Posts: 399 +176
Why it matters: Windows 7 went out of Microsoft's extended support (through the Extended Security Updates paid program) in January, and software companies are now revealing they will do the same in the upcoming months. Mozilla won't be among such companies, however, as the open-source foundation has decided to postpone the fateful date for quite a while.
The Extended Support Release (ESR) of Firefox will keep supporting Windows 7 and Windows 8.1 until at least until 2024. Mozilla programmer Mike Kaply confirmed the decision through the Bugzilla platform, stating that the corporation "will not be ending support for Windows 7/Windows 8 before the release of the Firefox 115 ESR," and that the Firefox 115 ESR release will support the aged operating systems "at least until 3Q 2024."
Mike Kaply also hinted at the fact that Mozilla still has to decide exactly when support for Windows 7/8 will be finally removed. Firefox ESR is stable release of the open-source browser which Mozilla supports for an extended period of time compared to regular, "rapid" releases coming out every month. During its one-year support cycle, each Firefox ESR version only gets incremental updates containing security fixes with no new features or performance enhancements.
As stated by Firefox's official release calendar, Firefox 115 ESR should come out on July 4, 2023. The Firefox Public Data Report also reveals that Windows 7 still provides a sizable portion of the overall Firefox userbase (13.44%), while Windows 10 is the leading platform with 71% of users. The much-maligned Windows 8.1 is still used by 2.3% of Firefox installations.
Mozilla's decision to continue supporting Windows 7 should make a lot of long-time Windows (and Firefox) users happy, as the availability of newer Firefox versions for the ancient (yet still extremely popular) operating system will give them a bit more time before the inevitable hardware/OS upgrade.
Windows 7 was already abandoned by Google Chrome (and other Chromium-based browsers), which doesn't run on the OS anymore starting from Chrome 110. Microsoft ended support for Windows 7 and Windows 8 in January 2023, and Valve will do the same with Steam on January 1, 2024.
Windows 7 was initially released to manufacturers on July 22, 2009, and Microsoft had to postpone the end of its official support period many times as the OS proved to be the most popular version of Windows ever produced with 630 million of licensed PCs worldwide (by July 2012). Windows 10 surpassed Windows 7 as the most popular PC operating system in January 2018.