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

Mike Connor-4

On 14-Apr-09, at 6:44 PM, Neil wrote:

> Michael Connor wrote:
>> Raise the minimum requirements for Gecko 1.9.2 (and any versions of  
>> Firefox built on 1.9.2) for Windows builds to require Windows XP  
>> Service Pack 3 or higher.
> Firefox has only just dropped support for Windows 98/NT4 (i.e. no  
> more Gecko 1.8 branch releases), while Thunderbird and SeaMonkey's  
> official (as of time of writing) current releases still run on  
> Windows 95 (and MinGW SeaMonkey seems to run fine on my Windows NT  
> 3.51 tinderbox, although someone complained that release builds  
> crash on startup). So dropping Windows 2000 would seem to be a  
> little premature.

3.5 (Gecko 1.9.1) will continue to run on Windows 2000.  That means  
that we'll be running on a ten year old OS, which is five years better  
than Linux or Mac versions we support. The real issue is that when  
Gecko 1.9.1 reaches EOL in fall 2010 (likely at the earliest) then we  
won't have support for Windows 2000.  I think that's acceptable,  
overall.

> Or is this minimum requirements as in "Developers are not required  
> to ensure that code compiles with VC7.1 and runs on Windows 2000 but  
> we accept contributed patches"?

I don't think that we want to continue to maintain code for 10 year  
old operating systems, unless it's build-time defines (i.e. OS/2) that  
we explicitly don't care about at all.  It's still a drain on  
reviewers, it's still more code surface to maintain, and it's likely  
pulling resources away from more critical tasks.  The point is to  
focus effort where it is best leveraged, and code writing is just one  
facet of that cost.

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

zerodpx
In reply to this post by Neil-4
If it's helpful data:

* I haven't heard of any plans to raise the Chromium support baseline
from XP SP2 to XP SP3 once SP2 is EOLed.  Most of our discussions are
based around cost/benefit, and the SP2->SP3 change doesn't really
affect either of those much for Chromium.
* Dropping W2K support does not eliminate the need to support non-
uxtheme codepaths, as those same paths are used in Classic Mode on the
later OSes (you don't get uxtheme there either).
* Even without theme gains, I can image a lot of other gains from
dropping 2K support, such as greater ability to sandbox processes if
you guys decide to go that route, tons of UI bugs fixed, etc.  Plus,
Firefox [>3.5] usage on 2K is presumably likely to be low since at
this point the majority of 2K users are corporations for whom
installing new software is somewhere between "not a priority" and "not
an option".  Thus the actual number of users affected would be
noticeably lower than the global fraction of W2K users.

Best wishes,
PK
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Re: Proposal: Raise minimum requirements for 1.9.2 on Windows to WinXP SP3

Rob Arnold-3
In reply to this post by Stuart Parmenter-3
On Tue, Apr 14, 2009 at 7:33 PM, Stuart Parmenter <[hidden email]> wrote:

> On Apr 13, 7:33 pm, Michael Connor <[hidden email]> wrote:
> > Proposal:
> >
> > Raise the minimum requirements for Gecko 1.9.2 (and any versions of
> > Firefox built on 1.9.2) for Windows builds to require Windows XP
> > Service Pack 3 or higher.
> >
>
> What is the cost on our side to actually supporting these?  Being one
> of the few people who has done a lot of Windows development over the
> last few cycles, I can tell you that keeping things working on 2K
> isn't really very hard.


I agree. As far as the APIs that we use, there is nothing besides the themes
that 2K "hinders" (just some slightly awkward dynamic loading of uxtheme;
every Windows OS supports Classic so there is no large code removal). Even
with XP pre SP2 there is not much there that we have had to work around (The
IOfficeAntiVirus implementation came before the newer IAttachmentExecute
IIRC). I would like to see an argument made on the basis of API or UI
features that we would like to take advantage of where support for 2k and XP
would hinder a clean implementation for the Windows platform. It may very
well be that future work with process/plugin isolation (sandboxing) will
motivate this but until that work is committed to a release, I am hesitant
to support dropping our support for these operating systems.

