Proposal: Raise minimum requirements for 1.9.2 on Windows to WinXP SP3

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Re: Proposal: Raise minimum requirements for 1.9.2 on Windows to WinXP SP3

Samuel Sidler
On Apr 14, 2009, at 5:19 AM, Simon Paquet wrote:

> Do we have any reliable numbers from our own download and AMO
> statistics on the percentage of users, which are still using W2K?
> I think this discussion would benefit from those numbers.

I, too, would like to see some actual numbers from our user-base  
(downloads, hits on mozilla.com, ADUs, etc) before making a  
determination on what we should do about Windows 2000.

-Sam
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Re: Proposal: Raise minimum requirements for 1.9.2 on Windows to WinXP SP3

Robert Kaiser
In reply to this post by Robert Kaiser
Mike Shaver wrote:
> On the bright side, SeaMonkey will be able to continue to support XP
> SP1 and Win 2k, and thereby gain all those users, since per your other
> message they'll just switch to another browser -- sounds like a real
> opportunity for you.

Wrong. We can't go with different requirements than the Geck we base
upon - well, unless, of course, we go and switch to WebKit and rewrite
our UI on some sucky native UI library. Though, before the latter
happens, I'd move to either be a Firefox or KDE dev. ;-)

Robert Kaiser
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Re: Proposal: Raise minimum requirements for 1.9.2 on Windows to WinXP SP3

Mike Beltzner
In reply to this post by Mike Connor-4
On 14-Apr-09, at 2:10 AM, Michael Connor wrote:

> Microsoft policy is completely important, if that's when security  
> updates stop happening.  I don't think we want to put time and  
> resources into operating systems which will rapidly be exploited.  https://isc.sans.org/survivaltime.html 
>  has a fun graph which shows average time to exploit an unpatched  
> system exposed to the Internet.

This is slightly off-topic, but do we know if those exploits are from  
just attaching the Windows network stack to a port or if they're from  
browsing with IE? If it's mostly the latter, then by preserving  
Firefox support for those users we're actually helping to protect them.

cheers,
mike
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Re: Proposal: Raise minimum requirements for 1.9.2 on Windows to WinXP SP3

Mike Shaver
On Tue, Apr 14, 2009 at 10:35 AM, Mike Beltzner <[hidden email]> wrote:
> This is slightly off-topic, but do we know if those exploits are from just
> attaching the Windows network stack to a port or if they're from browsing
> with IE? If it's mostly the latter, then by preserving Firefox support for
> those users we're actually helping to protect them.

I believe those stats are based on the default set of
applications/services that can be remotely tickled for the various
operating systems, based on the list of ports they provide.  They
would likely respond promptly to an inquiry on the topic, if asked.

Mike
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Re: Proposal: Raise minimum requirements for 1.9.2 on Windows to WinXP SP3

Mike Shaver
In reply to this post by Robert Kaiser
On Tue, Apr 14, 2009 at 10:23 AM, Robert Kaiser <[hidden email]> wrote:
> Mike Shaver wrote:
>>
>> On the bright side, SeaMonkey will be able to continue to support XP
>> SP1 and Win 2k, and thereby gain all those users, since per your other
>> message they'll just switch to another browser -- sounds like a real
>> opportunity for you.
>
> Wrong. We can't go with different requirements than the Geck we base upon -

Sure, but the SeaMonkey team could maintain the alternate code paths
and compensations required for XP SP1 and Win2K, and drive the testing
on those platforms, right?

