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Firefox 52 Is The Last Version of Firefox For Windows XP and Vista (mspoweruser.com) 119

Mozilla has confirmed that Firefox 52, the new version of its browser it made available earlier this week, will be the last major version to support two legacy operating systems - Windows XP and Windows Vista. The company said future versions will require Windows users to be on a machine that has at a minimum Windows 7 running on it.
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Firefox 52 Is The Last Version of Firefox For Windows XP and Vista

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  • Why drop Vista? (Score:4, Insightful)

    by drinkypoo ( 153816 ) <martin.espinoza@gmail.com> on Wednesday March 08, 2017 @11:04AM (#53999941) Homepage Journal

    Not that I have any Vista machines any more, but why drop Vista support? What's available on 7 but not Vista, API-wise?

    • by Calydor ( 739835 ) on Wednesday March 08, 2017 @11:05AM (#53999957)

      Users.

    • api.sanity

    • by Kjella ( 173770 )

      Not that I have any Vista machines any more, but why drop Vista support? What's available on 7 but not Vista, API-wise?

      It has 1/5th the market share of XP, end of extended support next month and killing off Vista counts as a mercy kill. Probably mostly the first one though, XP got supported because there were too many users to leave in a ditch. Vista, not so much.

    • Re:Why drop Vista? (Score:5, Informative)

      by H0p313ss ( 811249 ) on Wednesday March 08, 2017 @11:11AM (#53999997)

      Sometimes dropping support is not because it won't work, but because the cost/benefit ratio of testing to guarantee it will work is not worth the effort.

      Pertinent facts:
          Vista represents less than 1% of the market, we're talking 3 to 4 times less than linux
          Vista exited mainstream support FIVE YEARS AGO
          Vista extended support expires this week [microsoft.com]

      At some point you just stop beating the dead horse.

      • I kind of love that Microsoft's expiry notice [microsoft.com] basically says if you're still running Vista you should probably buy a new computer.

        • I kind of love that Microsoft's expiry notice [microsoft.com] basically says if you're still running Vista you should probably buy a new computer.

          Last year I replaced my nine-year-old Vista-compatible motherboard with a newer motherboard.

        • Actually there's a bit of irony to that. We have about 30 Dells we had bought that had Vista on them. Last year upgraded them all to Windows 10, which seems to run perfectly fine on hardware that was, at that point, seven years old. Of course there are a lot of other things to dislike about Windows 10, but it actually runs fairly well on those old machines.

          • Re:Why drop Vista? (Score:5, Informative)

            by Ramze ( 640788 ) on Wednesday March 08, 2017 @01:44PM (#54001177)

            Win 10 runs even better than Vista did on the old hardware -- due in part to streamlining the OS to fit on low-resource PCs to compete with tablets and Chromebooks. Win 10 loads things more intelligently, uses RAM compression, and tries to only load one copy of a cached shared library instead of multiples - one for each app using them. If it weren't for the spyware, adware, and cost, It'd be a decent OS.

            I put Ubuntu on our 8 year old Vista machine, but only because it wasn't worth purchasing a Win 10 license.

            • Win 10 runs even better than Vista did on the old hardware

              Sure, but so does Windows 7. The biggest difference between Vista and 7 is that they really improved memory management. It's largely the same underpinnings.

            • by Trogre ( 513942 )

              Are you sure about that?

              I see crappy netbooks on offer at my local retailer with 32GB SSDs (16GB of which is taken up by an already trimmed-down version of Windows 10) and 2GB RAM.

              They run like molasses. I'm amazed anyone would consider a 2 minute boot time acceptable, and forget about trying to actually run any programs on it within the next two minutes.

              I had to troubleshoot one for a client. Ended up replacing Windows with Fedora Linux and XFCE, and the difference is night and day. Five second boot tim

              • There was something wrong with his windows install. I get these in my shop with fair regularity (they don't have a large enough hard drive to install windows 10 updates, so I have to wipe them and start from scratch with new builds for people because of Microsoft's boneheaded update methods) and they turn on in about 4 seconds. I've always been absolutely amazed at how fast these things run given that they're garbage. They only run "like molasses" if you do something CPU intensive.
                • by Trogre ( 513942 )

                  Perhaps I didn't explain it very well. They run like molasses at the shop, and I haven't seen them do anything that could be considered CPU intensive. Perhaps the bloatware isn't helping.

