Google has announced on its official blog that it will be discontinuing Chrome support in older operating systems in April 2016. Specifically, Windows XP, Windows Vista, Mac OS X 10.6 “Snow Leopard, 10.7 “Lion”, and 10.8 “Mountain Lion” will be discontinued.
Apple specifically cited security concerns for the move, noting that XP and the versions of Mac OS X listed are no longer supported by Microsoft or Apple, and that Vista is only receiving security updates until April 11 2017. This will mark the end for Windows XP, which Microsoft discontinued all but paid extended support for in April 2014. Google had originally planned to end Chrome’s support for XP on that date, but it was pushed back twice.
On Macs, Apple will generally only support the last three systems released. As of the time of this writing, Mac OS X 10.9 “Mavericks” is the oldest system still supported. Released in 2013, it is supported alongside 2014’s 10.10 “Yosemite” and this year’s 10.11 “El Capitan”.
Mozilla has not announced any plans to cut support for older systems in their Firefox browser, although they do require Service Pack 3 to be installed on any XP computers. Internet Explorer 8 is also discontinued, so Firefox will be the only major browser regularly receiving updates while still supporting Windows XP in April.
Quick Take: This is a long time coming. Windows XP has been discontinued for well over a year now, and supporting an unsupported system is an increasingly difficult and futile task. Alongside cutting off support for the NPAPI framework to run plugins such as Java, this shows a desire by Google to completely cut out legacy code and support from Chrome. Firefox has not announced plans to drop XP or NPAPI, but I suspect it will be coming with the overhaul of Firefox that’s in the works.
Still running XP or an older OS and use Chrome for your daily driver? Let us know how this impacts you in the comments.