Or is that not a good use of your limited resources either? :)

Mike
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Re: Proposal: Raise minimum requirements for 1.9.2 on Windows to WinXP SP3

Robert Kaiser
In reply to this post by Robert Kaiser
Mike Shaver wrote:

> On Tue, Apr 14, 2009 at 10:23 AM, Robert Kaiser<[hidden email]>  wrote:
>> Mike Shaver wrote:
>>>
>>> On the bright side, SeaMonkey will be able to continue to support XP
>>> SP1 and Win 2k, and thereby gain all those users, since per your other
>>> message they'll just switch to another browser -- sounds like a real
>>> opportunity for you.
>>
>> Wrong. We can't go with different requirements than the Geck we base upon -
>
> Sure, but the SeaMonkey team could maintain the alternate code paths
> and compensations required for XP SP1 and Win2K, and drive the testing
> on those platforms, right?
>
> Or is that not a good use of your limited resources either? :)

Erm, to be serious, we have good reasons to reduce the amount of code we
maintain and use toolkit instead of xpfe - I guess that should answer
your question ;-)

And yes, I know, that's all tough calls, but I wonder why we support
MacOS or Linux at all when it looks so easy to probably abandon more
users than we have on both of those together (has anyone stats that
would back or disprove that assumption?)

Robert Kaiser
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Re: Proposal: Raise minimum requirements for 1.9.2 on Windows to WinXP SP3

Mike Shaver
On Tue, Apr 14, 2009 at 11:00 AM, Robert Kaiser <[hidden email]> wrote:
> And yes, I know, that's all tough calls, but I wonder why we support MacOS
> or Linux at all when it looks so easy to probably abandon more users than we
> have on both of those together (has anyone stats that would back or disprove
> that assumption?)

We would lose a lot of our developers, and valuable tools (shark,
valgrind), if we didn't support those operating systems, to say
nothing of Linux being one of our major mobile platforms.  Are you
just trolling, or do you really not know that?

Mike
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Re: Proposal: Raise minimum requirements for 1.9.2 on Windows to WinXP SP3

John J Barton
In reply to this post by John J Barton
Rob Arnold wrote:

> On Tue, Apr 14, 2009 at 2:31 AM, John J. Barton <[hidden email]
>> wrote:
>
>> Michael Connor wrote:
>>
>>  software.  I don't believe we should make a decision based on users who
>>> can't upgrade their OS because they aren't using it legally.
>>>
>> Ok, I guess we disagree. I think mozilla should make decisions based on the
>> needs of their users.
>
>
> I don't want spend my time debugging or trying to reproduce an issue for an
> operating system that isn't up to date when it could easily be. If users are

But as I pointed out, updating is not always easy. Many, many users
avoid Windows updates if at all possible because historically they know
updates break things and rarely offer significant improvements.

> illegally using their OS and cannot upgrade due to that, I do not want to
> have to bend over backwards to recreate their environment to reproduce the
> bug and test a fix (in addition, there are moral issues with helping these

I think there is a large gap between "continue to support XP SP3 on
1.9.2" and "bend over backwards". Of course maybe I should try yoga.

> users). I would argue that supporting those systems doesn't help the needs
> of the vast majority of users who are using their OS legally and properly
> maintaining it.

But do you really want to base decisions on morality? Shall we ask users
to certify that their machine is being used legally and has been dusted
regularly? They never surf to sites on a mozilla-do-not-visit list?
Always properly shutdown at night?

I don't think any of this is mozilla's business.  The only issue is the
number of users of XP SP2.

jjb
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Re: Proposal: Raise minimum requirements for 1.9.2 on Windows to WinXP SP3

Robert Kaiser
In reply to this post by Robert Kaiser
Mike Shaver wrote:

> On Tue, Apr 14, 2009 at 11:00 AM, Robert Kaiser<[hidden email]>  wrote:
>> And yes, I know, that's all tough calls, but I wonder why we support MacOS
>> or Linux at all when it looks so easy to probably abandon more users than we
>> have on both of those together (has anyone stats that would back or disprove
>> that assumption?)
>
> We would lose a lot of our developers, and valuable tools (shark,
> valgrind), if we didn't support those operating systems, to say
> nothing of Linux being one of our major mobile platforms.  Are you
> just trolling, or do you really not know that?

