Google wants you to use an up to date version of Chrome

Google, just like Microsoft and probably any other company on the planet that produces software, wants you to use the most recent version of their products and not older versions.

The company tries to keep Google Chrome users current through various means, but most importantly updating services that will check for and download Chrome updates automatically whenever discovered.

Google announced yesterday that it plans to tighten the screws just a little bit for users on older versions of Chrome.

To be precise: older versions of Google Chrome refers to version 53 and older of the browser. Chrome 53 was released on August 31, 2016 to the release channel, and the current stable version of the browser is Chrome 56.

gmail basic html

Google plans to display a banner on Gmail to users of Chrome 53 and below that encourages them to update the browser to the latest version.

The company notes that the reminder won't help Windows XP or Windows Vista users, as Chrome 49 was the last version of the browser released for those systems. Google dropped support for both operating systems back in April 2016.

The only option that XP or Vista users have according to Google is therefore to upgrade Windows, or switch to another operating system that Google supports with regular browser updates.

Another option, that Google does not mention for obvious reasons, is to use a different browser to access Gmail. Mozilla supports XP and Vista until at least September 2017.

Google notes that both operating systems are no longer supported by Microsoft. This is not entirely true, as Vista is still supported until April 2017. Google used the same argument in 2015 when it announced end of support for XP and Vista in April 2016.

The banner, which Google plans to show as early as February 8 on Gmail, is just the first step in Google's masterplan to get users to upgrade Chrome or their systems.

Starting December 2017, the company may redirect Gmail users who connect to the site using Chrome 53 or earlier to the basic HTML version of the website.

In case you are interested, you can switch to the basic HTML version of Gmail by following this link: https://mail.google.com/mail/u/0/h/1pq68r75kzvdr/?v%3Dlui

Certain features are not available if you are using the basic HTML version of Gmail. This includes Chat, the spell checker, keyboard shortcuts, adding or importing contacts, custom "from" addresses, and rich formatting.

Use the following link to switch back to the standard version of Gmail: https://mail.google.com/mail/u/0/?nocheckbrowser

So, if you run Chrome on XP or Vista, or Chrome 53 or older on an operating system that is still supported, and use Gmail, you will be moved to the basic HTML version of the service eventually.

Now you: what is your take on the change?

Summary
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Google wants you to use an up to date version of Chrome
Description
Google announced that it will limit access to its Gmail email service to users who run the Google Chrome 53 or earlier web browser.
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Ghacks Technology News
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Responses to Google wants you to use an up to date version of Chrome

  1. kevin February 2, 2017 at 7:52 am #

    As a Linux user and former Windows user, one of the things I can't stand is the idea of running a bazillion updaters in the background from different vendors, chewing memory and CPU cycles to check for updates. Surely, you could just have a script that runs once a day and checks in, rather than a service that runs constantly?

    • MdN February 2, 2017 at 7:35 pm #

      That's one of my favorite Linux things. Run the Software Updater (or let it run once a day automatically, as you said), it checks everything in 30 seconds. Or type sudo apt update in terminal. And I can keep working while it's updating.

    • Guest703 February 2, 2017 at 11:07 pm #

      Surely your OS could ask your permission before updating? That would make a lot more sense to me.

      • MdN February 3, 2017 at 1:49 am #

        If there are new updates available, there is a notification showing available updates and I can confirm or not. And if I want, I can check those that I want updated, and uncheck those that I don't. Alternatively, automatic updates can be disabled, or only updates from certain sources, but I don't see a reason for that.

  2. Anonymous February 2, 2017 at 8:53 am #

    Ironically, all the intrusive background tasks used for auto updating is what keeps me from updating.

  3. Anonymous February 2, 2017 at 9:17 am #

    "Google, just like Microsoft and probably any other company on the planet that produces software, wants you to use the most recent version of Google Chrome and not older versions."

    I'm pretty sure Microsoft doesn't want you to use most recent version of Google Chrome. Or any other version of it, for that matter :)

    • Martin Brinkmann February 2, 2017 at 9:22 am #

      Well, Microsoft probably would like to, but I can see how this is worded incorrectly. So, corrected.

