While many will consider this to be a non-issue, it still comes as a surprise that Windows Vista Ultimate edition receives all the ultimate treats in terms of features (and price), but it does not apply for extended lifecycle support. In other words, support for Vista Ultimate is no different than the one offered for other Home editions, ending about five years from now, while Business and Enterprise editions both receive five more years (April 11, 2017).

In the past, extended lifecycle support has been usually tied with Microsoft's business software offerings however it was somewhat of an educated assumption that with Vista's Ultimate edition you were entitled to the best of both worlds.

According to Microsoft's Support Lifecycle Web page, support for consumer products ends after five years. There is no Extended Support option. I had always assumed that Windows Vista Ultimate, which Microsoft pitches as having the most consumer and corporate features, would be supported for more than five years. Besides, Microsoft does offer Ultimate to businesses for volume-licensing purchase, with caveats such as single activation.