Mozilla: support for Windows XP and Vista until September 2017 at least

Mozilla announced on December 23, 2016 that it will support the Windows operating systems XP and Vista at least until September 2017.

The organization announced back in September 2016 that it plans to make Firefox 52 the latest major version of the browser that supports Windows XP and Windows Vista.

Firefox 52 will be released on March 7, 2017 according to the browser's release schedule. Mozilla plans to move all XP and Vista users of the web browser to the Firefox Extended Release Channel (ESR) in March.

The move ensures continued support for the operating systems at least until September 2017 according to Mozilla. The organization will reassess  the number of XP and Vista users in mid-2017 and use it to decide on a final end of release date for Firefox on those two operating systems.

firefox xp vista

While that end of support date is still undecided, it will be between September 2017 and mid-2018 as Firefox 52 ESR will be moved to Firefox 59 ESR by that time, and that new version won't support XP or Vista.

Firefox ESR is a special release of Firefox for organizations who require long term support and don't want to or can't test new Firefox releases every six weeks or so.

Mozilla plans to implement changers to the Firefox (non ESR) installer to block the installation of the browser on Windows XP and Vista machines. It has yet to be seen how portable versions of Firefox will handle execution on unsupported machines, and how Mozilla will handle non-production versions of Firefox on XP or Vista.

According to the Firefox Hardware Report, Windows XP accounts for 10.36% and Windows Vista for 2.56% of all systems reporting metrics back to Mozilla. That's still almost 13% of the browser's user base in total.

While Mozilla continued to support Firefox for XP and Vista, Google did drop support already in its Chrome web browser in mid-2016. Of all major browser makers, only Opera and Mozilla are still supporting XP and Vista.

Microsoft did end support for the then-and-still popular operating system Windows XP back in April 2014, and will drop support for Windows Vista in April 2017.

The decision to end support for XP and Vista leaves users on these operating systems in a predicament. The operating system itself is no longer support -- or won't be come April 2017 -- and now the browser will also stop receiving security updates eventually.

Users may stick with an unsupported version of Firefox, e.g. the last Firefox 52 ESR release that supports XP or Vista. Other options are to use virtualization to run other browsers, or to switch to another operating system entirely. There is always Linux, and it is free to install and use.

Now You: are you affected by the end of support announcement?

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Mozilla: support for Windows XP and Vista until September 2017 at least
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Mozilla announced on December 23, 2016 that it will support the Windows operating systems XP and Vista at least until September 2017.
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Responses to Mozilla: support for Windows XP and Vista until September 2017 at least

  1. Grul December 24, 2016 at 9:55 am #

    13%, that's quite a bunch. We'll see how it turns out by the end of 2018 I guess.

    When it comes to XP support, Opera has been in survival mode already since April 2016 with the browser stuck version 36, a version that gets stability and security patches but nothing else (sounds like an equivalent to Firefox ESR) ( https://www.ghacks.net/2016/02/17/opera-36-will-be-the-last-for-windows-xp-and-vista/ )

    So basically feature updates will end with Firefox 52 as the last one standing, and then all XP users will be on survival mode for the few remaining up to date browsers available to them. Pale Moon doesn't support XP any more either.

    On the other hand, if someone is still willing to use Windows XP in 2018, why would they care about keeping their browser up to date ?

    • Andrew December 24, 2016 at 11:14 am #

      Honestly there's plenty of browsers that will still work after, though not the major branch. Actually I believe there might be one or so that's up to date but still works on win9x.

      I know I will probably look for one for my XP VM.

  2. stilofilos December 24, 2016 at 9:57 am #

    I am affected in the sense that I deliberately keep using my XP. While I understand that technology evolves and gives newer and wider possibilities, I hate companies that abruptly inhibit you from continuing to work on a system that runs fine and is completely set to your needs. It does not suddenly become junk when they decide, mind that during more than a decade it has been touted by the same people as the nose of the salmon.
    But as I understand the article, Mozilla seems to be the best of the class to this respect.
    And at least they have a tradition of keeping older versions available for redownload if needed. As long as their installer for older versions does not phone home to get blocked from there, like paternalistic Pale Moon's does, I don't mind them to evolve. Besides, I use to safely keep the installers of software versions that fit well in my system, just for in case.
    I have a Windos7 for more recent technologies and applications. But continuity of other systems should be respected.

    • Ron December 24, 2016 at 4:24 pm #

      [quote] As long as their installer for older versions does not phone home to get blocked from there, like paternalistic Pale Moon's does,[/quote]

      I think you're wrong here.

