Hasta la vista, Vista!

Mi­crosoft is about to pull the plug on the 10-year-old op­er­at­ing sys­tem

Computer Active (UK) - - Front Page -

Just as all po­lit­i­cal ca­reers end in fail­ure, all op­er­at­ing sys­tems (OS) end with sup­port be­ing re­moved. Win­dows Vista will be­come the lat­est to go to that great server in the sky when Mi­crosoft ends ‘ex­tended’ sup­port on 11 April. From that date Vista will re­ceive no fur­ther se­cu­rity fixes which, Mi­crosoft says, means it can “in­vest our re­sources to­wards more re­cent tech­nolo­gies so that we can con­tinue to de­liver great new ex­pe­ri­ences”.

There will prob­a­bly be fewer tears shed for Vista than when sup­port for XP ended in 2014. Now run­ning on less than one per cent of com­put­ers world­wide, Vista was never widely loved, and has re­ceived more crit­i­cism than any other ver­sion of Win­dows. There’s even a Wikipedia page ( www.snipca.com/23817) that cat­a­logues all this cen­sure. Vista users now need a pain­less es­cape route that lets them keep their files and fold­ers.

Un­sur­pris­ingly, Mi­crosoft’s sug­gested so­lu­tion is to up­grade to Win­dows 10. This will keep you safe un­til 2025 when, ac­cord­ing to Mi­crosoft’s ‘Win­dows life­cy­cle fact sheet, ( www.snipca.com/23816), se­cu­rity sup­port will cease. But to up­grade di­rectly from Vista, rather than in­stalling Win­dows 10 from scratch, you’ll need to up­grade to Win­dows 7 or 8.1 first. Only from th­ese op­er­at­ing sys­tems can you make the leap to Win­dows 10.

It may be hy­po­thet­i­cal any­way be­cause many Vista PCS will lack the hard­ware to run Win­dows 10. Mi­crosoft tells you how pow­er­ful your PC needs to be on its web­site ( www.snipca.com/23825).

An­other way to check is to mea­sure your pro­ces­sor’s speed us­ing soft­ware like Pass­mark ( www.pass­mark.com). As a gen­eral rule, if your pro­ces­sor scores less than 1480 then aban­don any plans to up­grade your PC. In­stead, con­sider buy­ing one of the Win­dows 10 PCS that have im­pressed us re­cently. Our cur­rent ‘Buy It!’ favourite is the £800 Di­ablo Ul­tima v2, made by the Dork­ing-based Wired2­fire (see page 30).

But if Pass­mark’s re­sults give you the green light, you have two op­tions. You can per­form what Mi­crosoft calls an ‘in-place up­grade’, which moves your pro­grams and data. It rec­om­mends us­ing Laplink’s Pc­mover Ex­press for the task, and is cur­rently pro­mot­ing it at half price (£13.14, www.snipca.com/ 23819). This is a bit sneaky be­cause only the Pro­fes­sional ver­sion of the pro­gram can carry out an ‘in-place up­grade’ – and that costs £59.94.

Re­mem­ber though this process still re­quires you to up­grade again, from Win­dows 7 or 8.1 to 10. This means you’ll need to find some­one sell­ing a le­git­i­mate copy of 7 or 8.1 – most prob­a­bly on Ama­zon – which won’t be easy or cheap. How­ever, one ad­van­tage of this route is that you’ll still be able to get Win­dows 10 for free by tak­ing ad­van­tage of Mi­crosoft’s ‘as­sis­tive tech­nolo­gies’

loop­hole (visit www.snipca. com/23399, see Work­shop Is­sue 495, page 35).

If two up­grades feels like dou­ble the trou­ble, you’re left with the se­cond op­tion: buy­ing Win­dows 10. The Home edi­tion costs £119 from Mi­crosoft’s UK store: www. snipca.com/23851.

What if you want to con­tinue us­ing Vista? That’s fine, as long as you don’t use it to con­nect to the web. There may not be many Vista users left, fewer even than XP, but from 12 April hack­ers will be lurk­ing on­line wait­ing to pounce.

Now run­ning on less than one per cent of PCS world­wide, Vista was never widely loved

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