As planned, Microsoft today ended support for Windows Vista Service Pack 1. This means the software giant will no longer provide any assisted support or security updates. Windows Vista users are thus encouraged to upgrade to Service Pack 2, or move to Windows 7 altogether.
Windows Vista was released on January 1, 2007. SP1 followed on February 4, 2008 and SP2 followed on April 29, 2009. Support for SP2 will end 24 months after SP3 is released (if ever) or at the end of Windows Vista's support lifecycle, whichever comes first.
For most of its software, Microsoft provides Mainstream Support, followed by Extended Support, and finishes with just Self-Help Online Support. Mainstream Support for Windows Vista is scheduled to end April 10, 2012 while Extended Support will end five years after that, on April 11, 2017.
Interestingly, there is no Extended Support for Home Basic, Home Basic N, or Home Premium. As a result, these editions will have no more support after April 10, 2012. Meanwhile, Business, Business N, and Enterprise users will get five more years. Since it is very unlikely that Microsoft will release a third service pack for Windows Vista, right now it looks like support for the operating system will end for business users less than six years from now.
Before then though, we'll see Windows XP die off. Microsoft ended Mainstream Support for Windows XP on April 14, 2009. The software giant has scheduled to end Extended Support on April 8, 2014. This date affects all versions of XP (except for Embedded): Home Edition, Media Center Edition 2002, Media Center Edition 2004, Media Center Edition 2005, Professional, Tablet PC Edition, and Tablet PC Edition 2005.