Opera is an attractive option for left-behind Chrome users

Martin Brinkmann
Apr 20, 2016
Google Chrome

Google announced back in 2015 that the company's Google Chrome web browser would support Microsoft's Windows XP operating throughout 2015 but would drop support shortly thereafter.

It revealed in November 2015 that it made the decision to add Windows Vista, Mac OS X 10.8 and earlier, all 32-bit versions of Linux, Ubuntu 12.04 and Debian 7 to the list of unsupported operating systems.

That time has come, and as of April 2016, all mentioned operating systems are no longer supported by Google Chrome.

What it means

chrome windows xp error

According to Google, Chrome 49 is the last working version of Google Chrome that is available for operating systems that are no longer supported. While Chrome 49 will work just fine on those systems for now, it won't receive any more updates including security updates.

The recently released Chrome 50 is for instance not compatible with systems running Windows XP, Vista or any of the other operating systems that Google dropped support for.

If you try to install it, you will get the error message you see on the screenshot above.

This is problematic from a security point of view considering that future security issues won't be fixed on affected systems.

While you could point out that Windows XP is not supported as well anymore and that adding another unsupported program won't make much of a difference, that is not the case for Windows Vista.

Also, and that is probably more severe, the nature of web browsers exposes them to dangers on the Internet while that is not necessarily the case for the underlying operating system.

The effect on Chromium-based browsers

Since Google is largely in control in regards to the source that is used to create Google Chrome and other Chromium/Blink based browsers, Chromium and the majority of third-party browsers based on it won't support these operating systems as well anymore.

Vivaldi announced recently for instance that it will stop supporting Windows XP or Vista with the upcoming Vivaldi 1.1 release, and the same is likely true for other Chromium-based browsers like Iron, Comodo Dragon, or Torch.

Opera Software on the other hand announced that the company's Opera web browser would continue to support XP and Vista even after Google dropped support for those operating systems.

It has been announced on Chrome Blog that Windows XP and Vista support is ending including security fixes. We do care for our loyal users, which you could recently observe with 12.18 security update. 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, if possible. Otherwise, we will have Opera 36 for you

While that is the case, support does not mean full support. Opera users who run XP or Vista will have to stay on Opera 36 as they won't be able to upgrade to Opera 37.

Opera Software will backport security and crash fixes to Opera 36 however for the foreseeable future which means that it is probably the only Chromium-based version that XP or Vista users can still make use of that won't be left insecure by the developing company.

Opera 36 is available as a download on Opera's FTP Server (and it will remain available there).

The main reason why Opera is an attractive option is that it is based on Chromium which means that it offers a similar browsing experience and support for the same browser extensions.

Firefox is another browser that continues to support XP and Vista for now, but migrating to it would change things around a lot more than a migration to Opera would.

Opera is an attractive option for left-behind Chrome users
Article Name
Opera is an attractive option for left-behind Chrome users
Google stopped support for XP and Vista with the release of Chrome 50, and so will most Chromium-based browsers in the near future.
Ghacks Technology News

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  1. chesscanoe said on September 10, 2017 at 3:20 am

    One reason I prefer Chrome x64 over Opera x64 is Chrome always is using the latest Chromium per Gmail Details.

    Browser (Chrome) Hide details
    “Mozilla/5.0 (Windows NT 10.0; Win64; x64) AppleWebKit/537.36 (KHTML, like Gecko) Chrome/61.0.3163.79 Safari/537.36,gzip(gfe),gzip(gfe)”

    Browser (Chrome) Hide details
    “Mozilla/5.0 (Windows NT 10.0; Win64; x64) AppleWebKit/537.36 (KHTML, like Gecko) Chrome/60.0.3112.90 Safari/537.36 OPR/47.0.2631.80,gzip(gfe),gzip(gfe)”

  2. darren said on August 9, 2016 at 12:44 am

    I installed chrome and approximately 1 hour later it was uninstalled.Very bland with no true customisation options,and i did not like the way it installs search engines without user permission.It seems to me that this browser does as it pleases with no user interaction.
    On linux it screws up the software center and does not allow updating of the system.
    Atrocious experience,and im now using pale moon which is a better browser IMO.

  3. Lookmann said on April 21, 2016 at 5:28 am

    vivaldi works well in my vista . But no way to close background services when closing the browser, resulting in higher than normal CPU and memory use. Chrome and Comodo Dragon had that option.

  4. city_zen said on April 21, 2016 at 2:13 am

    Slimjet is an even more attractive option for left-behind Chrome users.