            • Win 10 loads things more intelligently, ... tries to only load one copy of a cached shared library instead of multiples....

              What? That's how DLLs have always worked. Even Windows 3.0 did that.

            • by Trogre ( 513942 )

              Win 10 runs even better than Vista did on the old hardware

              I realise I've already replied to you, but it just occurred to me that what you're claiming is a lot like what climate change deniers often say about the year 1998:

              Atmospheric temperatures haven't increased since 1998.

              This is, of course, due to 1998 having an abnormally strong El Nino so being prime for cherry picking as a starting data point.

              (It also happens to be wrong, as several subsequent years have been hotter but that's beside the point).

              The

        • basically says if you're still running Vista you should probably buy a new computer.

          Well if you're stupid enough not to upgrade to Windows 7... frankly there shouldn't be anyone left on Vista. If your computer ran on Vista it ran Windows 7. No need to buy a new computer. Only people who rested on their laurels so long that they can no longer buy Windows 7 need to consider a new computer.

          • Yeah let's pay Microsoft another $100 for something that should've been free with an apology for Vista.

            • There was nothing wrong with Vista. Blame driver manufacturers for thoroughly fucking up every driver shipped with the OS. Blame the media for criticising memory usage graphs they didn't understand.

              • Yeah yeah it's always someone else's fault

                • Nope. It's only someone else's fault when it is.

                  • In this case it was Microsoft's fault for taking 5 years to produce a half arsed upgrade to NT 5 with no upgrade path that left loads of users stuck on XP. Microsoft were the ones that pushed for Vista Ready stickers to be placed on machines that weren't.

                    Vista wasn't a massive flop because you're a super genius and everyone else is an idiot, it's because it was a mess that was pushed out of the door before it was ready.

              • Why not blame vista for being designed around hardware that wouldn't be commonly available for another 2 years?

                Was it the media's fault that Vista required 2GB of RAM to be usable when at release most XP systems were still being sold with 256MB of RAM? Or I guess the driver manufacturers were to blame for Microsoft throwing away the actually usable Windows Longhorn and throwing together a piece of garbage from scratch in 1 year instead? They scrapped pretty much 100% of the planned technology improvement
                • Why not blame vista for being designed around hardware that wouldn't be commonly available for another 2 years?

                  Because there was nothing wrong with the hardware of the day. There was plenty wrong with the hardware support on the day, but aside from idiots attempting to install Vista on their 5 year old XP machines, and manufacturers pushing the bare minimum hardware for all their new machines in an epic race to the bottom, the hardware of the day was perfectly adequate.

                  Actually Microsoft does get some blame here. Their "Designed for Visa" certification had both the hardware and the quality bar set too low.

                  Sorry but

      • Vista extended support expires this week

        That's probably the single most relevant fact, thanks. As far as I'm aware, pretty much anything which will run on 7 will run on Vista, but any excuse to drop a platform.

        • On vista I kept having issues with the File Explorer malfunctioning. /i quickly upgraded to 7 annd didn't experience any more problems.
        • Considering its release date, it equivalent to Fedora saying "We're no longer supporting Fedora Core 7, please update to a more recent version."

        • That's probably the single most relevant fact, thanks. .

          That and the testing cost.

      • Vista represents less than 1% of the market, we're talking 3 to 4 times less than linux
        Vista exited mainstream support FIVE YEARS AGO
        Vista extended support expires this week [microsoft.com]

        At some point you just stop beating the dead horse.

        One of those is relevant, that's the user base. When MS decides to end mainstream / extended support for their OS is entirely irrelevant, especially given the announcement that Mozilla is dropping support for both systems at the same time, despite those systems ending extended support a few years ago.

      • At some point you just stop beating the dead horse.

        We're talking about Windows Vista, right? Poor thing was dead out of the gate.

    • by dryeo ( 100693 )

      I was following the discussion on mozilla.dev.platform when the decision was made. It actually is an API problem of which I forget the specifics, it might have even been wanting to update the compiler. Google made the same decision when they dropped support for XP and Vista.
      Mozilla is/was also considering maintaining 52ESR support for longer then the usual 16 months depending on how many XP users are left next year.

