Opera Software announced yesterday that Opera 36 will be the last version of the web browser for Windows XP and Windows Vista, and that all future versions of Opera would only run on newer versions of Windows starting with Windows 7.
The reason why support is being dropped in Opera 37 is Google's announcement back in 2015 that it would end support for Windows XP and Windows Vista starting April 2016.
Opera Software, unlike Google, plans to maintain Opera 36, the last compatible version for systems running Windows XP or Vista, so that users who are running XP or Vista can continue using the web browser.
While Opera 36 will be last one with features additions on Windows XP and Vista, we are still going to provide security and crash fixes to XP and Vista platform. You will no not be able to run Opera 37+ on Windows XP and Vista, we advise you update to more recent OS. Otherwise, we will have Opera 36 for you.
The support length is unknown but support will end eventually. Opera Software will create security and crash fixes for Opera 36 even after the stable branch of the browser moved on to Opera 37 and newer versions.
The maintained version of Opera 36 won't receive any feature updates from that point on though.
Opera suggests to upgrade to a recent operating system to benefit from feature additions to newer versions of the web browser.
Opera 35 Stable was released this week which means that it will take a while before that version is upgraded to version 36.
Opera 36 is currently tested in the beta channel and Opera 37 on the Developer channel.
It is rather surprising that companies are dropping support for Windows Vista, considering that the operating system is still supported by Microsoft.
Extended Support for Windows Vista ends on April 11, 2017. No security patches are released by Microsoft for the operating system to the general public after that last patch day.
Opera Software pushed out an update for the classic version of Opera. Opera 12.18 and Opera Mail were updated fixing several security issues and settings in those classic programs that did not receive updates for two years before the recent update.
The update has only been made available for Windows as there are not "significant numbers of users of Opera 12 and Opera Mail on non-Windows platforms".
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