Still using Windows XP or Windows Vista and Firefox? The end is coming for your support updates.
The Mozilla foundation, the people behind the web browser Firefox have announced that support for the browser on Windows Vista and Windows XP have announced the date that the extended release support will end.
Mozilla offers extended support releases of Firefox (ESR) that get updates for 54 weeks rather than the standard new versions coming out about every 2 months. The idea behind this approach is that large organisations can install the ESR version of Firefox onto their standard desktop builds without having to worry about it being out of date in 2 months time.
It was a year ago that Mozilla announced that users of Firefox on XP and Vista would be moved onto the ESR version and at that time they said that support would be up until September 2017 for those users. That September deadline has passed and a new date of June 2018 has been given as the end of support for the ESR versions of Firefox on Vista and XP. Mozilla don’t really explain why but did give this statement.
“We strongly encourage our users to upgrade to a version of Windows that is supported by Microsoft. Unsupported operating systems receive no security updates, have known exploits, and are dangerous for you to use.”
It has been over 3 years since Microsoft support for XP ended but yet it still clings on in some organisations such as the British National health service (NHS) and the UK government, who had custom designed software that won’t work on new versions of Windows and could cost a small fortune to have re-written.
As well as these big organisations there are also quite a few small businesses and home users who don’t really know what risks they are taking by using Windows XP or Vista online. If you are reading this and still running XP or Vista on your computer I would strongly recommend you upgrade to a newer version of Windows such as Windows 10. Should your hardware not be up to running Windows 10 there are lots of versions of Linux that will work on older hardware.
If you really need to continue to use Windows XP/Vista then I would suggest you limit your browsing to a limited number of well known websites and don’t use it for anything to do with your finances such as banking or online shopping. If you intend to be still using these unsupported versions of Windows passed the June 2018 deadline then you could switch to another browsers such as Midori which are still supporting Windows Vista and XP but for how long remains to be seen.