Mozilla is about support for Firefox on Windows 7 and Windows 8.1 until at least Q3 of 2024. This will ensure that users of these operating systems can continue to benefit from security updates and bug fixes for Firefox, which are essential for maintaining security and functionality.
Earlier, the company was mulling over the decision. However, it has now been implemented through a new release schedule for the ESR channel.
To make this possible, Mozilla intends to release multiple versions of Firefox with Extended Support (ESR). Firefox ESR versions are specifically designed for users and organizations seeking a stable and secure browsing experience. These versions receive security updates and bug fixes for a longer period than regular Firefox versions.
Firefox 115 ESR will be the first version to support Windows 7 and Windows 8.1 until at least Q3 of 2024. This version will be available on July 4, 2023, and will be supported for 15 releases, which translates to 60 weeks after its release in January.
Mozilla's telemetry research indicates that a significant number of Firefox installations are running on Windows 7, second only to Windows 10. As a result, Mozilla recognizes the importance of continuing to support these users for as long as possible.
It is actually great that Mozilla is committed to providing continued support for its browser on older operating systems. By continuing to support Firefox on these legacy OSes, Mozilla ensures that users who cannot or do not wish to upgrade to newer operating systems can still access a secure and functional web browser.
This is especially crucial since many users may have older hardware or software that is not compatible with the latest OS versions. With Firefox ESR, Mozilla will be able to support as many users as possible, without leaving those using outdated technology alone in the dark. Obviously, this will also help Mozilla to slightly increase its user base and market presence.
As you could already guess, there are challenges associated with supporting a web browser on older systems. It is essential for software developers to invest extra effort in supporting legacy APIs and keeping the application running with an older library set for as long as possible. Providing users with a secure and fully-featured web browsing experience may not be an easy task.
You will find some extra details on Mozilla's bugzilla.
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