice thing is that most Linux OS’s can be tried in Live Mode without installing to a computer first, or installed alongside Windows with a menu which allows you to choose the operating system at boot. The first time you install Linux it does help to have a second computer available just in case you run into a problem. I would visit the Linux Mint and Linux Lite websites first. If you understand (or are willing to learn – it’s not difficult) how to download a Disc Image, burn it to a blank DVD or install it on a Flash Drive, and boot from that DVD or Flash Drive, you are at least half way there. If not, Linux may not be for you.

  4. Joyce says: sells live & install disc’s that are easy to use. I used the live first to get familiar with linux mint/xfce os and then reinserted the disc and hit install, followed the easy directions and started using it immediately. I believe the disc’s are $5.95 + $2.99 for shipping. Hope this helps!

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