    • by darkain ( 749283 )

      What is missing from this summary: Windows Server 2008 also uses the same kernel as Vista. Server 2008 is already extremely limited in administration support because Chrome has already dropped it. With Firefox gone, this means Opera will be the only browser left supported on this platform.

    • No sense making a secure browser for an insecure OS.

    • Not that I have any Vista machines any more, but why drop Vista support?

      It's a dry run for their dropping XUL later this year. In their ongoing pursuit of zero percent market share they want to trial a smaller drop now before they go for the big one when they kill all their plugins.

  • by Anonymous Coward

    This will be the last ESR that supports proper extensions, proper operating systems and proper plugins. We need to set up a new browser foundation that will continue updating this browser for real users and not Chrome drones.

    • Mod parent up. Unless essential extensions like adblock (read: ublock origin) retains functionality, Firefox will have (even more of) a shitstorm on their hands.
    • When Apple dropped support for 32-bit processor, everyone else did too. Which meant no more updated software for my vintage 2006 Black MacBook (first gen had 32-bit processors).
      • by fisted ( 2295862 )

        >2006
        >vintage

        • >2006
          >vintage

          Apple regards anything older than five years as "vintage" hardware. However, my 11-year-old MacBook runs 32-bit Mint Linus just fine.

      • by Gr8Apes ( 679165 )
        there were other problems with that series of Intel based laptops, namely the inability of the Intel chipset to effectively support more than 3 GB of RAM, even unofficially. They were rock solid though. My 64 bit SL system is still running, although firefox just about kills it today after a few page views. Probably need to tweak the settings a bit to reduce memory usage and eliminate swap usage.
    • by sgage ( 109086 ) on Wednesday March 08, 2017 @11:45AM (#54000239)

      I think you are talking about the Pale Moon project. They claim to have no intention of dropping old-school NPAPI plugins and whatnot.

      • They claim to have no intention of dropping old-school NPAPI plugins

        Irrelevant. With such a tiny market share NPAPI plugins will be dropping them. Either way Mozilla is partially responsible for the death of plugins even on other browsers.

    • waterfox 64 bit with java and other plugins

    • It's also the last ESR where you can recompile to have sound on Linux. In 51, it worked flawlessly. In 52, you need to rebuild. In 54, pulseaudio will be a strict dependency.

      And pulseaudio works (if it does at all) about as bad as you'd expect on something from the author of avahi and systemd.

      • by roca ( 43122 )

        Mozilla measured, and 1.2% of all Firefox Linux users are using ALSA with Firefox.

  • by kackle ( 910159 )
    Good; that means it won't be getting any slower.

    The Firefox browser on my XP machine recently stopped working with some of the sites I often visit, so I upgraded it to the latest version, from 3.6! I miss the speed.
    • My brother pulled his ancient xp pro gaming rig out of the closet so he could set it up as a media server... he connected it to the network and it had a virus before he could back up the few photos he had on it.

      We killed the boot sector, partition tables, and completely re-formated the drive before we stuck a minimal linux on it...

  • Those of us with XP and Vista machines get the last laugh -- it means we get to keep using our favorite addons, like Classic Theme Restorer, NoScript, and AdBlock Plus (or uBlock Origin), while the rest of you get left out in the cold come November. Thanks, MozColonSlashSlashA!
    • Yes, until newer browser features become more common and more and more sites don't render properly. This is like proclaiming "I don't get browser malware because I use links!" Well, yes, but...

      • shitty bloated sites built under the direction of marketing wanks and sales shitheads, linking in multiple "partners" full of spyware and malware won't work, correct.

