Oh dear! The death knell is sounding louder for Windows Vista!
Its demise has of course been likely for some time. It's a wonder that it wasn't killed off long ago. But then, Microsoft has always made switching to a more modern version of Windows awkward, or expensive, or both. Awkward, in the sense that upgrading the OS on the same machine generally doesn't go smoothly. Expensive, in that the easiest upgrade solution involves purchasing new hardware with the new OS already installed - and very often new software that will work with it. This makes everyone reluctant to upgrade unless they are forced to. Myself included. I was an early adopter of Windows Vista, in May 2007, and although I fully acknowledge its shortcomings, which irritate me greatly, it has nevertheless served me quite well for nine years and I have never seriously thought of upgrading. Windows 7, 8, and 8.1 therefore passed me by. I looked at them, but thought it too much trouble, and too much expense, to get excited and upgrade. Even the latest version of Windows, Windows 10, doesn't offer me anything compelling, compared to Good Old Vista.
Meanwhile (finding Apple's attitude to consumers uncongenial) I have embraced Android for my mobile devices. I love many of the slick things you can do with touchscreen mobile phones and tablets. They are much better for pursuing a social and leisure life than a PC ever was. But then a PC is (and remains) a workhorse device for doing things in bulk. It's for work, whether that's literally in the business office, or in connection with a serious creative activity such as photography or writing. And the experience needs to be direct and gimmick-free. Speed and capacity matter most, with an interface best suited to sitting at a desk or table. Microsoft's past insistence on a single unified OS that could fit all kinds of device, desktop and handheld, was a mistake that complicated their OS - stopping people upgrading and losing them sales.
I think the truth is that Microsoft got the essential functionality of Windows right with Windows XP, and ever since then has been chasing around - unsuccessfully - for some elusive extra ingredient that will truly take its OS to a much higher level. But they haven't gone in the right direction for a desktop machine, and, so far as I can judge, still haven't regained the Holy Grail of a superbly capable interface combined with simplicity of use. I really don't look forward to stepping forward from Windows Vista.
But now it looks as if I shall have to do it during 2016.
For if Google is dropping Chrome support for Vista, surely Gmail will soon follow? And then all the other products in the Google stable? And F-Secure, my trusty anti-virus and malware program? I don't want to be without them.
Hmm. I think I will have to buy another desktop machine sooner than I thought! How unwelcome, because (a) I'm not at the moment well-placed to fund a high-spec hardware replacement; and (b) I'd doubtless have to replace Microsoft Office and several photo-editing programs - an expensive exercise, and possibly an unwelcome one in itself, as I don't want programs that might well be subscription-only in their 'pro' versions.
All this is just saying that I see the crunch coming, a bit sooner than I'd wish for, and - to conserve funds - I may have to radically change my approach to computer equipment. I'll have to give all this some deep thought.