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Google Will Retire Chrome Support For XP, Vista, OS X 10.6-8 In April 2016 (blogspot.com) 140

An anonymous reader writes: Google has announced it is extending Chrome support for Windows XP until April 2016. The company will also end Chrome support for Windows Vista, OS X 10.6 Snow Leopard, OS X 10.7 Lion, and OS X 10.8 Mountain Lion at the same time. This means Google will provide regular Chrome updates and security patches for users on these operating systems for five more months. After that, the browser will still work, but it will be stuck on the last version released in April.
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Google Will Retire Chrome Support For XP, Vista, OS X 10.6-8 In April 2016

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  • This will leave Windows Vista users without security fixes for Google Chrome, while security fixes for Internet Explorer 9 on Windows Vista continue until April 11, 2017, according to Microsoft's life cycle fact sheet [microsoft.com].

    • Vista users should just upgrade already. Vista's market share is barely over 1.5%.

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by DogDude ( 805747 )
        What does market share have to do with whether or not one uses an OS?
        • by Lunix Nutcase ( 1092239 ) on Wednesday November 11, 2015 @05:47PM (#50911219)

          It means that you can't expect support for forever if you're using one of the minority Windows versions. Just upgrade already.

          • It means that you can't expect support for forever if you're using one of the minority Windows versions. Just upgrade already.

            Any halfways sensible Windows poweruser would have upgraded to at least Windows 7 already. I know I did for my laptop that ran like crap under Vista.

            Anyone left running Vista is an old Grandma that bought a laptop 7 years ago, and doesn't have any family that visits to notice the problem.

            • I hate to say it, because you said it harshly, but you're telling the truth...

              Vista SP2 is actually not that bad, they did fix the major issues and it was fine near the end, but RTM did suck in many ways. Not all of it was MS fault, some of it was the drivers of the day or the hardware it was put on at the time, but it really was rushed.

              Windows 7 was great RTM and 10 is great RTM... 8 was a mess, but 8.1 fixed much of it, if not all...

              But now that 10 is here, what's the issue?

              • by KGIII ( 973947 )

                For some? Probably that there's no free upgrade path to 10 from Vista. For those, the OS just works and they probably don't have the chops to upgrade nor see why they should. We'll just end up with more zombies to work around. Hell, they'll probable be grateful that they needn't download the updates all the time and not realize that this makes them less secure.

                • Just tossing out an interesting idea here...

                  What if ISPs started blocking Internet service to computers running out of date OSes?

                  Since XP is not and soon Vista will no longer be secure, what if they simply prevented such computers from getting on the Internet?

                  As crazy as the idea sounds, I can see how from a national security point of view, at some point the Internet needs to be secured and the government might stand behind ISPs blocking older computers from infecting the rest of us.

                  Just tossing the thought

                  • by KGIII ( 973947 )

                    Funny, I mentioned a similar idea a couple of hours ago with regards to firewalling botnet or malware infested PCs to a limited use internet where they'd have access to tools to repair their computers.

                  • by doccus ( 2020662 )

                    Mine does. I fitrdt noticed it 10 years ago when ARACHNE suddenly couldfn't connrct no matter what I did. I had a large collection of legacy computers and started noticing that one by one.. they no longer could connect.
                    It sucks when software is disabled like that. For instance .. As of today Torch no longer can download youtube videos since the new format has been introduced. Don't like it. My YT subscriptions page looks way too busy.

                  • What if ISPs started blocking Internet service to computers running out of date OSes?

                    What if the greediest and laziest of American companies decided to turn down money from some of their customers? Are you really asking that question?

                    Short of a federal mandate, there is no way that's happening.

                    And the telecoms sued the FCC over being regulated as common carriers, which they fairly obviously are.

                    You think this could happen without a protracted court battle? No chance in Hell.

                    Let's not forget that a sizable group of Republicans tried to revoke the FCC's authority to designate ISPs as common c

              • Given that there isn't a whole lot of difference under the hood between Vista and Windows 7, I'm kind of curious what Chrome is doing that won't work on Vista anyway. Unless Google's announcement is that they're simply not going to test on Vista anymore, in which case Chrome will likely still run okay, just not be officially supported.

                Dropping support for Windows XP on the other hand actually makes sense.

            • Anyone left running Vista is an old Grandma that bought a laptop 7 years ago, and doesn't have any family that visits to notice the problem.

              Right, and Grandma being able to afford a new laptop, or have it as a priority is a given, right?

              Maybe Grandma thinks stuff is supposed to last for more than 7 years, and her fixed income doesn't leave a lot of room to buy a new damned laptop?