That said, I still think that support XP with SP1 or no service pack is
harder due to the changes in SP2. If you think about the number of Windows
machines that developers have to test on, supporting those two editions is
still too much. At current count, we have 5 supported editions of windows:
2000, XP SP2+, Windows Server 2003 (there are tinderboxes for this), Windows
Vista, and Windows 7 (if not now, then when it releases this year) versus 3
for OSX and 2(?) for Linux.

What about bumping XP < SP2 down a tier? It would be nice if we had a policy
on free major OS updates (this applies only to systems that cost money such
as Windows and OSX). Does mozilla-central run on a clean install of the
original Windows 2000 release? I suspect there is a hidden requirement for a
service pack level for it but no one has complained about it yet.

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

Mike Connor-4

On 14-Apr-09, at 9:14 PM, Rob Arnold wrote:

> On Tue, Apr 14, 2009 at 7:33 PM, Stuart Parmenter  
> <[hidden email]> wrote:
>
>> On Apr 13, 7:33 pm, Michael Connor <[hidden email]> wrote:
>>> Proposal:
>>>
>>> Raise the minimum requirements for Gecko 1.9.2 (and any versions of
>>> Firefox built on 1.9.2) for Windows builds to require Windows XP
>>> Service Pack 3 or higher.
>>>
>>
>> What is the cost on our side to actually supporting these?  Being one
>> of the few people who has done a lot of Windows development over the
>> last few cycles, I can tell you that keeping things working on 2K
>> isn't really very hard.
>
>
> I agree. As far as the APIs that we use, there is nothing besides  
> the themes
> that 2K "hinders" (just some slightly awkward dynamic loading of  
> uxtheme;
> every Windows OS supports Classic so there is no large code  
> removal). Even
> with XP pre SP2 there is not much there that we have had to work  
> around (The
> IOfficeAntiVirus implementation came before the newer  
> IAttachmentExecute
> IIRC). I would like to see an argument made on the basis of API or UI
> features that we would like to take advantage of where support for  
> 2k and XP
> would hinder a clean implementation for the Windows platform. It may  
> very
> well be that future work with process/plugin isolation (sandboxing)  
> will
> motivate this but until that work is committed to a release, I am  
> hesitant
> to support dropping our support for these operating systems.

Again, I think this is developer-centric, when the burden of "support"  
comes in a bunch of situations.  Are we okay with not having unit  
tests/performance tests/etc on operating systems we count as  
supported?  Are we okay with not actually having QA test these  
operating systems before releases?  If not, the cost is considerable.  
If we are, then we should really call out the idea that those OS  
versions are really at a lower-tier "might work, but no promises"  
level.  Whether they continue to work or not is probably dependent on  
some things (i.e. process separation) that we're exploring, but  
there's no good reason to argue that Windows 2000 and Windows Vista  
should be equally supported..

(I'm surprised we haven't had more bugs that target older systems  
without the security protections added in SP2, but I suppose those  
targets aren't especially interesting to security researchers.)

> That said, I still think that support XP with SP1 or no service pack  
> is
> harder due to the changes in SP2. If you think about the number of  
> Windows
> machines that developers have to test on, supporting those two  
> editions is
> still too much. At current count, we have 5 supported editions of  
> windows:
> 2000, XP SP2+, Windows Server 2003 (there are tinderboxes for this),  
> Windows
> Vista, and Windows 7 (if not now, then when it releases this year)  
> versus 3
> for OSX and 2(?) for Linux.

Except we do support XP SP1 now, technically, and we've had to dig up  
machines to test (tricky without MSDN).

> What about bumping XP < SP2 down a tier? It would be nice if we had  
> a policy
> on free major OS updates (this applies only to systems that cost  
> money such
> as Windows and OSX). Does mozilla-central run on a clean install of  
> the
> original Windows 2000 release? I suspect there is a hidden  
> requirement for a
> service pack level for it but no one has complained about it yet.

I think it might be okay to have it be similar to Windows 95, which  
wasn't actually supported, but until Firefox 3 would run fine.  What I  
don't want to see is us spending dev/releng/QA cycles on OS versions  
that aren't widely used, and will continue to decline over time.  
Similar to tier-2, we won't actively break it, unless we have to.  But  
I don't think anyone can argue that win2k would be more important than  
process separation.

