Mozilla has prepping to ditch Windows XP and Vista from the list of operating system supported by Firefox with the last date being the end of September 2017.
The company, via a blogpost shared last week, revealed that Windows XP and Windows Vista will automatically be moved to Firefox Extended Support Release (ESR) around March 2017 and in mid-2017 the company will reassess user numbers to announce a final support end date for the two operating systems.
Mozilla is recommending users to jump ship and upgrade to an operating system that is currently being supported so as to avoid being hacked. The September 2017 deadline will likely mean that Mozilla will not offer any security updates for Windows XP and Vista users. However, it doesn’t mean that the browser will stop working on XP or Vista in September. However, with no new security updates being offered, users will be at a much higher risk of being infected with a malware because the vulnerabilities will not be patched by Mozilla.
Users of these operating systems are already at risk and with Firefox deciding to pull the plug by not supporting these operating systems post September 2017 users of these operating systems will be at a greater risk considering that their gateway to the Internet (browser) won’t be secured either.
Why is Firefox support ending for Windows XP and Vista users?
Firefox is one of the only browsers to offer any support for Windows XP and Vista. Microsoft itself ended support for Windows XP in 2014 and will end support for Windows Vista in 2017. Unsupported operating systems receive no security updates, have known exploits, and can be dangerous to use, which makes it difficult to maintain Firefox on those versions.
Firefox security updates for XP and Vista users will continue until September 2017, although new features will not be offered. In mid-2017, a final support end date will be announced based on the number of users still on Windows XP and Vista.
Will switching to a different browser keep me protected?
Unfortunately, not. Most browsers (such as Google Chrome and Microsoft Internet Explorer) have already ended support for Windows XP and Windows Vista. If upgrading your operating system is not an option, you can still expect continued Firefox security updates until September 2017.
Can I still browse safely with Firefox?
In March 2017, if you are using Firefox with Windows XP or Windows Vista, you will automatically be updated to the Extended Support Release version of Firefox. You will continue to receive important Firefox security updates but no other features or updates. You do not need to do anything else.
How can I get the newest features of Firefox?
If you want to keep your Firefox up to date, with all the latest features and updates, you’ll need to upgrade your computer’s operating system.
- Upgrade to a Windows version that Microsoft still supports, such as Windows 7, 8 or 10. Windows versions that are not supported by Microsoft are unreliable and unsafe to use, which also makes it difficult to maintain Firefox on those versions.
- (Advanced): Switch to a Linux-based operating system. Please see the support websites for the version of Linux that you’re interested in.