As Windows 10 continues to gain popularity and being the norm, while a number of other users fall back on Windows 8 and 8.1, what about those who are still rocking to legacy systems that run on Windows Vista and Windows XP? I loved Windows XP, but no matter how stable it was, it was certainly time to get along with the program. Having said that, Mozilla, the folks behind the loved Firefox browser, is mulling over the possibility of dropping all support for Firefox on Windows XP and Vista platforms in March next year.
Of course, this must have been in the pipeline for quite some time already, but for one reason or another, Mozilla never really managed to take the relevant steps to do so. Perhaps March 2017 would be a good time as any to begin, taking into consideration how Microsoft themselves have decided to end support for the Windows XP platform close to two years back. Now could jolly well be the moment that Mozilla follows suit to pull the plug.
From March 2017 onward thereabouts, Firefox users who are still running on Windows XP and Vista will end up being shuttered to the 'Extended Support Release' cycle. In other words, you would no longer be in the ‘in’ crowd, as the ‘Extended Support Release’ cycle is normally used by corporations and educational institutions who need extended support when it comes to large-scale deployments. There are no buttons to press or links that you have to click to agree to -- this particular change will happen on its own under the standard update process.
Of course, this does not mean that you will end up with no support whatsoever. Basically, as long as you are still on Windows XP and Windows Vista, there is a window of opportunity that remains open, letting you consider the options available. After all, Mozilla will continue to offer security updates for users all the way until September 2017. I would think that September 2017 is the final deadline then for Mozilla when it comes to Firefox support for both platforms. No doubt in due time, both of these browsers will end up being more and more vulnerable to malicious hackers, malware and coding since there will be security flaws that remain unpatched. Hence, a parting word of advice from Mozilla for those who stubbornly refuse to make the jump: for users to "upgrade to a version of Windows that is supported by Microsoft."
Basically, unsupported operating systems do not obtain any more security updates. This would also mean that known exploits will make the user experience all the more dangerous. Hence, enterprises that still use Firefox ought to circle September 2017 on their respective calendars as that is when the support end date for Windows XP and Vista kicks in.
We do hope that Mozilla keeps users updated in due time, especially when March 2017 rolls around. It would be nice to know whether they would have changed their minds or not at the end of the first quarter of 2017.