-- Mike

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

Boris Zbarsky
In reply to this post by Rob Arnold-3
Mike Connor wrote:
> I think it might be okay to have it be similar to Windows 95, which
> wasn't actually supported, but until Firefox 3 would run fine.  What I
> don't want to see is us spending dev/releng/QA cycles on OS versions
> that aren't widely used, and will continue to decline over time.  
> Similar to tier-2, we won't actively break it, unless we have to.  But I
> don't think anyone can argue that win2k would be more important than
> process separation.

I would 100% support bumping Win2k to tier 2.

I'd probably even support bumping XP vanilla and XP SP1 there.

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

Robert Blair-2
In reply to this post by Mike Connor-4
On 4/13/2009 7:33 PM, Michael Connor wrote:

> Proposal:
>
> Raise the minimum requirements for Gecko 1.9.2 (and any versions of  
> Firefox built on 1.9.2) for Windows builds to require Windows XP  
> Service Pack 3 or higher.
>
>
> Background:
>
> Supporting multiple OS versions is not zero cost, in terms of testing,  
> code complexity and developer sanity.  We have previously raised the  
> minimum requirement to Windows 2000 for Firefox 3.  We have also  
> raised the minimum requirements for Linux and Mac builds in that same  
> timeframe.  While we have not formalized a policy by which we drop  
> support for OS versions, in general the main concerns have been how  
> recently the OS versions have been available and sold (in some cases)  
> as well as the ability and costs involved for users to upgrade.  
> Additionally, the continued availability of security updates for the  
> OS level is important, as users on unsupported of operating systems,  
> especially Windows, are highly vulnerable no matter what we do, so  
> there is a strong argument against giving those users a reason to stay  
> on that platform.
>
> On July 13, 2010, Microsoft will end all support for Windows 2000 (all  
> service packs) and Windows XP Service Pack 2 (XP SP1 and the original  
> XP have already passed their end of support).  This means that after  
> this date, these OS versions will not get any security updates and  
> will not receive any support from Microsoft.  Service Pack 3 is a free  
> upgrade for all XP users.  Windows 2000 has no free upgrade path, but  
> has not been available at retail since March 2004, and was last  
> legally sold as a preloaded OS in March 2005, which is over four years  
> ago, and will be more than five years from when we ship the last  
> supported version of Firefox.  Users should be able to successfully  
> migrate to XP or Linux if they intend to keep using their old hardware.
>
>
> Affected Users:
>
> All users still running either Windows 2000 or Windows XP Service Pack  
> 2 (or lower).  As Service Pack 3 is a free upgrade for XP users, only  
> Windows 2000 users will be forced to change their OS to use the next  
> version of Firefox.
>
> As we intend to ship the next version of Firefox in early 2010,  
> Firefox 3.5 will continue to be supported under our current support  
> policy (six months after the next version) until after those OS  
> versions are no longer supported, so users will continue to be  
> supported by Mozilla as least as long as their OS is supported.
>
>
> Relevant Links:
>
> General Microsoft Support Lifecycle Policy:
> http://support.microsoft.com/lifecycle/
>
> Windows Service Pack Support End Dates:
> http://support.microsoft.com/gp/lifesupsps#Windows
>
> Windows 2000 Support Lifecycle
> http://support.microsoft.com/lifecycle/?p1=3071
>
> Windows Life-Cycle Policy (licensing availability)
> http://www.microsoft.com/windows/lifecycle/default.mspx
>

I have SP2.  I access the Internet through a dial-up connection.
Downloading SP3 would take about 6 hours!  And all it would do is
consolidate most of the SP2 patches I have already downloaded
individually.  Yes, I have rejected some SP2 patches; most of them
relate to capabilities I don't use (e.g., ActiveX, Outlook Express).

Is this proposal to block me from using Gecko 1.9.2 just because I don't
have a flag saying SP3?  If so, this is either craziness or arrogance.

