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  • Internet Explorer and Vista

    Posted on January 19th, 2016 at 16:12 woody 12 comments

    Just got a good question from reader L:

    Great article you posted on January 12th about the ending of IE 8, 9, and 10.   A local radio station in my area has a program every week on computers,  and the expert on that show implied that Vista users (who can’t upgrade to IE 11) might be able to get by OK as long  as they’re running  paid-for commercial antivirus software AND they only use Firefox or Chrome (due to the fact IE is probably always running in the background).   Do you agree with him?

    Also, it looks like Vista Users won’t be able to get security updates for Google Chrome any more after April of this year (PC World December 2015,  page 18).   How long do you think before Windows 7 users such as myself are going to be in the same boat as Vista users?

    Will appreciate any info you could provide.

    Vista will be in extended support until April 11, 2017, so you have more than a year of security patches coming. That means:

    • You should expect, and receive, patches for IE 9 running on Vista machines. Don’t expect any fancy stuff, but Microsoft is on the hook to support it — and there are plenty of corporate customers who will hold MS’s feet to the fire.
    • You should also expect, and receive, malware updates for Microsoft Security Essentials running on Vista.

    That said, I don’t recommend that *anybody* run Internet Explorer. Microsoft isn’t going to do any more with IE than it absolutely has to do. You should’ve changed to Firefox or Chrome long ago – and use either or both for your daily surfing. Yep, you do need to keep IE updated because it’s still doing work under the covers for Windows.

    Chrome will no longer support Vista after April 2016. You can safely use Chrome until then. Afterwards, switch to Firefox. Note that Mozilla still supports Firefox for XP. They’re in it for the long haul.

    I also *don’t* recommend paying for antivirus. Microsoft Security Essentials is free, and works just as well as the nagging, begging, expensive alternatives.

    Windows 7 is a very different kettle of fish. My guess is that Chrome and Firefox and Microsoft Security Essentials will still be supported on Windows 7 until your current box turns to rust and the little squirrels inside stop turning the hard drives.

    Official end of extended support for Win7 is January 14, 2020. By that time, I expect the PC landscape will be vastly different from what it is today.

    If that helped, take a second to support AskWoody on Patreon

    12 Responses to “Internet Explorer and Vista”

    1. Eric says:

      On the Vista front users should be aware that Adobe has discontinued support for Version X of the Adobe Reader. More recent versions of Reader are incompatible with Vista. As a result, Vista users should be aware that continued use of Reader X is now a security risk.

    2. Jonathan says:

      At Least we are on the clear for a year or so.

    3. Tom says:

      I’m kinda curious why no one recommends Pale Moon in these posts about IE. Apparently Vista will be supported by them for some time longer.

      Regarding Adobe Reader, I recall we were all advised to dump it in favor of Foxit or (my choice) PDFExchange Viewer.

      My second laptop is Vista, and when EOL happens, the wifi will be disconnected and I’ll keep using it air-gapped.

      • Clairvaux says:

        I relied on Foxit for a long time. Then, it began using agressive and invasive tactics… reminiscent of Microsoft shenanigans. So I switched to PDF X-Change Viewer. Older-fashioned, but more respectful of the customer.

        Incidentally, Foxit is Chinese, or at least has strong links with China. I don’t trust this very much.

      • AK says:

        I’ve had a look at alternative browsers.
        READ THE SMALL PRINT T&C’s.
        Check the PRIVACY, for DNS REDIRECT, AUTHORISED ADVERTS. Free is very rarely FREE ?
        Lots to choose from, pick YOUR WINNER.
        Regards. AK

    4. MikeFromMarkham says:

      Sumatra PDF is a light, fast, regularly updated and safe alternative to Adobe Reader. Don’t expect frills, just excellent PDF rendering and printing. I replaced Adobe with Sumatra on all my computers years ago and have never regretted it for a second.

    5. a says:

      What free, good alternative to MSE is there? I am a Win 7 user plagued by svchost spiking and WU taking forever, and unfortunately, MSE uses WU to get its daily updates. I am pondering a switch so I can just turn off WU and run it when I want.

      • rc primak says:

        Both Avast and AVG are free alternatives to MSE which have consistently caught more malware in independent testing than MSE for a few years running. both compare favorably with many paid alternatives.

        I don’t like the way Avast takes up system resources if you aren’t careful about its settings. AVG has been accuse of spying, but this appears to be no more personal than the standard Windows telemetry these days, and not as personal as Google’s products, including their Chrome Browser.

        So it appears there are free alternatives as good as if not better than MSE for those versions of Windows which support MSE now. I don’t know about Vista, but it would not surprise me if AVG Free even supports Vista and has no plans to abandon that market any time soon. Someone can correct me if this is wrong.

      • Eric says:

        You can eliminate the contention between MSE getting updates and svchost spiking from WU/MU by stopping the Windows Update Service. MSE will be able to retrieve it’s updates even while the Windows Update Service is stopped. You can see the activity by using the task manager (show processes from all users) and when MSE has completed updating you can restart the Windows Update Service.

        If you don’t want to use the Service GUI to control windows update you can easily do it from an elevated command prompt. To stop Windows Update enter “sc stop wuauserv” and to start it use “sc start wuauserv”.

    6. AK says:

      Vista, IE9 is having problems displaying a few sites.
      CHROME & FIREFOX are, OK.
      Adobe Reader 11.0.14 appears 2b supported ?
      It looks like next CHRISTMAS, it’s a new PC. If Win10 is up to scratch. Otherwise it might be a migrate to MAC ?
      Regards AK

    7. Hopeful Cynic says:

      I wonder if Chromium will continue support. I did a quick search but couldn’t find anything. I did see Chromodo available which seems to still support XP!

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