              I suspect the people still running Vista are doing so because they don't have a whole lot of choice. There's tons of people for

        • by quenda ( 644621 )

          What does market share have to do with whether or not one uses an OS?

          Low use leads to lack of support (as uneconomical), which make it insecure and reduced functionality. Was that logic chain too long?

    • They're already on Vista. They're use to misery by now.
      • They're already on Vista. They're use to misery by now.

        Misery was RTM. Mojave was Service Pack 1 [wikipedia.org] and it fixed a lot of problems. Windows Vista is on Service Pack 2 now.

      • I strongly associate Vista with misery. I dual boot and only use Vista for my taxes. So in January I will get my regular experience of receiving nine months of Microsoft and Adobe updates. After rebooting a few times and telling Mr Ellison that no, I don't want the "Ask" toolbar, I can then settle down to fun and finance.

        My normal boot option - Ubuntu 15.10 with Unity - is a lot nicer.

        • by nanodec ( 999112 )
          If you even want to do away with the dual boot, and feel like playing around, go pickup a free copy of ESXi and run a VM of Windows. That's what I'm doing now since I've been using Microsoft Money for years and am just stuck in my ways... ;) Other then that, I've taken many PC's at this point for users who want to surf the web and check their email and migrated them to either Debian or Ubuntu. After showing them the few icons that they need to access their stuff, they are happily chugging away on somethi
        • I strongly associate Vista with misery.

          I ran it up until January of this year.

          If you gave it enough resources, it wasn't bad. The machine I had it on was a quad-core machine with 8GB of RAM I'd bought at the end of 2008. Honestly, with a decent amount of resources on it, it was stable, solid, and didn't really have much in the way of pain points.

          I actually was fairly happy with it over the life of the computer. If I hadn't started having hardware failures, I'd probably still be running it.

          I honestly don'

    • by Anonymous Coward

      Maybe we can raise a couple hundred bucks and buy the 3 Vista users a Windows 7 upgrade?

    • by Anonymous Coward

      Firefox still works on Vista (and XP).

    • Since XP was the last win32 based OS - Vista and successors being win64 based - that's a good reason for Google to drop 32-bit Chrome and do only 64-bit Chrome. Also gets around the WoW64 security bugs. I just uninstalled 32-bit Chrome and installed 64-bit Chrome instead.
      • Since XP was the last win32 based OS

        lolwut? Vista, 7, 8, 8.1 and 10 all have 32-bit versions.

        • Since XP was the last win32 based OS

          lolwut? Vista, 7, 8, 8.1 and 10 all have 32-bit versions.

          Which is particularly interesting because all 32 bit versions of Windows, including Windows 10, will run 16 bit applications.

          This is important at work as we still have mission critical 16 bit software.

    • by Anonymous Coward

      So just use Firefox.

  • by MobileTatsu-NJG ( 946591 ) on Wednesday November 11, 2015 @02:36PM (#50909813)

    Google's learning that supporting multiple OS versions costs money. I wonder what the Android team thinks.

    • by AmiMoJo ( 196126 )

      It's less of an issue on Android because many of the features that Chrome makes use of are provided by user space stuff, which gets updated by the Play store app. Since only 4% of users are running pre-4.0 versions of Android even the OS API is fairly stable and complete on the oldest devices anyway.

      It's not like Windows where many people are running a version of the OS that first appeared in 2001, 14 years ago, and are still reading their mail with Outlook Express or accessing the web with IE6 (to download

  • by Anonymous Coward

    Open source alternatives can be maintained as long as someone is interested in providing updates. It's far superior for updates to legacy software than the closed source alternatives. Open source browsers will continue to provide updates for these systems for the foreseeable future.

    • by tepples ( 727027 )

      I imagine that this announcement means that Google will no longer be "interested in providing updates" to the open-source Chromium Browser that preserve compatibility with Windows Vista. Which "Open source alternatives" did you have in mind?

  • by WaffleMonster ( 969671 ) on Wednesday November 11, 2015 @02:50PM (#50909895)

    I feel a great disturbance in the force as if millions of voices suddenly shrugged and switched to Mozilla.

  • Why would people using Windows XP, an OS that was retired 18 months ago, care that their web browser won't be getting updates in 2016, 2 years post OS retirement?

    If Windows XP being retired didn't get them to change, this won't either.

    • by tepples ( 727027 )

      I see your point with respect to Windows XP users but not with respect to Windows Vista users [slashdot.org].

      • Why? XP has around 8 times as many users as Vista.