Actually, I wanted to point out (somewhat in a somewhat tongue-in-cheek
way) that the number of users we're dropping with this decision might
outweigh the number of users we have on those other platforms which we
apparently value significantly. Of course, there's a lot of guessing
involved, as I'm not someone who has access to that shrine that keeps
all the actual number to back or counter that assumption.

There are a quite significant number of business users out there who are
still on Win2k (I don't care so much about XP < SP2) and it's not even
unheard that Microsoft itself prolongs support times for versions
heavily used in businesses (they even did so for Win98).
We once had that plan that our releases after 1.9.0 would be smaller in
scale and happen more often - I think 6 months was the target then, and
yes, 1.9.1 missed that by far. I for one moment assume that this is
still the plan - we don't have dates yet but you might know more than
me, even this open community shows that early-stage information is still
closed to smaller groups often enough. With all that in mind, the
6-month post-1.9.2.0 maintenance period of 1.9.1 would suggest that the
last version that supports Win2k might even be out before the current
official EOL of Microsoft support for Win2k, even if they don't prolong
this due to significant business usage.

Unsupporting a Windows version before even Microsoft drops it would be
very much unprecedented, and given that the primary argument seems to be
limited manpower and our manpower has nothing else than significantly
increased over the last years, sound like something not that easy to buy
in for someone watching this.

Of course, we are becoming more and more like big companies regarding
the decisions made, and while that might be good from some points of
view, it's not so easy to sell to those parts of our community that
expect us to think differently.

Robert Kaiser
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Re: Proposal: Raise minimum requirements for 1.9.2 on Windows to WinXP SP3

Ryan VanderMeulen
SP3 was much more incremental in nature over SP2 compared to SP2 over
SP0/SP1. I'm personally sending this message from a company-controlled
computer running SP2 still. Given that SP3 doesn't seem to be offering
anything special over SP2 API-wise, why not set the cutoff at SP2 like
IE7/IE8?
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Re: Proposal: Raise minimum requirements for 1.9.2 on Windows to WinXP SP3

Simon Paquet-2
In reply to this post by Robert Kaiser
Robert Kaiser wrote on 14. Apr 2009:

> And yes, I know, that's all tough calls, but I wonder why we support
> MacOS or Linux at all when it looks so easy to probably abandon more
> users than we have on both of those together (has anyone stats that
> would back or disprove that assumption?)

According to Net Applications, both OS X 10.5 and 10.4 are more popular
than Windows 2000 (6.00% and 2.66% vs. 1.24%).

Windows 2000 is more popular than Linux (0.90%) and all major mobile
platforms that we currently support or intend to support (Symbian 0,06%
and Windows CE 0.05%) combined.

Mike makes a good point however on the importance of Linux as a dev
platform (although based on my experience at the summit, pretty much
every techie in the US now runs a Mac).

But based solely on marketshare, we should not abandon W2K yet.

I couldn't find any data on Windows XP service pack allocation.

My "guess" would be that many people have at least updated to SP2,
since it was really a major update with many security and feature
enhancements that were widely discussed in tech *and* general media.

But I don't have any hard numbers on that. My "guess" for the update
to SP3 however is that not nearly as many people have made that step,
since it was mostly just a bundling of past security patches.

For example my company (Big4 professional services/auditing company
with roughly 120.000 Windows installations worldwide) is still
running Windows XP SP2, but Microsoft security updates are regularly
installed.

Cya
Simon

--
Thunderbird/Calendar Localisation (L10n) Coordinator
Thunderbird l10n blog:       http://thunderbird-l10n.blogspot.com
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Re: Proposal: Raise minimum requirements for 1.9.2 on Windows to WinXP SP3

Serge Gautherie-2
In reply to this post by Robert Kaiser
Robert Kaiser wrote:

> Wait, you seriously believe one single user would upgrade their OS just
> because there's no new Firefox available for them?

(One not-typical user story:)

Not just because of Gecko, and only after a long time with v1.8.1,
but I did eventually replace my W98SE with W2Ksp4.
That was after Microsoft and everyone else stopped providing
softwares/updates for W98.