      • Pants February 2, 2017 at 11:24 am #

        Verbal Reasoning : https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Verbal_reasoning . Not to be confused with Numerical Reasoning or Inductive Reasoning. These are part of standard Pyschometric tests.

        "Microsoft wants you to use the most recent version of Google Chrome?"
        True, False, or "Cannot Say" ?

        Martin has scored -1 Verbal Reasoning +1 Communication +1 Personality +1 Light Armor

      • Martin Brinkmann February 2, 2017 at 12:05 pm #

        I prefer no armor as I cannot cast spells otherwise :)

      • Kangaxx February 2, 2017 at 2:53 pm #

        You just need to upgrade your armor, outdated versions are insecure to use with spells.

  4. Gary D February 2, 2017 at 9:43 am #

    "the current stable version of the browser is Chrome 55"

    Martin, current stable version is 56.

  5. Corky February 2, 2017 at 10:54 am #

    Maybe people are suffering from update fatigue, security updates are one thing but constant feature changes just get tiresome, i miss the days where software would remain the same for a year or more and i didn't have to learn about new features every month.

  6. Nebulus February 2, 2017 at 11:06 am #

    I don't give a damn about what Google wants me to do.

  7. ddk February 2, 2017 at 2:43 pm #

    If anyone's on XP/Vista they could run the latest Chrome using portable apps.

  8. Racoon February 2, 2017 at 2:59 pm #

    Lord David Bowie bless HTML-only pages, I would use those any day even if I was on Chrome 275.

    Except on ProtonMail, since end-to-end encryption requires JavaScript (obviously), and since they don't abuse scripting with tons of AJAX that spy on how you use their site, or with stupid things like spellchecking which are already included in all stock browsers.

  9. MdN February 2, 2017 at 3:20 pm #

    I'm using the basic Gmail version anyway even though all my browsers are up to date. :-)

  10. vosie February 2, 2017 at 4:05 pm #

    Martin, why don't you mention a possible workaround, for example changing the user agent? Would it work?

    • Martin Brinkmann February 2, 2017 at 4:30 pm #

      I don't know yet, depends on how Google implements the check.

  11. Dave February 2, 2017 at 5:15 pm #

    That uber-fast legacy version of Gmail sounds great. Google Maps is also much faster if you set your user agent to something ten years old. The irony.

  12. P February 2, 2017 at 5:26 pm #

    Google's authoritarian cult like behavior over the last year or two is highly disturbing and frankly insulting. I've chosen to distance myself from their products as much as possible.

    • ddk February 2, 2017 at 7:06 pm #

      Good luck. They own a big chunk of the web, hard to get away from em.

  13. A41202813GMAIL February 2, 2017 at 7:26 pm #

    Really Good News For Me...

    ...I Mostly Use The Much Faster Legacy GOOGLEMAIL Version Anyway...

    ...And This Means That Version Is Not Going Away Anytime Soon...

    ...There Is A GOD...

    XPOCALYPSE FOREVER !

    ---

  14. Rick A. February 2, 2017 at 9:24 pm #

    "Google notes that both operating systems are no longer supported by Microsoft. This is not entirely true, as Vista is still supported until April 2017." Google Opera does the same thing, Lie Lie Lie - https://www.opera.com/blogs/desktop/2016/08/security-update-windows-xp-vista-users/

  15. Heimen Stoffels February 3, 2017 at 11:13 am #

    Stupid Google. They've also done this to Google+ recently. I don't use Google+ much but when I get redirected by some post to Google+, I want to be able to read it. But on my smartphone I can't anymore without switching useragents 'cause when I don't switch my useragent, G+ complains that my browser is too old and I can't use G+. Even though my browser is fully up-to-date and supported. I wish they'd stop this nonsense of locking people into certain products (or force people to switch useragents). Luckily I don't use GMail though.

  16. kubrick March 2, 2017 at 1:07 am #

    how secure is google chrome on linux.?

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