        • by tepples ( 727027 )

          One-eighth the users left in the lurch is still greater than zero users left in the lurch.

          • One-eighth the users left in the lurch is still greater than zero users left in the lurch.

            While that is true, it is not economically possible to serve every last customer.

            Vista is past is mainstream support end date by 3 years, the number of people using Chrome on Vista may well be even less than Vista's marketshare (Google would have those numbers, which we wouldn't).

            It may simply not be worth providing them further support beyond 2016.

            • the number of people using Chrome on Vista may well be even less than Vista's marketshare

              The most worthless statement I've seen today.

              (Google would have those numbers, which we wouldn't).

              Regarding desktop installs, Google has two main channels of getting that info. One is accessible to any webserver a chrome browser visits and the other other is an opt-in service. Both are easy to bypass/manipulate. In short, Google's metrics aren't much better than what a large site could garner or a collection of smaller sites and traffic could aggregate.

      • That is a fair point regarding Vista users...

        On the other hand, I can see the flip side, which is that Vista's mainstream support ended 4/10/2012. Which means that it isn't getting feature updates, only critical security updates.

        To move forward, Chrome needs to support the latest features such as HTML5, and Vista may simply never get some of the updates that Windows 7 and later will get.

        Speaking of which, Windows 7 has passed its mainstream support date as well, that passed 01/13/2015. While Windows 7 wil

        • by tepples ( 727027 )

          On the other hand, I can see the flip side, which is that Vista's mainstream support ended 4/10/2012.

          Likewise, as you point out, Windows 7's mainstream support ended January 13, 2015. Why does Chrome for Windows 7 get critical security updates and not Chrome for Windows Vista?

          To move forward, Chrome needs to support the latest features such as HTML5, and Vista may simply never get some of the updates that Windows 7 and later will get.

          But how does not being able to provide new HTML5 features due to limits of operating system capabilities block the provision of critical security updates for the browser?

          Microsoft is giving away Windows 10 for free. Very few people should turn them down on that offer

          I'm interested. In your opinion, what's the risk of allowing the telemetry that Windows 10 doesn't let users turn off, such as Cortana, live tiles, and Son of CEIP? I

          • Likewise, as you point out, Windows 7's mainstream support ended January 13, 2015. Why does Chrome for Windows 7 get critical security updates and not Chrome for Windows Vista?

            Itâ(TM)s not personal, Sonny. Itâ(TM)s strictly business.

            But how does not being able to provide new HTML5 features due to limits of operating system capabilities block the provision of critical security updates for the browser?

            It costs money to update software and do testing on multiple OSes.

            This removes two major OS releases that Google has to do testing against, that will save them a lot of time and money.

            I'm interested. In your opinion, what's the risk of allowing the telemetry that Windows 10 doesn't let users turn off, such as Cortana, live tiles, and Son of CEIP? I've read "keylogger" rumors, and I'm told that Windows uses an anti-phishing service run by an organization that has provided enforcement services to the MPAA.

            Microsoft has a lot to lose if they screw up the telemetry of Windows 10. On the other hand, they have a lot to gain by getting it right. They should, if they have any brains at all, have their very smartest people on this.

            I don't want to turn Cortana off, I

            • by tepples ( 727027 )

              In return for tons of information about me, my family, and how I use my computers, Microsoft gives me a ton of services for free, including Windows 10. I'm ok with that trade.

              Would you be OK if that trade led Microsoft to feed information to a service provider used by the MPAA, which in turn feeds it to the FBI, which in turn kicks down your door? And would you be OK with the telemetry's Internet data usage causing you to run up overage fees, especially now that more and more ISPs are going pay-per-bit?

              Only major, glaring problems will get fixed as it ages.

              With Chrome on Windows Vista, not even "major, glaring problems will get fixed".

              • Would you be OK if that trade led Microsoft to feed information to a service provider used by the MPAA, which in turn feeds it to the FBI, which in turn kicks down your door?

                I don't pirate movies.

                And would you be OK with the telemetry's Internet data usage causing you to run up overage fees, especially now that more and more ISPs are going pay-per-bit?

                I don't have metered internet access, I live in an area with 3 high speed Internet choices, including two fiber to the home options.

                • I don't pirate movies.

                  Covering up alleged copyright infringement is by far not the only example of a reason why one would desire privacy. For one thing, the law has become so complex that people commit far more crimes than they're aware of. (See Three Felonies a Day by Harvey A. Silverglate, ISBN 1594035229.) And if you handle confidential information in the ordinary course of work, such as trade-secret computer program source code or patients' health information, would you be comfortable with live-streaming every keypress you m

                  • Covering up alleged copyright infringement is by far not the only example of a reason why one would desire privacy.