The only interesting point was I could run W98 without a need for
firewall nor antivirus.

Now, while WXP has some improvements I miss somewhat in W2K,
I'm certainly not interested in some other new features of WXP and beyond.

...
My goal would be to move to Linux, but that looks like a "big" task, and
I know beforehand some of the softwares I use are still available on
Windows only :-/

(Anyway.)

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Re: Proposal: Raise minimum requirements for 1.9.2 on Windows to WinXP SP3

Aakash Desai-2
In reply to this post by Samuel Sidler

Going from there, I'd also like to see the number of computer users in the world (or just North America if that isn't possible) that don't have Firefox and what OS they run. It's a tall task, but the decision that's being discussed here is pertinent enough to ask for that IMO.

Thanks,
Aakash


----- Original Message -----
From: "Samuel Sidler" <[hidden email]>
To: "dev. planning" <[hidden email]>
Sent: Tuesday, April 14, 2009 7:10:58 AM GMT -08:00 US/Canada Pacific
Subject: Re: Proposal: Raise minimum requirements for 1.9.2 on Windows to WinXP SP3

On Apr 14, 2009, at 5:19 AM, Simon Paquet wrote:

> Do we have any reliable numbers from our own download and AMO
> statistics on the percentage of users, which are still using W2K?
> I think this discussion would benefit from those numbers.

I, too, would like to see some actual numbers from our user-base  
(downloads, hits on mozilla.com, ADUs, etc) before making a  
determination on what we should do about Windows 2000.

-Sam
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Re: Proposal: Raise minimum requirements for 1.9.2 on Windows to WinXP SP3

Mike Beltzner
Isn't that what sipaq provided?

> According to Net Applications, both OS X 10.5 and 10.4 are more  
> popular
> than Windows 2000 (6.00% and 2.66% vs. 1.24%).
>
> Windows 2000 is more popular than Linux (0.90%) and all major mobile
> platforms that we currently support or intend to support (Symbian  
> 0,06%
> and Windows CE 0.05%) combined.

cheers,
mike

On 14-Apr-09, at 12:27 PM, Aakash Desai wrote:

>
> Going from there, I'd also like to see the number of computer users  
> in the world (or just North America if that isn't possible) that  
> don't have Firefox and what OS they run. It's a tall task, but the  
> decision that's being discussed here is pertinent enough to ask for  
> that IMO.
>
> Thanks,
> Aakash
>
>
> ----- Original Message -----
> From: "Samuel Sidler" <[hidden email]>
> To: "dev. planning" <[hidden email]>
> Sent: Tuesday, April 14, 2009 7:10:58 AM GMT -08:00 US/Canada Pacific
> Subject: Re: Proposal: Raise minimum requirements for 1.9.2 on  
> Windows to WinXP SP3
>
> On Apr 14, 2009, at 5:19 AM, Simon Paquet wrote:
>
>> Do we have any reliable numbers from our own download and AMO
>> statistics on the percentage of users, which are still using W2K?
>> I think this discussion would benefit from those numbers.
>
> I, too, would like to see some actual numbers from our user-base
> (downloads, hits on mozilla.com, ADUs, etc) before making a
> determination on what we should do about Windows 2000.
>
> -Sam
> _______________________________________________
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Re: Proposal: Raise minimum requirements for 1.9.2 on Windows to WinXP SP3

Aakash Desai-2
Actually, those are percentages of users, in the world, running a specific OS. They're not the percentages for those running OS' and that don't have Firefox which I was hoping to see. :)

-- Aakash

----- Original Message -----
From: "Mike Beltzner" <[hidden email]>
To: "Aakash Desai" <[hidden email]>
Cc: "Samuel Sidler" <[hidden email]>, "dev. planning" <[hidden email]>
Sent: Tuesday, April 14, 2009 9:42:00 AM GMT -08:00 US/Canada Pacific
Subject: Re: Proposal: Raise minimum requirements for 1.9.2 on Windows to WinXP SP3

Isn't that what sipaq provided?