    • anonymous December 25, 2016 at 5:25 am #

      "I hate companies that abruptly inhibit you from continuing to work on a system that runs fine and is completely set to your needs."

      "But continuity of other systems should be respected."
      ~
      Well did you expect it to be supported forever? Isn't 16 years long enough?

      I think FF is doing you a favor by continuing to support you, but nothing in the software world is indefinite. It's time to move on.

      PS: I don't know where your Pale Moon statement came from.

      • stilofilos December 25, 2016 at 8:49 am #

        Baseless negativity.
        I nowhere said that I want longer support. I said that I despise sabotage. What worked last month should work next month as well. Let them invent newer things, but let them not scrap exisiting things that have proven their value. Some people do build a whole system around an OS with lots of software that do not necessarily keep updated to newer OS's but are vital for some needs. Is that so difficult to understand ?
        And why criticize people because they don't follow a hype that gives no added value at all, in the contrary. There are valid reasons not to, or didn't you read what many people have been telling on this forum.
        And concerning your last line : I do know, be sure.

      • anonymous December 26, 2016 at 2:13 am #

        "Some people do build a whole system around an OS with lots of software that do not necessarily keep updated to newer OS's but are vital for some needs. Is that so difficult to understand ?"

        Again, I think FF is doing you a favor by continuing to support you, but nothing in the software world is indefinite. It's time to move on. If you really need to hold on to your precious antique, then turn it into a standalone machine and don't connect it to the internet.

        The rest of your post sounds like a bunch of cryptic nonsense. I dunno what that's all about...

    • Gostas December 27, 2016 at 6:15 am #

      You sir have Stockholm Syndrome.

  3. Dave December 24, 2016 at 10:38 am #

    Interesting. I've a good mind to spoof an XP machine just to bump up the numbers a bit.

    Any info on what exactly they'd save by dropping XP support? I'm guessing it's not much but I'd like to see the real info on it. And yes, the next commenter probably guesses they'd save a lot and thinks I'm an idiot. Well screw him.

    • neal December 24, 2016 at 6:41 pm #

      XP is really different from Vista and above. It requires a lot of resources to maintain and test, you can look at Bugzilla and find many XP specific crashes, errors, etc. It also holds back many Firefox technologies. For example Mozilla wants to focus on newer graphic tech through newer Direct X and so on, but of course the newer versions are unavailable on XP. They are dropping Vista, b/c it is literally a low one digit market share OS, not worth it.

      Mozilla is going above and beyond at this point. All other browser companies companies have either dropped XP or put it in maintenance mode only, basically a code freeze, with security updates only for a while now. Most AV companies made a show of supporting XP, but they have gradually dropped support also.

    • anonymous December 25, 2016 at 5:29 am #

      "Any info on what exactly they'd save by dropping XP support? I'm guessing it's not much but I'd like to see the real info on it. And yes, the next commenter probably guesses they'd save a lot and thinks I'm an idiot. Well screw him."

      Well Dave, it looks like you'll be out of luck soon. And with that kind of an attitude, it's a good thing. You can't expect support indefinitely.

  4. Jeff December 24, 2016 at 10:49 am #

    With great difficulty, I moved to Windows 8.1 with Classic Shell from XP despite not liking many things about new Windows 7/8/Vista. Windows 10 is out of the question - no way in hell. It is too locked down, too much hostile to user choice and freedom. So I am grateful to Mozilla for supporting XP and Vista even now. New Windows is shit.

    • Sebby December 25, 2016 at 3:37 pm #

      This, exactly.

    • anon December 29, 2016 at 4:21 pm #

      Why not Windows 7? It's closer to XP in terms of familiarity while being a lot better out-of-the-box. There are only a few big and small updates that need to be slipstreamed onto a clean Windows 7 SP1 image to fresh install it in a rather up-to-date state.

      The obsession with XP doesn't make any sense. It sucked when it came out in 2001 and barely improved (except in security thanks to SP2 and SP3).

      • Sebby December 30, 2016 at 10:39 am #

        Why not Windows 7? It's closer to XP in terms of familiarity while being a lot better out-of-the-box.

        I disagree. I think Win7, compared to 8.1, is fussy and mediocre and in fact this is very evident out of the box. Its one and only advantage is its start menu (well, OK, its lack of ribbons too) and those can be fixed with software in Windows 8, which gets you a better overall experience to the native Win7 experience whilst giving you, among other things, lighter resource use, better battery optimisation, hibernation, networking, memory management ... IMNSHO people only "Love" Windows 7 because they "Hated" Vista--which is weird, because by SP2 Vista was pretty damned all right, and was only being let down by Microsoft and their desire to make up for their past failures on an overpriced service pack.

