Firefox 52 will be the last version of Firefox for Windows XP and Vista

March 8, 2017

Firefox released Firefox 52 earlier this week to the public, and it has a few notable thingies.

First of all, FireFox 52 is the last version of FireFox which will support Windows XP and Vista, from this point on a user who wants to snag the latest versions with the newest features of Firefox will have to use Windows 7 and above for support. Firefox will, however, keep this version updated with security fixes for an extended period of time. This is similar in some respects to Google’s new Chrome versions, which will only support newer versions of Windows, leaving older versions unpatched and vulnerable.

FireFox also removes support for insecure legacy plugins like Java, Silverlight, and Acrobat leaving only Flash support (albeit turned off by default as is the trend).

Mozilla also adds support for Web Assembly, a web platform feature that essentially allows developers to write complex and resource intensive apps which will be able to run in the browser in a more streamlined manner than javascript. It “is a new, portable, size- and load-time-efficient binary compiler target”.

Firefox is currently the only mainstream browser to support this, with Google’s Chrome including it in future beta releases and Microsoft promising to bring it to future iterations of Edge. Here’s how Web Assembly will look when it comes to Edge.

As computing moves to the cloud, browsers become more and more important as part of the computing experience. Firefox has taken the first step towards improving the web experience, and others will be sure to follow.

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