> According to Net Applications, both OS X 10.5 and 10.4 are more  
> popular
> than Windows 2000 (6.00% and 2.66% vs. 1.24%).
>
> Windows 2000 is more popular than Linux (0.90%) and all major mobile
> platforms that we currently support or intend to support (Symbian  
> 0,06%
> and Windows CE 0.05%) combined.

cheers,
mike

On 14-Apr-09, at 12:27 PM, Aakash Desai wrote:

>
> Going from there, I'd also like to see the number of computer users  
> in the world (or just North America if that isn't possible) that  
> don't have Firefox and what OS they run. It's a tall task, but the  
> decision that's being discussed here is pertinent enough to ask for  
> that IMO.
>
> Thanks,
> Aakash
>
>
> ----- Original Message -----
> From: "Samuel Sidler" <[hidden email]>
> To: "dev. planning" <[hidden email]>
> Sent: Tuesday, April 14, 2009 7:10:58 AM GMT -08:00 US/Canada Pacific
> Subject: Re: Proposal: Raise minimum requirements for 1.9.2 on  
> Windows to WinXP SP3
>
> On Apr 14, 2009, at 5:19 AM, Simon Paquet wrote:
>
>> Do we have any reliable numbers from our own download and AMO
>> statistics on the percentage of users, which are still using W2K?
>> I think this discussion would benefit from those numbers.
>
> I, too, would like to see some actual numbers from our user-base
> (downloads, hits on mozilla.com, ADUs, etc) before making a
> determination on what we should do about Windows 2000.
>
> -Sam
> _______________________________________________
> dev-planning mailing list
> [hidden email]
> https://lists.mozilla.org/listinfo/dev-planning
> _______________________________________________
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> [hidden email]
> https://lists.mozilla.org/listinfo/dev-planning

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Re: Proposal: Raise minimum requirements for 1.9.2 on Windows to WinXP SP3

Mike Connor-4
In reply to this post by Robert O'Callahan-3

On 14-Apr-09, at 5:39 AM, Robert O'Callahan wrote:

> On 14/4/09 4:37 PM, Michael Connor wrote:
>> Put another way, XP (no SP) and XP SP1 have been unsupported and
>> unpatched for years now.
>
> Those are excellent reasons for dropping support for XP/noSP and XP/
> SP1. But why drop support for XP/SP2?

Because SP2 will reach end of life before 3.5 reaches end of life.  
Supporting SP2 for 1.9.2 would mean supporting a "dead man walking" OS  
for at least a year, if not longer.

-- Mike
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Re: Proposal: Raise minimum requirements for 1.9.2 on Windows to WinXP SP3

Samuel Sidler
On Apr 14, 2009, at 9:54 AM, Michael Connor wrote:

> On 14-Apr-09, at 5:39 AM, Robert O'Callahan wrote:
>> On 14/4/09 4:37 PM, Michael Connor wrote:
>>> Put another way, XP (no SP) and XP SP1 have been unsupported and
>>> unpatched for years now.
>>
>> Those are excellent reasons for dropping support for XP/noSP and XP/
>> SP1. But why drop support for XP/SP2?
>
> Because SP2 will reach end of life before 3.5 reaches end of life.  
> Supporting SP2 for 1.9.2 would mean supporting a "dead man walking"  
> OS for at least a year, if not longer.

And? If our users are there, I don't think we should simply drop  
support because Microsoft has.

I already know the answer, but, uh, have you read through the dropping  
10.4 discussion? And the dropping 10.3 discussion before it? I know  
you have, yet a lot of your statements here are basically what Josh  
was saying before.

Frankly, without actual data to back the discussion, I don't know why  
we're even having it now. I saw a couple of things that we'd like to  
do in SP2 and later. That's fine. Where's the list of things we want  
to do that are only available in SP3 and later? Where's the data  
saying 90% of users have upgraded from SP2 to SP3? I'm not sure why  
we're talking about dropping support for XP SP2 at all yet, especially  
without strong reasons why.

