Windows XP Support from Microsoft and Mozilla
Written by Alex Armstrong   
Monday, 30 January 2012

At the same time that Microsoft is reminding users that time is ticking on to the end of XP support in April 2014, Mozilla has announced that in future it won't be able to support really old XP versions either.

 

In a blog post, 800 Days Until Windows XP End of Support, Stephen Rose points out that as it takes 18-24 months to plan and deploy a new operating system, those IT professionals clinging to XP should start to consider migration.

 

 

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One problem that those sticking with "legacy" versions of Windows is finding an Internet Browser. Microsoft Internet Explorer 9 requires Windows Vista or later and IE 8 requires XP with SP2 or higher and those using Windows 2000 are pegged at IE 7.

The solution for those wanting more up-to-date browser features has until now been to move to Firefox.

However in the interesting twist of wanting to upgrade its Windows build systems to use Microsoft Visual Studio 2010, Mozilla will no longer be able to build a version of Firefox that runs on Windows 2000, Windows XP RTM, and Windows Service Pack 1.

The announcment came from Asa Dotzler,  Product Director for Firefox who commented:

It's always a difficult decision to leave some users behind. The number of Firefox users on those OS versions - less than one half of one percent of our Windows Firefox users, and the benefits to our development process and the hundreds of millions of Firefox users on XP SP2 and above, however, compel us to look forward rather than back.

One comment supporting the move probably reflects the feeling of many developers:

I'm glad to hear that you are finally putting users on modern OS's first again.

I never understood why you guys kept supporting Windows 2000 after Microsoft dropped official support for it in July 2010. It is just bad to support an OS that is no longer getting patched. If the users of an unsupported OS want to keep using it, that is one thing. It is another thing for software developers to feel compelled support an unsupported OS for a minority of stubborn users.

However it is an interesting example of how Microsoft can "encourage" third parties to abandon old operating systems. By removing support in the tools it provides it can make it difficult for developers to support an OS, even if they want to.  

 

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More Information

800 Days Until Windows XP End of Support

End of Firefox Support for Windows 2000

Related Articles

Microsoft counts down to XP death

 

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