Browser Support Limited
Internet Explorer 11 will be the only version of Internet Explorer Supported come January 2016.
Although Windows Vista "supposedly" reaches End of Life in April 2017:
The fact that the latest version of Internet Explorer supported for Windows Vista is Internet Explorer 9 means Windows Vista has effectively reached End of Life. No Security Updates for Internet Explorer may make it no longer safe to use.
Google are also dropping Windows Vista support for Chrome in April 2016 as they agree that Microsoft no longer actively support this Operating System:
The latest version of Office for Windows Vista is Office 2010. It never got support for Office 2013 or later:
The Latest version of Windows Live Essentials for Windows Vista was Windows Live Essentials 2011. You've guessed it, this version too is at End of Life:
Almost all major venders eg. Intel, AMD, NVidia provide no new drivers for Windows Vista. This means new peripherals may not work with a Windows Vista PC.
What to Do if I'm Still Running Vista?
First you should assess the value of your system… If your systems hardware passes the minimum system requirements to Windows 10, most PCs shipped with Windows Vista will be capable then you should consider migrating to Windows 10. Unfortunately there is no "Official Free Upgrade" however the "Unofficial Free Upgrade" path via the expired Windows 10130 Insider Preview Works Well… I document this in detail here Windows Vista → Windows 10 Insider Build 10130 (Clean) → Windows 10 TH2 Pro. Although the Insider Preview Build 10130 expired in October 2015 workarounds to change the date to September 2015 still allows the Windows Insider Preview 10130 to act as an eligible Windows Edition to upgrade to Windows 10 TH2 Pro. This "Unofficial Free Upgrade" path has worked for the last 3 months…
If your system was very low end and fails to pass even these minimum requirements its time to buy a new system. If on a budget a second hand ex-business Dell OptiPlex 780 Desktop or Latitude E series with a Windows 7 OEM license and free upgrade to Windows 10 TH2 are good choices. Personally I do not recommend upgrading a system which contains DDR RAM, IDE HDDs or a single core processor. Anything like Intel 915GM graphics or worse won't cut Windows 10 and even you get it to install it will be woefully slow. The minimum hardware I would recommend upgrading is a Dell latitude D820 with a Intel Core Duo T7200, 2 GB DDR2 PC2-5300 RAM and Intel 945 graphics.
Checking Windows 10 System Requirements
If you aren't sure whether your legacy hardware running Windows XP/Vista is capable of running Windows 10 run the Windows 8 Upgrade Assistant (which runs on XP and Vista). The system requirements are almost identical for 32 Bit Windows 8.1 and 32 Bit Windows 10.
Simply run the upgrade assistant:
It will scan your computer to determine whether its compatible:
Click see compatibility details:
The compatibility details may show some of the following details to review:
You are looking for it to state issues specifically about your hardware.
The 4 issues it lists in this case aren't significant:
- Install an App to play a DVD. – No problem install VLC player after Windows 10 TH2 installation.
- SecureBoot isn't compatible with your PC. – No problem Windows 10 can run in a legacy BIOS using the MBR partition scheme. It won't perform as well and will be less secure than a newer system with these technologies.
- Sidebar Gadgets aren't supported. – No problem, few people use these and the Apps in the Windows 10 Store are far superior.
- Your screen resolution isn't compatible with snap. – No problem the screen resolution for Windows 10 was lowered to support 800×600 as a minimum.