    • (To be clear, I'm being mostly sarcastic. As much as I shake my head at MozColonSlashSlashA's continued retrograde trajectory in the UI space, I am of course aware that skipping out on updates will result in losing functionality over time...though sometimes I wonder how much 'modern web functionality' I really need.)
  • So... any PC with Windows purchased after mid-2009 will run the newest version of Firefox. That's what keeps me to Windows. No need to upgrade the OS if you don't want to, and no need to wait for someone to "package" the app specific to your OS version to be able to enjoy the app or mess with stuff like 0install which is a pain. Just download the same generic exe or msi everyone else if downloading, double click on it, next-next-finish and enjoy the app.
  • While I believe that this is "News for Nerds, Stuff that Matters", I'm wondering if there needs to be a new category for news items like this: "Announcements" or "FYI: Version Support Information"

    No surprise that Vista has only 0.78% of the market (https://www.netmarketshare.com/operating-system-market-share.aspx?qprid=10&qpcustomd=0), although it is something of a surprise that XP has 8.5% (same source), but Microsoft ended support almost three years ago. I'm of the feeling that any software ending su

    • WinXP has 8.5% because really old PCs get "refurbished" (aka have WinXP re-installed on them using the existing license) and then are sold for peanuts to the third-world. It's legal and people can buy a PC for 50 bucks or so. They don't care if they are vulnerable to two-year-old font exploits (sadly).
      • Why can't Lubuntu likewise be used for this sort of "refurbishing"? It'd have the advantage of continuing security support. Or does it use significantly more RAM than Windows XP Service Pack 3?

        • Does Lubuntu rely on distro-specific repositories as the recommended way to install software? Answer: Yes, it does. If so, it cannot be used for this sort of refurbishing because this is not what Does Lubuntu rely on distro-specific repositories as the recommended way to install software? Answer: Yes, it does. If so, it cannot be used for this sort of refurbishing because this is not what people want. Repositories delay users from getting new apps at best and preventing them at all usually (for example, I
        • Does Lubuntu rely on distro-specific repositories as the recommended way to install software? Answer: Yes, it does. If so, it cannot be used for this sort of refurbishing because this is not what people want. Repositories delay users from getting new apps at best and prevent them at all usually (for example,I can't have the latest VLC and LibreOffice on my Ubuntu 14.04 despite being a relatively new release, while my 6-year old Windows 7 netbook runs these apps perfectly). So, no, Lubuntu can't be used.
          • by tepples ( 727027 )

            If you need the latest version of a popular free application for Ubuntu, there's usually someone building a PPA of it. For example, I'm using the firefox-next PPA, which provides Firefox Beta.

        • Because they want to run pirated Windows apps on their $50 computer. Not open source Linux apps that you have to compile.

      • I just bought an AMD A8 computer for $100, http://support.hp.com/us-en/do... [hp.com] because the previous owner said it ran slow and apparently had more money than sense. I uninstalled Norton Anti-virus and now it runs just fine,
      • by dryeo ( 100693 )

        I have a refurbished $50 first generation c2d computer, it came with a license for Win7 refurbished edition, which I never activated but assume is just Win7 Home edition. I'd assume the license was quite cheap.

        • There is no such thing as "Win7 refurbished edition". There is Win7 (some_valid_version_here) licensed under the OEM DSP license if that's what you you meant. But there is no "Win7 refurbished edition" and you should not see something like that in any control panel screen or boot screen. If you see something like that you may have bought a PC with counterfeit software. But anyway, the actual price (50 bucks or not) is irrelevant, the point is that WinXP computers along with their license are still being "re
      • by Agripa ( 139780 )

        WinXP has 8.5% because really old PCs get "refurbished" (aka have WinXP re-installed on them using the existing license) and then are sold for peanuts to the third-world. It's legal and people can buy a PC for 50 bucks or so. They don't care if they are vulnerable to two-year-old font exploits (sadly).

        Add to this that the current Windows does not support older PC hardware at all.

    • by Agripa ( 139780 )

      No surprise that Vista has only 0.78% of the market (https://www.netmarketshare.com/operating-system-market-share.aspx?qprid=10&qpcustomd=0), although it is something of a surprise that XP has 8.5% (same source), but Microsoft ended support almost three years ago. I'm of the feeling that any software ending support for these platforms is reasonable and should really be presented as FYI.

      If Microsoft had provided a replacement for XP, then the continued use of it would be surprising.

  • hard lockout? what about an this may not work and your are at your own risk opt in choice?

  • Damn billion dollar corporations controlling us.

    It's the last straw.

    I'm going to Linux.

  • Next step: Release a Firefox 53 so that 52 indicates an outdated OS.

  • A key factor in XP support is that there's no user-to-user encryption, which is required by Win7+... in other words, parents can't steal cookies and stored passwords.

Real Users never use the Help key.

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