--
David E. Ross
<http://www.rossde.com/>

Go to Mozdev at <http://www.mozdev.org/> for quick access to
extensions for Firefox, Thunderbird, SeaMonkey, and other
Mozilla-related applications.  You can access Mozdev much
more quickly than you can Mozilla Add-Ons.
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Re: Proposal: Raise minimum requirements for 1.9.2 on Windows to WinXP SP3

Rob Arnold-3
On Wed, Apr 15, 2009 at 1:35 AM, David E. Ross <[hidden email]> wrote:

> I have SP2.  I access the Internet through a dial-up connection.
> Downloading SP3 would take about 6 hours!  And all it would do is
> consolidate most of the SP2 patches I have already downloaded
> individually.  Yes, I have rejected some SP2 patches; most of them
> relate to capabilities I don't use (e.g., ActiveX, Outlook Express).
>
> Is this proposal to block me from using Gecko 1.9.2 just because I don't
> have a flag saying SP3?  If so, this is either craziness or arrogance.


Block? No not at all. I don't think Firefox checks the service pack level at
all (I have not exhaustively check all the code). I don't think Firefox
checks the OS version for anything other than turning certain features on or
off (theming comes to mind). In some cases, it checks for features rather
than versions (the download scanner is an example of this).

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

Conan Kudo (ニール・ゴンパ)
In reply to this post by Simon Paquet-2
On Apr 14, 9:10 am, Samuel Sidler <[hidden email]> 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.
>
> -Sam

My school runs almost ENTIRELY Windows 98 (mostly SE, some FE), and
Windows 2000 SP4. I last counted 40 machines in the entire school that
run Windows XP, out of the couple hundred that are there. Our main
computer lab runs Windows 98 SE, one classroom is a Windows XP SP2
computer lab, and the library has mostly Windows 2000 SP4 machines. A
classroom also has a set of computers (but isn't a computer lab, go
figure...) that run mostly Windows 2000 SP4, I think just a little
more than half of them run Windows 2000 SP4. I really don't want to
see our school drop Firefox because you guys are dropping Win2k SP4
support. My school has zero intentions of upgrading the machines. They
won't even consider Linux, because they believe that all their EULA
and site licensing agreements would be voided if they even ran one
machine with Linux on it officially. And no, SeaMonkey is not an
option, simply because it provides email & newsgroup support. Now, if
I could get those people at the school to put Linux on the Win 98
machines AT LEAST, then I would be happier, because it is a pain to
work around. Still... several schools in our area run primarily
Windows 98 and Windows 2000. There is no way you should drop Windows
2000 support.
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Re: Proposal: Raise minimum requirements for 1.9.2 on Windows to WinXP SP3

Siddharth Agarwal-2
In reply to this post by Stuart Parmenter-3
On 15-04-2009 06:44, Rob Arnold wrote:
>
> Does mozilla-central run on a clean install of the
> original Windows 2000 release? I suspect there is a hidden requirement for a
> service pack level for it but no one has complained about it yet.

SP1, IIRC.
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Re: Proposal: Raise minimum requirements for 1.9.2 on Windows to WinXP SP3

Gervase Markham
In reply to this post by Robert Kaiser
On 14/04/09 14:51, Robert Kaiser wrote:
> It sounds like some people here have a strange view of how people decide
> to use what system. Firefox is not the driving force for people to buy
> new computers (which is bad for nature anyways) or buy and install new
> operating systems.

Perhaps not. But supporting new Firefox on an unsupported OS is
endorsing their decision to stick with that OS. So if they get pwned via
an OS hole, we are in some way responsible for lulling them into a false
sense of security.

IMO, anyway.

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

Gervase Markham
In reply to this post by Conan Kudo (ニール・ゴンパ)
On 15/04/09 09:04, LinWinOverlord wrote:
> My school runs almost ENTIRELY Windows 98 (mostly SE, some FE), and
> Windows 2000 SP4.

If those machines are connected to the Internet, then your admins are
being very antisocial. Other people suffer when your unsupported OS
machines get recruited as spambot zombies.

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

Gervase Markham
In reply to this post by Robert Kaiser
On 14/04/09 15:23, Robert Kaiser wrote:
> Wrong. We can't go with different requirements than the Geck we base
> upon

Well, it depends if Mike is talking about dropping XP SP2 for technical
reasons (we want to use a new API) or testing reasons (supporting more
versions increases the size of the testing matrix.

