After months of consideration, Mozilla finally decided to extend the support for Windows 7 and 8. According to the latest post on Bugzilla’s forum, the Windows versions will receive support until the third quarter of 2024.
Microsoft is continuously concocting new versions of Windows (check the latest Windows 12 rumors), and part of that is leaving behind its old OS creations. In January, the software company stopped providing extended security updates for Professional and Enterprise editions of Windows 7. This ended the support for those who decided to move to the Extended Security Update (ESU) program of Microsoft after Windows 7 reached its end of support and extended end of support dates in January 2015 and January 2020, respectively.
In the same month, Windows 8.1 reached its EOS date after repeated reminders from Microsoft about this date back in 2022. Alongside these announcements, third-party companies with their apps running on Windows decided to drop the support for Windows 7 and 8.1. This includes Google, which released its first Chrome update that only covered Windows 10 and later in February.
Mozilla initially considered following these Windows EOS dates for its Firefox browser. However, in November 2022, employees at the company were spotted discussing the matter and considering extending support. In the forum, employees mentioned the chip shortage and economic crisis, which “make upgrading to a new computer or new version of Windows difficult.” Additionally, Firefox on Windows 7 and Windows 8.1 operating systems has a decent user population. In its October 2022 report, Windows 7 has a 15.114% share while Windows 8.1 has a 2.848%. This means dropping the support for the said Windows versions could push the users to find other alternatives, including leaving Firefox for other solutions. With this, the browser company decided to continue the support.
“We will not be ending support for Windows 7/Windows 8 before the release of the Firefox 115 ESR, so the Firefox 115 ESR will support Windows 7/Windows 8 at least until 3Q 2024,” announced Michael Kaply, software engineer at Mozilla.
On a side note, Kaply said he “can’t speak to when we will remove support for Windows 7/Windows 8,” leaving users uncertain about the actual Firefox EOS date. Nonetheless, users of the said old Windows versions can let out a deep breath for now as they can be certain they still have protection on Firefox.