    It’s even more similar to Chrome than Opera, and the developers have EXPLICITLY stated that they will continue to support Windows XP, Vista and 32 bit Linux for as long as possible:


    I’m assuming that that means not only security updates but new features too.

  5. EuroScept1C said on April 21, 2016 at 1:22 am

    Such brave moves is the way to keep moving forward at a much faster pace. Moreover, Windows 7 will remain an excellent OS for the years to come. All I’m saying you should be running at least Windows 7.

    Same applies to some drivers, for instance Nvidia/AMD drivers. Only Windows 7 and GTX400 series and above.

    I understand people don’t have the money or simply don’t want to upgrade an entire system, but a PC with a GTX 400 series for instance and same quality CPU/MB you could build an entire system for under 200-250$ and keep your peripherals.

  6. Graham said on April 20, 2016 at 11:24 pm

    Everyone should’ve dropped XP at this point–no one supports it anymore–and Vista reaches EOL next year. It’s time to move on. 7 should be the bare minimum for Windows nowadays.

    1. MdN said on April 21, 2016 at 12:41 am

      Really? See the other thread. Most antivirus companies still support it, you can find software for most everyday (or even more demanding) tasks and there’s still a good choice of browsers.

  7. Rick said on April 20, 2016 at 9:52 pm

    Slimjet is another Chromium-based alternative.

  8. Jon said on April 20, 2016 at 7:43 pm

    I don’t think Microsoft are going to end support earlier for e.g. Windows 7 or Vista. The support time is a contract, and they can’t breach that contract. Vista for example is still supported until 2017. However developers may stop supporting the platforms, once they get old enough or lose market share. That’s why Google is dropping Vista because its market share is basically meaningless. Last time I checked it was below 5%. (Vistas awful launch and bad press has forever doomed it). Though I don’t know why they’re dropping 32 bit linux..

    Oh, and Martin, there’s a typo in the first sentence, the part where it says “Microsoft’s Windows XP operating throughout” should be “Microsoft’s Windows XP operating system throughout….”

  9. Jim said on April 20, 2016 at 6:51 pm

    Bad news.
    Google and Micro$oft invented programmed obsolescence for softwares, which are not time limited by nature !
    The fact that they don’t want to support windows xp let me think that, in the future, they will stop supporting OS even more earlier.
    Conclusion : the money is more important for them than the clients.
    That’s why i hope that many people will do like me in the future : I announced officially that i will stop using their new products. I will continue using windows xp pro sp2, for what i have payed it : using it whithout any time limitation.

  10. wonton said on April 20, 2016 at 6:19 pm

    but opera was brought by china company i will never use again.

    1. Fred said on April 20, 2016 at 10:03 pm

      China is bad and your own government is great. Fact.

      Is there a polite way to say “f*ing r*t*rd?”

      1. Lorenzo said on April 21, 2016 at 3:33 am

        You love the government of China? Your option.
        Is there a polite way to post that you disagree? Certainly.

  11. pd said on April 20, 2016 at 4:05 pm

    You’re pimping fecking Opera now over Firefox Martin?


    If there’s one browser that’s had a more chequered history than Firefox’s ongoing decade of strife surely that browser is InOperaBle?

    The simplest way to get the merits of Firefox into perspective is to look at how atrociously poorly the preduct has been handled this decade … yet it’s still the best all round browser on the Web! It can’t be butchered no matter now how much it’s parents try to force all sorts of inappropriate, unnecessary plastic surgery on it!!

    Firefox is like the child celebrity with the mad Dad and vicarious Mum. They put it through all sorts of awful parenting and it still survives. We just need the emancipation from the parents and Firefox can thrive again :-)

    Fast-track e10s, Servo and get Kaply to build a decent enterprise integration team for the first time in MozillaScape’s two decade history.

    Firefox with thrive again!

  12. EuroScept1C said on April 20, 2016 at 4:02 pm

    Guys, Opera Developer claims you can add your own block lists. I couldn’t find how… Anyone can enlighten me, please?

  13. kalmly said on April 20, 2016 at 2:47 pm

    Yep. Sea Monkey works fine on the ‘ol, XP beauty.

  14. Dave said on April 20, 2016 at 1:55 pm

    Anyone still using an Acorn computer can look at Firefox for RISC OS

  15. sea said on April 20, 2016 at 12:44 pm

    real man use real browser.
    use SeaMonkey!

    1. Lorenzo said on April 21, 2016 at 3:27 am

      Have they updated the GUI to anything closer to a 21st century style yet?

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