                    No, it isn't, but now you've expanded the example to fit your case.

                    Your question was, do I want the MPAA watching for pirating of their work. I answered that. Then you moved the goal posts.

                    And if you handle confidential information in the ordinary course of work, such as trade-secret computer program source code or patients' health information, would you be comfortable with live-streaming every keypress you make to Microsoft and its "marketing partners"?

                    No, of course not. But if I did that, I'd run a secured desktop with an external firewall with everything blocked, and that isn't hard to do. And then I still wouldn't trust it, I'd want a security audit by someone else, regardless of the version of the OS I use, be that Windows, OS X, or Linux.

                    But since I don't do an

                    • Then you moved the goal posts.

                      I apologize for not having addressed all conceivable ramifications of telemetry in Windows 10 in a single post. If I later thought of additional questions to ask, should I have instead asked them as an additional reply to #50913183 rather than as a reply to #50913599?

                      And if you handle confidential information in the ordinary course of work, such as trade-secret computer program source code or patients' health information, would you be comfortable with live-streaming every keypress you make to Microsoft and its "marketing partners"?

                      But since I don't do any of that, I don't care, and 99% of the people don't have to.

                      I disagree with your claim that only 1 percent of Windows users use Windows for anything subject to a confidentiality agreement.

                      Do you have any numbers for how much data Windows 10 uses, compared to Windows 7?

                      No. I can offer a qualitative guess once it is clarified whether the 3 GB per machine automatic download of the Wind

                    • No. I can offer a qualitative guess once it is clarified whether the 3 GB per machine automatic download of the Windows 10 upgrade installer is charged against the Windows 7 total or against the Windows 10 total.

                      If you're on a metered connection, then you should have it set to being on a metered connection...

                      And that download is charged to Windows 7, not 10, IMHO... since it doesn't download on 10...

                    • by tepples ( 727027 )

                      If you're on a metered connection, then you should have it set to being on a metered connection...

                      I'm curious as to what Windows 10 will do if all connections available to a given PC are marked as metered. Will it fall behind on security updates?

    • As an occasional XP user, I don't care.

      I never browse the web from XP, and I run it in a VM with a firewall in place. I have it around in order to run an embedded systems compiler and some funny little device programmer. It works, it's paid for, it's going to continue to work and it's safe enough since I keep it almost completely disconnected from the wider internet.

      Not that I have chrome installed anyway, but I wouldn't ever dream of browsing the web from XP.

      • by KGIII ( 973947 )

        I thought that MSFT could have done well, to the community and their bank account, by selling service packs for XP beyond SP3. SP3 was long enough, they supported it far and away beyond what they were obligated to do. I give them credit for that. I do think that they could have (and should have) then kept it on the back burner and continued security updates and maybe back-ported some features as options. For, say, $20 the user could get access to SP4 (which would include any security updates, etc) and then

    • and pirates, and people with good reasons to still be using it (I have multiple XP VMs for various things, I even have legal images and it works perfectly well for what I need thanks).

      I bet XP still has an enormous user base.

      • XP will be used for a long time...

        But this article specifically deals with the XP user base that is browsing the web, and how many of them are using Chrome to do it.

        Frankly, for your uses, you likely couldn't care less if Chrome supports XP or not, since you're not using XP for that.

        The question really is, "how many people are still using XP to browse the web and how many are using Chrome?"

        I suspect the answer is small and smaller, and both grows smaller each day.

      • I bet XP still has an enormous user base.

        It has around 10-15% market share still depending on the estimate. So while still larger than some versions of Windows it is far removed from what it was even just a couple of years ago.

  • by Lumpy ( 12016 ) on Wednesday November 11, 2015 @03:49PM (#50910307) Homepage

    So you can simply switch to chromium now and not worry about it.

  • There is not a different download or code base for Vista vs Windows 7, so I am not sure I understand what Google means by this announcement. The odds that the chrome.exe will magically stop working on Windows Vista before the end of 2016 seems unlikely to me.

  • I'm running 10.6.8 (Snow Leopard) (posting from it, in fact), so this decision affects me.

    I realize software companies have to pull the plug sometime, but this decision is a hassle for me. Already Apple has stopped updating Safari. I moved to Firefox which was so buggy and crash-prone I got frustrated. Moved to Chrome, which has worked well. This puts me one step closer to no browser.

    My gripe is that my hardware is working perfectly well. I have no REAL reason to buy a new computer except for the fact

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