One possible conclusion to this discussion might be "we'll keep using
SP2-compatible APIs etc. but not test on it". At which point, SeaMonkey
could take up that mantle.

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

LJHeal
In reply to this post by Mike Connor-4
I need Windows 2000 for a scanner that gets funky with XP.  It would
take too much time to develop or discover another solution.  Third-
party security software and firewall appear to make that argument for
dropping support a pretty transparent one.  One other essential
application works with XP but not with WINE.  And as for Vista ...who
wants an operating system that snoops and occasionally shuts itself
down forcing the user to call the provider and prove that it is used
rightfully?  I do not begrudge Microsoft the unused licenses, but the
Vista machines received Linux or XP.

What we have here is a thinly disguised request to let Microsoft
decide which systems Firefox will work on.

Apparently the gentleman making the 'proposal' has not actually gone
through the 'free upgrade' to XP Service Pack 3.  If it cannot be
installed without the Genuine Advantage service, SP3 goes on the Vista
trash heap.

That 'upgrade' is free...as in DRM.

We could be purists and refuse to support closed-source systems,
especially the ones that keep checking to see if the user is obeying
the programmers' ideas of the copyright laws -- but this is a proposal
to make things worse and take away support from a couple of operating
systems that allow users to determine what is fair use and do not
enforce the idea that what Microsoft thinks is fair is fair and what
the users think does not count.

By the way, before one makes such a proposal in software development,
one should conduct a requirements analysis.  The comments in the
thread make it clear that the idea is one of dropping support for a
major if not majority proportion of the user base.  What's next, a
request for a 20 billion dollar bailout from the U.S. government?

On Apr 13, 10:33 pm, Michael Connor <[hidden email]> wrote:

> Proposal:
>
> Raise the minimum requirements for Gecko 1.9.2 (and any versions of  
> Firefox built on 1.9.2) for Windows builds to require Windows XP  
> Service Pack 3 or higher.
>
> Background:
>
> Supporting multiple OS versions is not zero cost, in terms of testing,  
>[...]
> Additionally, the continued availability of security updates for the  
> OS level is important, as users on unsupported of operating systems,  
> especially Windows, are highly vulnerable no matter what we do, so  
> there is a strong argument against giving those users a reason to stay  
> on that platform.
>
> On July 13, 2010, Microsoft will end all support for Windows 2000 (all  
> service packs) and Windows XP Service Pack 2 (XP SP1 and the original  
> XP have already passed their end of support).  This means that after  
> this date, these OS versions will not get any security updates and  
> will not receive any support from Microsoft.  Service Pack 3 is a free  
> upgrade for all XP users.  Windows 2000 has no free upgrade path, but  
> has not been available at retail since March 2004, and was last  
> legally sold as a preloaded OS in March 2005, which is over four years  
> ago, and will be more than five years from when we ship the last  
> supported version of Firefox.  Users should be able to successfully  
> migrate to XP or Linux if they intend to keep using their old hardware.
>
> Affected Users:
>
> All users still running either Windows 2000 or Windows XP Service Pack  
> 2 (or lower).  As Service Pack 3 is a free upgrade for XP users, only  
> Windows 2000 users will be forced to change their OS to use the next  
> version of Firefox.
>
>[...]
> Relevant Links:
>
> General Microsoft Support Lifecycle Policy:http://support.microsoft.com/lifecycle/
>
> Windows Service Pack Support End Dates:http://support.microsoft.com/gp/lifesupsps#Windows
>
> Windows 2000 Support Lifecyclehttp://support.microsoft.com/lifecycle/?p1=3071
>
> Windows Life-Cycle Policy (licensing availability)http://www.microsoft.com/windows/lifecycle/default.mspx

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

ruedigeruwe
In reply to this post by Mike Shaver
I think it would be a fatal error if W2K- Users would be excluded from
the new version. In my eyes Firefox is still often used on business
machines , in our company too. First it is the only and best browser
we can imagine, and second the lifetime cycle of our machines using
W2K is still two years because we are not planning to renew our whole
infrastructure just to have the hardware conditions for a windows
vista or windows 7 (why to upgrade to a new os while the current is
still safe and properly running ???).

