Deprecated Mozilla Firefox support for Windows 7, 8 and 8.1 ends September 2024

silversurfer

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With Windows 7 and 8.1 ending official support by Microsoft in January 2023, software companies face a tough decision: should they support the operating systems for longer, or drop support at the official end of support date. [...]

Mozilla faces an equally tough decision. About 15% of Firefox users use the browser on Windows 7 and 8.1 machines. The percentage dropped significantly in the past couple of years, but is still almost as much as the percentage of all other operating systems that Firefox runs on, with the exception of the dominating Windows 10 platform. Firefox on all Linux distributions, on Mac, and all other versions of Windows, including Windows 8.1, also have a user base of about 15%.

Mozilla started to discuss the end of support for Windows 7 and 8.1 almost three years ago, but the thread on Bugzilla got traction only recently. A decision has not been made yet in regards to a potential support extension for these operating systems.

Mozilla considers two main options right now:
  • End support in January 2023.
  • Extend support until at least June 2023.
Ending support in January 2023 would alienate about 15% of the browser's user base. These users could continue to run the then-unsupported browser, similarly to how Chrome users can do so starting in February 2023. Some might move to a different browser, depending on whether it continues to be supported on their platform.

This option would remove a lot of headaches regarding testing, development tools and other tasks related to engineering. The downside would be that Firefox would lose a percentage of its user base over night.

The second option that Mozilla considers extends support until the release of the next Firefox ESR version. Firefox users on Windows 7 and 8.1 would be moved to Firefox 102 ESR, the current Extended Support Release branch, and would receive updates until Firefox 102 ESR is moved to Firefox 114 ESR; this happens in August 2023.

What appears to be clear is that Mozilla's support for Windows 7 and 8.1 will end in 2023.
 

silversurfer

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Mozilla has revealed some of its plans regarding support for the Windows operating systems Windows 7, Windows 8 and Windows 8.1. The organization plans to support the operating systems until the third quarter of 2024 at the minimum.

The announcement comes in form of a reply by Mozilla employee Mike Kaply, who had this to say on Mozilla's bug tracking website Bugzilla: "We will not be ending support for Windows 7/Windows 8 before the release of the Firefox 115 ESR, so the Firefox 115 ESR will support Windows 7/Windows 8 at least until 3Q 2024."

The next extended support release version of Firefox, Firefox 115 ESR, will support Windows 7, 8 and 8.1. The first Firefox 115 ESR version will be released on July 4, 2023. It will be supported for 15 releases until it runs out of support. Mozilla releases a new major version each four weeks, which means that Firefox 115 ESR will be supported for 60 weeks after its release in July.

Mozilla did not commit to ending support then, keeping its options open. Factors, such as the number of users and organizations who use Firefox on Windows 7 or 8.1 devices, will play a role in determining the fate of the browser then for these systems.
 

silversurfer

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Mozilla, maker of the open source Firefox web browser, has confirmed the end of support date of Firefox for the Microsoft operating systems Windows 7, Windows 8 and Windows 8.1

A support page provides detailed information on the organization's plans to support the out-of-support operating systems. In short: Mozilla will support Firefox for Windows 7, Windows 8 and Windows 8.1 until September 2024, but no longer than that.
Mozilla plans to migrate Firefox Stable users on these three Windows versions to the Firefox ESR channel when Firefox 115 is released. This happens automatically and this special version of Firefox ESR will receive security updates until September 2024, its end of support date.

Firefox ESR, which stands for Extended Support Releases, is updated in the same frequency as stable versions of the web browser. The updates include security and bug fixes only, and not new features, which Mozilla integrates into stable updates regularly.

This means that Firefox users on these operating systems won't receive any new features implemented in Firefox after the release of Firefox 115, which Mozilla plans to release on July 4, 2023.
 

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