Chrome 50 Release Ends Support for Legacy Windows and OS X Versions
Users of Google’s Chrome Web browser might be pushing their luck if they’re running it on out-of-date operating systems. Google Chrome 50 launched this week for Windows, Mac, and Linux, but its new features won’t be available for Windows XP, among other older operating systems.
Last fall, Google said that it would remove support for Windows XP, Windows Vista, OS X 10.6 Snow Leopard, OS X 10.7 Lion, and OS X 10.8 Mountain Lion with the next version of Chrome. Because those platforms are no longer actively supported by Microsoft and Apple, Google said there’s no reason for its signature browser to do so. (In fact, Microsoft is continuing to support Windows Vista with security updates; it plans to issue patches for Vista for another year.)
Chrome will still run on those platforms, but users will no longer receive updates and security fixes. Google recommends that users upgrade their operating systems to Windows 7 or later on their PCs, or OS X Mavericks or later on Macs.
For people who use operating systems that are compatible with Chrome, version 50 of the browser comes with a number of new features. One of those is improved push notifications, enabling Web sites that send them to detect when the notifications were closed by the users. The browser then uses analytics to improve the dismissal of notifications by users on sites across different devices. In other words, if users dismisses notifications via their desktop computers, the notifications will also be closed on their smartphones or tablets.
Chrome 50 can now also enable Web sites to send the browser download requests ahead of time, which should make Web sites load faster than it could previously. Android users of Chrome will also be able to pause or cancel downloads within Chrome.
Leave It Behind
Is it a deal breaker that Chrome no longer runs on Windows XP and other legacy operating systems? Al Hilwa, program director in software development research for analyst firm IDC, told us it shouldn’t be.
"Chrome 50 is an important milestone both because of all the great features it is bringing around the continuously evolving (World Wide Web Consortium) HTML5 capabilities and because it makes a break from older operating systems," said Hilwa. "Running really old software is really no longer a good idea in this age of constant cyberattack bombardment, so it is appropriate that vendors should provide every carrot and stick to prod users to upgrade and retire these systems."
The new Chrome 50 also contains some 20 security fixes, many of which were provided by researchers outside the company. Another extension in the new browser lets users save Web pages for viewing later with just one click.
Image Credit: Google’s Chrome Web browser logo and screenshot via Google.
Read more on: Google
, Windows XP
, Windows Vista
, Windows 7
, OS X Snow Leopard
, OS X Lion
, OS X Mountain Lion
, OS X Mavericks
, Tech News