Google Drive is a reliable companion when Google users reach the end of storage space on their devices or need a reliable alternative to backup or manage and sync files between their devices and Google’s cloud. But, with recent developments somewhat disappointing, Google is terminating support for its Drive desktop app on Windows XP, Windows Vista and Windows Server 2003 starting January 1, 2017.
“Today, we’re announcing that on January 1, 2017 we will discontinue support for the Google Drive desktop app on Windows XP, Vista and Server 2003 since these platforms are no longer actively supported by Microsoft. The Google Drive desktop app (officially: “Google Drive for Mac/PC”) will continue to function on these platforms, but will not be actively tested and maintained.”
Still, Windows XP is still the first choice of operating system for novices and most old school users. After reaching the end of support in April 2014, more than 9% of the total Windows PC population uses XP, but given the termination of further security patches and update releases for the OS, it was inevitable for software companies to drop support for their apps on an outdated OS.
Following Windows XP’s abandonment by Microsoft, Vista is joining the lineup and is expected to reach the end of support from the company in April 2017, after which there will be no future security patch releases. Not to mention, Vista holds only 1% of the total market share and the odds of that 1% having the Google Drive Desktop app installed on their desktops are pretty slim.
The company is making it clear that there will be no further update and improvement releases for their cloud-based app on the mentioned platforms. Though they have mentioned the programs will continue to work (as long as they can without the upgrade juice) and there won’t be any abrupt discontinuation of the software, just a pullback from actively maintaining the app. So, there is a ray of hope for users who are still running on older Windows versions and the desktop app is expected to run smoothly on the two supported operating systems for a little longer.
Google is advising those affected to migrate to a newer, more up-to-date version of Windows which is essentially less risky as well, given the heightened rate of abandoned app support. If that doesn’t feel like a healthy alternative, they can always use third party cloud-based apps on their devices after Google Drive desktop client reaches its limit of running without updates.
Given all these facts, we really don’t see any reason for users to still continue using an outdated, decade-old operating system when you clearly have better, more stable alternatives to choose from.