Google has already decided to end its Chrome support for Windows 7 and 8.1 in early 2023. Mozilla, however, is still hesitant about doing the same, although the support for both OS versions will officially end in January 2023. Now, the browser’s developers are discussing whether to continue the support for Firefox on the OS versions or completely put an end to it. (via gHacks)
According to Mozilla, Firefox on Windows 7 and Windows 8.1 operating systems has a considerable user population. In its latest October 2022 report, Windows 7 has a 15.114% share while Windows 8.1 has a 2.848%. Ending the support for these systems can save Mozilla from the “headache” of doing additional testing and developing updates for Firefox. However, it is a different situation for its users. This could push them to continue using the browser without the necessary updates for security and other vital sections of Firefox OR move to other browsers that will continue support for the old Windows systems. The latter will be catastrophic for Mozilla, leading to considerations of extending the support for the browser on the said systems.
Ending the support for Firefox on Windows 7 and Windows 8.1 also translates the need for users to upgrade to machines with a more updated Windows system. However, a developer at Mozilla fears it is not the best option now, given the economic situation.
“I think that the following circumstances should be taken into account,” commented one user on Bugzilla. “We are still in a chip shortage and economic crisis that will make upgrading to a new computer or new version of Windows difficult. Most Linux distros have also dropped 32-bit support which will affect many Windows 7 machines such as Intel atom netbooks so switching to Linux won’t be a viable option either.”
In case the developers opt for the decision to extend the support for Firefox on Windows 7 and Windows 8.1, it may be until June 2023. This extends the date for a couple of months, but it doesn’t change the fact that users of the said Windows system versions would have to move to higher OS systems sooner or later.