Mozilla's Firefox team may axe support for 9x

By Justin Mann on June 8, 2006, 11:15 AM
Could the development team over at Mozilla behind the infamous Firefox browser be considering removing support for Windows OS'es older than 2000? While not many people make use of Windows 95 today, many people do continue to use Windows 98 and Windows ME, but the direction that Firefox is taking, it seems that soon support for them will be dropped. In an effort to stamp out as many bugs as possible and continue to improve stability, as well as many Firefox easily portable to other platforms, developers are working on a patch and an eventual dropping of a code branch that will result in version 3.0 of Firefox being 2000 and above exclusively, which has upset many people. While it doesn't prevent other teams from modifying the code to again work with 98 and releasing that, it may alienate a large user base. Would this impact you? It would be very interesting to see some figures as to what percentage of Windows Firefox users are using Windows 98/ME.

User Comments: 10

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DragonMaster said:
[quote]While not many people make use of Windows 95 today, [/quote]About every single computers in my school do work on Win95. There are maybe 10 other computers running WinXP but that's all.
nic said:
I think dropping support for old OSes is the right way to go. The competition is getting harder with IE7 just around the corner, so why dwell on old technology? Microsoft will no longer support windows 98/ME from 11 July 2006, so time to upgrade.
roseman said:
YES it would impact me, as well as many others! I want to keep my Firefox updated. We are a dedicated group of Mozilla/Firefox supporters, and need continued support! Please don't try to pull a "Microsoft" on us, squeezing us out to force us to buy more MS-operating systems :(
canadian said:
I think, they should just release two versions. Plain and simple.
abc said:
In my experience, while there may be many people running old OSes, it isn't enough to hold back the browser. If I'm not mistaken, oppenoffice keeps an old version updated for security concerns for legacy OSes. I think firefox should do the same.
filthy_mcnasty said:
Killing support for 9x is definitely the way to go. Why should Mozilla support something that not even the vendor supports anymore (and hasn't for ages. To a few posters ago: the "extended support" cycle they have might as well be no support, these OSes are dead even to Microsoft, even Win2k is in extended support now.)? Personally I stopped supporting it in my own applications a long time ago. I realize that this can alienate many in your user base but with something like Firefox.... so what? If people are still running those old operating systems then Firefox alone probably isn't doing a whole lot to help keep their systems clean anyways. And I also realize that this isn't always an option but if you're on Win9x it's time for an upgrade anyways.
derrycraig said:
If Mozilla want to make their presence felt with the big boys the best way to go would to be to support the older operating systems preventing people from having to upgrade. Which would be useful for skint students, might drive down the price of windows licences.
filthy_mcnasty said:
You don't grow a user base by supporting outdated technology, ever.Hell, even look at today's most recent news post on this very site (it's everywhere actually)..[url]
ThomasNews said:
I'd have to concur; legacy support should be dropped for Firefox 3. There's only so long you should reasonably expect developers to support any product. The Mozilla team have done a fine job for providing a modern Browser for legacy operating systems, but it's time to move on, Microsoft are about to end paid support for these systems to. If there are those who insist on continuing to use legacy products it's reasonable to expect them to have to rely on legacy applications also.
DragonMaster said:
They might still support it with FFX2, and continue to ungrade it as they're doing with FFX 1.0, which is still upgraded.
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