-Sam
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Re: Proposal: Raise minimum requirements for 1.9.2 on Windows to WinXP SP3

DigDug
In reply to this post by Mike Connor-4
Are there any estimates out there of the cost of supporting these
platforms (in terms of time mostly I guess, maybe code complexity)?
What are the metrics from the downloads page on the number of users
running Win2K? Just running a quick search through the mozilla-central
changelog for Win2K, most things seem related to Win2k3, but I'm no
expert. If this is an hour a year of time, I don't see why you
wouldn't support it, at least for one more release cycle. Maybe you
give them one release cycle of with a warning about "Firefox.next will
no longer support your OS" and a quick support page to aid in how to
upgrade/information explaining if they even care.

My parents were on rural dial-up for years. 56K modems running at
about 5K because of the old phone lines. Auto-updating their OS to SP2
or SP3 was practically impossible, and ordering an upgrade CD... well
they didn't even know such a thing existed. They had Firefox installed
because I put it on a flash drive one weekend and installed it for
them. The cost of upgrading in terms of time/effort was fairly high
for them, and I'm guessing there's 2 or 3 million like them in the US
alone. But I think they would have taken offense to someone refusing
to fix bugs purely as an argument against their OS. It comes off as a
"We know better than you" sorta situation. If the cost in Mozilla's
time in terms of bug fixes/implementing features is high though (how
high is it again?), that doesn't seem nearly as harsh.
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Re: Proposal: Raise minimum requirements for 1.9.2 on Windows to WinXP SP3

pascal chevrel
In reply to this post by John J Barton
Le 14.04.2009 08:10, Michael Connor a écrit :
> If you don't have the license (i.e. if it was part of a corporate site
> license, and you left the company with the machine) then technically you
> aren't using the software legally. I suppose there's some number of
> people using software without actually having a license to that
> software. I don't believe we should make a decision based on users who
> can't upgrade their OS because they aren't using it legally.
>

Taking the problem with a different angle, most of the third world and
emerging countries use pirated software, all numbers I have seen about
China were saying that +90% software used was pirated and I suspect that
XP SP1 is the easiest one to pirate since it didn't include the "genuine
advantage" software in it.

Given that security on the net seems to be a low priority concern for
users in Asia and the fact that most people use a pirated version of
Windows, I think we should evaluate if stopping support for older
versions of Windows is not going to hinder our growth in emerging
markets and specifically China (basically asking Mozilla China if they
have some insight on the matter).

Regards,

Pascal
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Re: Proposal: Raise minimum requirements for 1.9.2 on Windows to WinXP SP3

Mike Connor-4
In reply to this post by Samuel Sidler

On 14-Apr-09, at 10:10 AM, Samuel Sidler wrote:

> On Apr 14, 2009, at 5:19 AM, Simon Paquet wrote:
>
>> Do we have any reliable numbers from our own download and AMO
>> statistics on the percentage of users, which are still using W2K?
>> I think this discussion would benefit from those numbers.
>
> I, too, would like to see some actual numbers from our user-base  
> (downloads, hits on mozilla.com, ADUs, etc) before making a  
> determination on what we should do about Windows 2000.

What you really want is the trend data, I would think, since what  
we're making a decision on is based on how many users will still be  
using that OS version when 3.5 hits EOL.  If we ship .next sometime  
next spring, we're talking late 2010 before those users lack a  
supported browser version.  Right now, we're at similar numbers to the  
Net Applications numbers.  Between now and then we'll see Windows 7  
ship, which always spurs a new round of hardware upgrades and trickle-
down, plus a year or more of the natural trend for hardware to die and  
be replaced (again, remember that we're dealing with 2004-era hardware  
at best, so a lot of computers are reaching end of natural life).  I  
don't doubt that some people will be left behind, but we gave up 4% of  
our users who were on Win98 when we dropped Win9x support for 3.0, so  
Win2k is already way under that threshold.

-- Mike
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