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

Michael Kohler
In reply to this post by Mike Connor-4
Why do most of companies which still use Windows 2000 don't upgrade?

Windows 2000 has been released in early 2000, that means it will be 10
years old when Firefox.next is released. At this point Windows 7 will be
released. IMHO a good point in time to upgrade to Windows 7.

Of course such a upgrade is not cheap, but IMHO necessary because of the
security aspects.

Further this means we can drop support (mostly companies still use
Windows 2000)..


An other question: What about the costs of dropping and still
supporting? That would be interesting.
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Re: Proposal: Raise minimum requirements for 1.9.2 on Windows to WinXP SP3

Boris Zbarsky
In reply to this post by Gervase Markham
Gervase Markham wrote:
> If those machines are connected to the Internet, then your admins are
> being very antisocial. Other people suffer when your unsupported OS
> machines get recruited as spambot zombies.

The machines might be firewalled.  Or not.  But in any case, the school
situation is a tough one because they typically simply do not have the
money to upgrade machines until they die (and I include getting new OS
licenses in that).  And 2000-ish corresponds to the big push to get
computers in every classroom and such nonsense...  :(

Which is not to say that this should dictate our decision, but I doubt
the admins in question (assuming there are any; it wasn't uncommon to
dump computers into schools in job lots without bothering to hire anyone
who could administer them; one of the teachers would be tasked with the
administration duties) are out to get you.  They're just trying to do
the job with no money and likely little experience.

-Boris
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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 Gervase Markham
Gerv,

I'd suggest you actually talk to school principals and school board administrators about this situation and I'll bet that they'll come right back at you and tell you that there's much more important things (i.e. broken ceiling panels, lighting fixtures, 20 year-old textbooks, TEACHER'S SALARIES, etc.) that are much higher in the priority list than upgrading their non-broken machines over to Win XP SP3 (that they still can't afford to pay for). This isn't just the US either as it's all over the world and affects a ton, if not all, of public schools that just don't have the funds to pay for this. To be honest, this is striking a chord for me as I'm a product of a public high school system and I can tell you right now, this decision will do a lot more harm than good toward spreading the browser as well as the idea of Firefox to the next generation of internet users.

There needs to be a lot more perspective displayed in this discussion than is being messaged out here.

Apologies for the Semi-Rant,
Aakash

----- Original Message -----
From: "Gervase Markham" <[hidden email]>
To: [hidden email]
Sent: Wednesday, April 15, 2009 1:21:54 AM GMT -08:00 US/Canada Pacific
Subject: Re: Proposal: Raise minimum requirements for 1.9.2 on Windows to WinXP SP3

On 15/04/09 09:04, LinWinOverlord wrote:
> My school runs almost ENTIRELY Windows 98 (mostly SE, some FE), and
> Windows 2000 SP4.

If those machines are connected to the Internet, then your admins are
being very antisocial. Other people suffer when your unsupported OS
machines get recruited as spambot zombies.

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

Mike Connor-4
To everyone who's worried about the impact on schools running out of  
date OS versions: if people are running out of date OS versions, what  
is the concern with running out of date browsers as well?  We're still  
talking about what happens in a year and a half, when they'll have  
Firefox 3.5.something.

(Of course, the student with half of the machines running Win98 is  
already limited to Firefox 2.x in those situations, and yet he doesn't  
seem to have a complaint there.)

Put another way: no other major browser runs on Windows 2000.  Why is  
it Mozilla's responsibility to use our limited resources to support  
these users?  How does that help us achieve our overall goals?  Keep  
in mind we're talking about 1% (and continuing to decline) of our user  
base, and of the overall OS market share.

What's the case for continuing to invest in Windows 2000 and pre-SP2  
versions of Windows XP?  Why are those important to our mission (more  
than Win98 was when we dropped it for 1.9)?  This needs to be a  
rational decision, not an emotional one.  We have limited resources,  
and my goal is to make sure we pick our battles wisely.  TANSTAAFL.

That said, I think it's clear that we can just drop these OSes to  
tier-2 and not promise anything, but not actually block users unless  
we run up against something that requires us to do so.  I'll post a  
wrap-up later this week with a clarified proposal.

