Mozilla broke the news on December 23, 2016 that it would support Windows XP and Vista at least until September 2017. This means Mozilla will provide regular Firefox security patches for XP and Vista users for at least nine more months. The news is like a ray of sunshine for XP and Vista users as it gives them a little more time to bump their OS to Windows 7, or ideally, Windows 10.
According to Mozilla,
“Firefox is one of the few browsers that continues to support Windows XP and Vista, and we expect to continue to provide security updates for users until September 2017. Users do not need to take additional action to receive those updates. In mid-2017, user numbers on Windows XP and Vista will be reassessed and a final support end date will be announced.”
2016 has been by far the most unfortunate year for Microsoft as many prominent names drew their support from Microsoft’s OS on PCs and mobile devices. It was in September 2016 when Mozilla joined the faction as well. They officially declared that all XP and Vista users would automatically be moved to the Firefox Extended Support Release (ESR).
Firefox ESR is a version of the browser designed for schools, universities, businesses, and others who need help with mass deployment. Firefox ESR releases are maintained for one year.
While Mozilla continued to support their Firefox browser for XP and Vista, many did not. Google dropped the support for its Chrome web browser in mid-2016. Of all major browser makers, only Opera and Mozilla are still supporting XP and Vista.
Even Microsoft withdrew mainstream support for their then popular Windows XP back in 2009 on April 14. Extended Support was pulled on April 8, 2014. Windows Vista, will be retired by the company next year on April 11, while mainstream support ended on April 10, 2012.
This has left Vista, and more significantly XP users, in a bit of a pickle as Windows XP users cannot upgrade to newer versions of Microsoft’s IE browser. The latest version they can install is Internet Explorer 8 whereas Internet Explorer 9 is only available for Windows Vista and Windows 7. The later releases, IE10 and IE11 are only supportable on Windows 7 and Windows 8.
An important note: Mozilla has stated that after the declared deadline September 2017, their numbers will be reassessed to determine if the number of users on the two outdated operating systems is still significant. If they are, the chances are that the date will be further extended — although they still encourage users to upgrade to a version of Windows that is supported by Microsoft if they haven’t done so already.
After the termination of support for Vista and XP, there will be no more security patches and update releases for them, making it extremely dangerous for you to use the browser otherwise.
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- Google retires Chrome App Launcher for Windows, here’s how to launch Google apps from Desktop
- Windows XP standing the test of time despite no support from Microsoft