        The obsession with XP doesn't make any sense. It sucked when it came out in 2001 and barely improved (except in security thanks to SP2 and SP3).

        That depends on your perspective, I suppose. When XP came out, I moved to 2000, and stayed there right up until my Pentium II machine made the switch from Windows to Linux, in 2009. 2K was going away, so I resolved to make XP work for me, and of course, although it was much more bloated, it nevertheless worked for a determined 2K user willing to optimise away all the crud. That's the kind of flexibility lacking in future Windows releases. I agree with you, though, that at the time of XP's release there was not a great deal to recommend it.

  5. A41202813GMAIL December 24, 2016 at 1:34 pm #

    Lots Of Browsers Out There - Some Of Them Still Allow The FTP Download And Installation Of Legacy Versions, Too.

    If You Are Not Lazy, You Will Find Some CHROME Clone That Suits Your Needs.

    XPOCALYPSE FOREVER !

    ---

  6. Grinch December 24, 2016 at 5:49 pm #

    They're literally copying Chrome in this, because they decided to borrow sandboxing technology for which Google has since dropped XP and Vista support. There are other reasons as well (some smaller technical issues, developer inconvenience, resource allocation, etc), but AFAIK this is the deal-breaker for XP and Vista.

  7. Anonymous December 24, 2016 at 9:16 pm #

    i still, to this day, use XP. As a matter of fact I am using a machine with XP on it right now. Even though, at the moment, I am not using Firefox as I am using Yandex, I still use Firefox on a daily basis on my Windows machines. It's sad that people can't keep the things they like to use for their own personal reasons but are made rather to change and conform to company standards else they lose their personal preferences.

  8. Sinon December 24, 2016 at 11:33 pm #

    Is it weird that I'm using Firefox 45 ESR as my primary web browser?

  9. Albert McCann December 25, 2016 at 12:25 am #

    MS still supports a version of XP, the POS (Point Of Sale) embedded version. This includes current security updates. Regular XP only needs a single registry key added to be receive these updates, copy the following into a text file, save as "XPUpdates.reg" and import into regedit:
    ---
    Windows Registry Editor Version 5.00

    [HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\WPA\PosReady]
    "Installed"=dword:00000001
    ---

    This version of XP is supported until April 2019.

  10. Andersen December 25, 2016 at 1:59 am #

    13%? Sure quite a bunch.
    Why a company or developers need to listen to 13% then the rest 87%.

    Browser that still support XP do exist; whatever they are. But that's mean no body in this planet will support them. That's add-on developers, webpage developers, etc. It also mean if something broken, you're on your own.

    Merry Christmas.

  11. ilev December 25, 2016 at 7:19 pm #

    I am using Portable Firefox ESR on Windows 7 for years now.

  12. hirobo December 25, 2016 at 9:47 pm #

    Where can I get a portable FireFox?

    • anonymous December 26, 2016 at 2:14 am #

      PortableApps.com

  13. Gandalf January 1, 2017 at 9:13 pm #

    This means Mozilla is dropping support for its 3rd most used operating system and 13% of its user base. Only the versions Windows 7 and Windows 10 are used by more people.
    Why is that? Someone pointed out above that supporting Windows XP and Windows Vista is requiring development resources and that there are a lots of bugs which are specific only to those operating systems. By dropping support for those versions the developers can focus on Windows 10.

    Well, as far as I can see there are much *more* bugs that are specific to Linux operating systems or MacOS. Additionally those are used by much less people.
    Therefor dropping support only for Windows XP and Vista seems like a political decision to me. Some people are on a crusade against those operating systems and its users (as can be seen in the comments of this article too). And I predict that as soon as the usage of Windows XP and Vista will get close to 0, those same hatefilled people will start blaming users of Windows 7 and 8, that they are naysayers to progress, should go live in caves and are in general a threat to society.

  14. Bushy January 19, 2017 at 3:32 am #

    Kinda sad.

    More so even when you consider that Microsoft still are supporting Windows XP with updates!!
    There has been around 55 updates for Windows XP released already since 1st January 2017 to now (19th Jan).

    And if XP is still in use by around 20% of the market operating systems around the world, why do these dopey big-wig companies ditch such a faithful old operating system?

    XP - still better than Vista / 7 / 8 / 10 by a long shot.

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