-- Mike

On 15-Apr-09, at 11:51 AM, Aakash Desai wrote:

> Gerv,
>
> I'd suggest you actually talk to school principals and school board  
> administrators about this situation and I'll bet that they'll come  
> right back at you and tell you that there's much more important  
> things (i.e. broken ceiling panels, lighting fixtures, 20 year-old  
> textbooks, TEACHER'S SALARIES, etc.) that are much higher in the  
> priority list than upgrading their non-broken machines over to Win  
> XP SP3 (that they still can't afford to pay for). This isn't just  
> the US either as it's all over the world and affects a ton, if not  
> all, of public schools that just don't have the funds to pay for  
> this. To be honest, this is striking a chord for me as I'm a product  
> of a public high school system and I can tell you right now, this  
> decision will do a lot more harm than good toward spreading the  
> browser as well as the idea of Firefox to the next generation of  
> internet users.
>
> There needs to be a lot more perspective displayed in this  
> discussion than is being messaged out here.
>
> Apologies for the Semi-Rant,
> Aakash

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

dowlingm
In reply to this post by Aakash Desai-2
I'm reading some of the above thinking - is this a joke?  We want to
run a secure browser on insecure/unsupported OSes when free/cheap
solutions exist?

For the people using dialup - USB keys exist.

The school - even in these economic times, there are companies
disposing of machines with WinXP that aren't worthwhile keeping for
various reasons, not to mention private owners and bankruptcy
auctions.  Kids should turn up enough machines certified for XP to
replace every Win2K/98 machine over the timeframe before 1.9.2/3, if
motivated to do so by places like getfirefox.com and social networking
- no harm in a bit of good PR for mozilla either.  What's the
educational value in persisting with a 10+ year old OS - there's a lot
of educational value in volunteering to get school equipment and
helping to upgrade and configure it, and a lot of environmental value
too.

As for XP2 or XP3 - in my shop I have not seen any great difference in
migrating to SP3 bar a reduction in the number of required updates -
certainly no regressions of note.  SP2 did valuable stuff like turning
on Windows Firewall by default as well as the API changes noted above,
and Windows Installer 3.1 is available and indeed required for some
existing apps. BITS 2.5 is XPSP2-available too.

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

pawel.jewstafjew
In reply to this post by Robert Kaiser
On Apr 14, 2:03 pm, Mike Shaver <[hidden email]> wrote:

> On Tue, Apr 14, 2009 at 9:51 AM, Robert Kaiser <[hidden email]> wrote:
> > Michael Connor wrote:
>
> >> Put another way, XP (no SP) and XP SP1 have been unsupported and
> >> unpatched for years now. Users on those OSes are almost certainly
> >> vulnerable, if they're not already owned.
>
> > Wait, you seriously believe one single user would upgrade their OS just
> > because there's no new Firefox available for them?
>
> I don't see that position stated in the quote -- why do you think that
> Mike believes that they would upgrade only to get Firefox?  (Though "a
> single user" is a pretty low bar, so I'd probably be willing to make a
> wager.)
>
> > And dropping Win2k support will be a very good argument for business not
> > using Firefox ;-)
>
> They'll have to stick with IE6 if they want to keep Win2K on desktops,
> I think, since IE7 isn't supported there AFAIK.  That's not really an
> addressable market for us regardless, I'm pretty sure, so we should
> again focus on getting the most result for our investment.
>
> Mike

I would beg to differ here...

My employer is a sizeable semiconductor company (10000+ employees)
The company sticks to win2K as desktops and 2003 as servers.
The end-of-life for personal users is not going to influence them in
any way
(they have a customised support agreement anyway)

Now, coming to the Firefox: althogh its use is not 'recommended', it
is also not forbidden
But this is likely to change, if (when?) a next serious security issue
is discovered, with 2K fix not available...
In such case, enjoying, as I do, using Firefox, I will be forced to
switch to IE :(
And there are quite a few other guys in a similar position...

(and, yes, for company clients, IE7 on w2k IS supported, but it is of
no consolation whatsoever for me)

Cheers,
Pawel
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