Microsoft officially ends support for Windows Vista

(Reuters/Mike Segar)A Microsoft logo is seen on an office building in New York City.

An era in the phase of one of the world's leading software manufacturers has officially ended.

According to a report from CNBC, Microsoft announced last Tuesday that it is cutting all forms of support for one of its most controversial operating systems (OS), Windows Vista. The move was in line with the company's 10-year support cycle for the OS, as Microsoft decided to channel its "resources towards more recent technologies."

With the full stoppage of support, Vista users will no longer enjoy hotfixes, support options, and more importantly, security updates, which could pose a serious concern.

"If you continue to use Windows Vista after support has ended, your computer will still work but it might become more vulnerable to security risks and viruses," said Microsoft in its support forums. "Internet Explorer 9 is no longer supported, so if your Windows Vista PC is connected to the Internet and you use Internet Explorer 9 to surf the web, you might be exposing your PC to additional threats," their statement added.

Furthermore, the company also noted that since hardware and software manufacturers adapt to the newer versions of Windows, Vista users should be ready to encounter more apps and devices that are no longer compatible with the beleaguered OS.

Meanwhile, a report from Tech Republic noted that the development will force various organizations to either upgrade to a newer Windows OS or at least switch to open source. Some of the viable options include Windows 10, which is the most current Microsoft OS; Windows 8, which will experience support until January of 2023; and Windows 7, which is currently being used by almost 70% of businesses, according to a study by Spiceworks.

As for the open source, users can choose among a number of trusted options like Fedora, Linux Mint, ReactOS, and Ubuntu, just to name a few.

For users who are unsure if they are on Vista, they can verify by clicking the start menu then typing "winver" in the search box. They should then click "About Windows" after doing the first step. If the words "Windows Vista" appears, then users should start looking for new OS options.