One can continue to use an OS past its end of support date but I can almost guarantee the bad guys will increase their efforts to find previously unfound security holes knowing that M$ won't be closing them. Same for the viruses. The only protection will to have absolutely no connection to the interwebz including sharing files with other computers, either over a network or using something like flash drives.
Well vista doesn't really have as many problems as people think, most are users of SP1 and before when it had a number of issues but SP2 is pretty stable.
XP is just an exploit within an exploit and always has been.
Win 7 had a lot of issues when it was released but is becoming more stable.
But with every new OS comes new problems anyway, so, 'swings and roundabouts'.
@Rick, The Vista box I have is old. Put in more memory, larger HD when it failed, DVD burner when it failed. But the Vista part always worked. Window7 have not done anything for as you said 3-4 years all works good. As to XP, I went from W98 to Vista and bypassed XP altogether. That OS is still the one that most computers at my work still use though. As problems arise with hardware the computers are switched out and W7 is used.
@ LH - ta, love your "Sarah is a Vista woman !" :)
I have Vista on my main machine, 7 on my second pc and 8 on my laptop (hate that laptop anyway <LOL>).
I can't bear to touch the laptop, will restore an image of Vista on it as soon as I actually need it.
W8 is terrible. Very nice for social media and the likes, but if you actually want to get some work done it's a disaster.
And excuse me but it just looks horrible - doesn't that bother anybody else????
W7 isn't a favorite of mine either. It's actually slower than my Vista (even though I have far more programs installed ánd running on Vista and the W7 pc has more ram) and Vista just looks a lot better. I think a lot of the complaints over Vista result from the fact that people upgraded XP machines to Vista and then got disappointed when their old stuffy machine couldn't handle the new OS. On a machine with the right specs Vista is a dream.
When it wouldn't be possible anymore to run Vista I think with a lot of tweaking W7 will eventually do, but W8 ...
I'll never go there. Curious to see what MS comes up with in the future or maybe some other OS will make a big leap after the MS-failure called W8.
@ SarahJames. "And excuse me but it just looks horrible - doesn't that bother anybody else????"
It bothers me. It looks like going from a beautifully illustrated book to a crudely drawn comic book. Reminds me of my old Commodore C64c. Some things in Win 7 were a bit over the top, such as Aero Glass (fortunately, it can be turned off), but Win 8 went too far simplifying graphics.
@ whs. Send flash drives where for scanning?
@ Rick. I'm not surprised. Many, if not most, people can't afford to replace computers any more than necessary and don't have the expertise (or money) to change Operating Systems on existing ones. I bought my present desktop shortly after Vista came out and made sure it was an XP machine since Vista had a horrible reputation then (it did improve with SP2 but I still didn't care for it) and all my peripherals and some of my programs (including an expensive one) wouldn't work on Vista. When Win 7 came out, I ran M$'s compatibility program on it and it would run only in a crippled state on the machine. So I stayed with XP to get as much bang from my buck on my machine.
I want to share my experience using Windows 8.
I use Windows XP, Windows 7, Windows 8 and Ubuntu(Dual Boot) computers for various purposes.
I clean installed Windows 8 in my 6 years old computer which had Vista. As long as it had Vista I had very tough time working with it. In spite trying all possible hardware and software upgrades/fixes, the system was very slow. But after I installed Windows 8, working with it has become like breeze. Immediate changes that found after the install was
1. Very fast boot.
2. Applications start much faster.
3. Searching anything is much faster.
The only modification I did was to install Classic Shell Start Menu, so I could have the Start Menu. To my surprise, Windows 8 installed all the required drivers even though Windows 8 upgrade adviser said I will have to install drivers after the install of the OS.
Considering the cost of Building or Buying new hardware every Four years or more, changing an O/S for $140 dollars is not even relevant.
Microsoft Windows 7 Professional SP1 64-bit - OEM
Microsoft Windows 8 Professional 64-bit (Full Version) - OEM
@ Rick. There is no way I'll ever buy an OEM OS (unless it's on a new machine I buy). I have three retail copies of Win 7; two Ultimate and and one Home Premium (I don't know why I bought that last one). That way, I can reinstall the OS even if I replace the MOBO or the entire machine without any hassle from M$. I've had people tell me M$ has let them reinstall an OEM copy of Windoze on their machines after changing out the MOBO but I've also heard tales that people were not allowed to do so; I prefer not to worry about it. I generally don't replace hardware unless it breaks or no longer meets my needs. I plan on using Win7 to its last dying gasp (or close to it), same as I did with XP, or until hardware forces me to upgrade.