Mozilla to support Firefox on Windows XP after Microsoft ends support for the OS

A few weeks back, Google said that it would continue to support Chrome on Windows XP after Microsoft ended support for the aging operating system. The move is a bit controversial as supporting a browser on an unsupported OS could lure users into a false sense of security as the browser may be up to date with the latest security patches but the underlying OS could be wide open.

But the browser space is not limited to only two platforms, and Mozilla has told Neowin that it intends to continue to support the OS after Microsoft ends its support for XP.

Neowin asked Mozilla, the creator of Firefox, if it has any plans to end support for XP and Johnathan Nightingale, VP of Firefox at Mozilla stated, "We have no plans to discontinue support for our XP users."

This means that for users of Windows XP, who have not upgraded their decade-old OS, they will have two supported browser options once Microsoft ends support for XP (and subsequently Internet Explorer on XP): Chrome and Firefox.

It’s quite obvious as to why Google and Mozilla will support their browser on XP after Microsoft ends support; millions of users will still be using the outdated OS. Where there are users, there are developers eyeing for their attention and in the insanely competitive browser market space, both companies are fighting for any user they can attract. So when Microsoft leaves those with outdated machines in the past, Google and Mozilla want to give them an option to browser securely, even if their OS is vulnerable.

While we doubt Microsoft will change its mind and extend XP's supported lifecycle, it will be interesting to see if IE does drop in market share after April 2014. 

Image via Mozilla

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No wonder why, most of their user base is still using rubbish outdated XP on dated incapable hardware. They should just stop supporting it and force people to upgrade, lagging behind with a castrated pos OS will only endanger whoever still uses it.

Why force someone to spend money if it does what they need it to do? So if my 10 year old car, which still runs great, is no longer being made by the manufacturer I should just ditch it and get a new one?

That analogy is flawed, Windows XP without updates will be severely vulnerable. The OS would be like the engine that powers your car, without proper maintenance it would eventually crippled the whole machine in the long run. But yeah why upgrade when it just works with all the exploits left unpatched..

You cant compare an operating system with a car, its like comparing a phone to an abacus.

An OS that has kernel level and DLL security issues and these will no longer be addressed.
Business which uses Windows XP from next year will not be complaint with UK data protection laws as they state the system should be secure and have latest patches applied (my interpretation and common sense).
A business that needs to keep *your* information secure needs to ensure the OS and applications are secure.

This means updating, it is not a 'have to' but 'a need to'.

RangerLG said,
Why force someone to spend money if it does what they need it to do? So if my 10 year old car, which still runs great, is no longer being made by the manufacturer I should just ditch it and get a new one?

You can still drive your 10 year old car, but just be aware that after April 2014 your breaks have a highly likely hood of spontaneously failing while on the road killing you and possibly other drives.

yowanvista said,
That analogy is flawed ...

Would be a great analogy if we required devices to be registered to gain internet access.

Also, My friend still drives her Saturn.......

Not true, support for Windows 2000 ended with Firefox 12, however, Firefox 10.0.12 esr, released in 2013, is the last version for this operating system.

What I tell people, is they can still use their XP machine until april, at which time security updates will stop and I would NOT recommend putting that machine on the internet after that.

That's absolutely crazy. Sure, the OS might not get patched, but most people are doing such simple stuff, I don't think they have to worry much.

A decent AV, which some will be supporting XP still, and some malware checkers, and I'd consider myself safe still.

Yes,
I know not everyone will do that, which doesn't really matter either, as some have done it that way since XP came out.

In all honesty this makes NO difference.

If someone is going run a 12 year old operating system that's out of support then they'll have no trouble running an old web browser that may or may not be out of support.

Would never happen because so much of XP's source code is still in use today, and also why would they want to release an open source OS that is going to compete with them?

a bad idea IMO, best to get rid of old security riddled code but then again i dont care since im on Linux full time now

a few PC's at work still run XP. I keep telling IT they need to upgrade those machines. they say no time to do it

Obviously they don't care that the underlying OS still leaves users vulnerable.

With that said...if they're not using any feature that only exists on newer OSes, and code compiles and runs against XP--then why add some artificial barrier to their installer to prevent the installation like other developers do? It could all come down to their testing matrix--or they could just make the claim they haven't tested something on XP, and if it works, then great, otherwise you're on your own--what's their commitment level anyway? If they don't want to see the X% of people still on XP migrate permanently to a competing browser, then that could be reason enough.

I get the feeling post-April 2014 will be interesting.

I hope they would at least land e10s and GGC in their Windows XP version. So people on Windows XP aren't actually stuck with crap browsers.

And it will be interesting to see overtime, if Firefox will eventually be a faster and better browser on XP after Chrome ends its support.

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