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

Frank Wein
dowlingm wrote:

> 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.

Usually what you should learn in school does not always need the best
hardware and an up-to-date OS. Also it's probably easier for
administration when you have 50 identical PCs with Win2K on it than 20
PCs from one company and 30 PCs from another company with possibly very
different hardware configuration. But I think this discussion is rather
off-topic here.

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

Shawn Wilsher-3
In reply to this post by pawel.jewstafjew
On 4/15/09 11:14 AM, [hidden email] wrote:
> 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 :(
You aren't going to be forced to use IE by this change, so please don't
exaggerate.  You just won't be able to use anything newer than Firefox
3.5 after sometime around or after July 2010.

/sdwilsh

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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 pawel.jewstafjew
Shawn Wilsher wrote:
> You aren't going to be forced to use IE by this change, so please don't
> exaggerate.  You just won't be able to use anything newer than Firefox
> 3.5 after sometime around or after July 2010.

Or more precisely you won't be supported if you try to do it.  That's
not the same as "won't be able to".

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

Nick-225
In reply to this post by Michael Kohler
Mike Connor said: <<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. >>

It's pretty clear here that this discussion is just talk. Connor will
"post a wrap-up later this week with a clarified proposal." And that
will be the end of it.

My company runs W2000 and we'll be using IE7 soon enough. At home I
run a Thinkpad with XP SP2 and there have been enough problems
documented about moving to SP3 that when I tried and the install
failed, I went back to downloading individual patches. Why SP3 caused
so many problems when SP2 did not? Don't really know, but it did and
the statistics bear this out. SP3 was not as well received as SP2.

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

Mike Connor-4

On 15-Apr-09, at 7:06 PM, Nick wrote:

> It's pretty clear here that this discussion is just talk. Connor will
> "post a wrap-up later this week with a clarified proposal." And that
> will be the end of it.

http://groups.google.com/group/mozilla.dev.planning/browse_thread/thread/2107a6702524cdbb

> My company runs W2000 and we'll be using IE7 soon enough. At home I
> run a Thinkpad with XP SP2 and there have been enough problems
> documented about moving to SP3 that when I tried and the install
> failed, I went back to downloading individual patches. Why SP3 caused
> so many problems when SP2 did not? Don't really know, but it did and
> the statistics bear this out. SP3 was not as well received as SP2.

Is your company still going to be running Windows 2000 after fall 2010?

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

Nick-225
In reply to this post by Nick-225
On Apr 15, 7:36 pm, Mike Connor <[hidden email]> wrote:

> On 15-Apr-09, at 7:06 PM, Nick wrote:
>
> > It's pretty clear here that this discussion is just talk. Connor will
> > "post a wrap-up later this week with a clarified proposal." And that
> > will be the end of it.
>
> http://groups.google.com/group/mozilla.dev.planning/browse_thread/thr...
>
> > My company runs W2000 and we'll be using IE7 soon enough. At home I
> > run a Thinkpad with XP SP2 and there have been enough problems
> > documented about moving to SP3 that when I tried and the install
> > failed, I went back to downloading individual patches. Why SP3 caused
> > so many problems when SP2 did not? Don't really know, but it did and
> > the statistics bear this out. SP3 was not as well received as SP2.
>
> Is your company still going to be running Windows 2000 after fall 2010?
>
> -- Mike

Don't know. Vista was bypassed. Too early to tell if Windows 7 is any
better. I have no say in the matter. If you want a guess, I'd say
they'll stay with W2000 instead of investing scare resources in this
economic climate.

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

Nick-225
In reply to this post by Nick-225
On Apr 15, 7:36 pm, Mike Connor <[hidden email]> wrote:

> On 15-Apr-09, at 7:06 PM, Nick wrote:
>
> > It's pretty clear here that this discussion is just talk. Connor will
> > "post a wrap-up later this week with a clarified proposal." And that
> > will be the end of it.
>
> http://groups.google.com/group/mozilla.dev.planning/browse_thread/thr...
>
> > My company runs W2000 and we'll be using IE7 soon enough. At home I
> > run a Thinkpad with XP SP2 and there have been enough problems
> > documented about moving to SP3 that when I tried and the install
> > failed, I went back to downloading individual patches. Why SP3 caused
> > so many problems when SP2 did not? Don't really know, but it did and
> > the statistics bear this out. SP3 was not as well received as SP2.
>
> Is your company still going to be running Windows 2000 after fall 2010?
>
> -- Mike

Don't know. Vista was bypassed. Too early to tell if Windows 7 is any
better. I have no say in the matter. If you want a guess, I'd say
they'll stay with W2000 instead of investing scare resources in this
economic climate.

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

Nick-225
In reply to this post by Nick-225
On Apr 15, 7:36 pm, Mike Connor <[hidden email]> wrote:

> On 15-Apr-09, at 7:06 PM, Nick wrote:
>
> > It's pretty clear here that this discussion is just talk. Connor will
> > "post a wrap-up later this week with a clarified proposal." And that
> > will be the end of it.
>
> http://groups.google.com/group/mozilla.dev.planning/browse_thread/thr...
>
> > My company runs W2000 and we'll be using IE7 soon enough. At home I
> > run a Thinkpad with XP SP2 and there have been enough problems
> > documented about moving to SP3 that when I tried and the install
> > failed, I went back to downloading individual patches. Why SP3 caused
> > so many problems when SP2 did not? Don't really know, but it did and
> > the statistics bear this out. SP3 was not as well received as SP2.
>
> Is your company still going to be running Windows 2000 after fall 2010?
>
> -- Mike

Additionally, they do not want to have to move to Vista, which is the
recommended move, but Windows7 won't be out before MS ends support for
W2000. Do they invest twice in a 2 year period? I don't think so. I
think they'll go with Windows7, down the road a bit. If that means
forcing FF off of the corporate desktop, they'll do it.

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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 Nick-225

On 15-Apr-09, at 11:53 PM, Nick wrote:

>>
>> Is your company still going to be running Windows 2000 after fall  
>> 2010?
>>
>
> Don't know. Vista was bypassed. Too early to tell if Windows 7 is any
> better. I have no say in the matter. If you want a guess, I'd say
> they'll stay with W2000 instead of investing scare resources in this
> economic climate.

Well, if they're staying on Win2k past then, either they're playing a  
dangerous game with unpatched systems, or paying Microsoft for a  
custom support agreement (big bucks).  Given that you mentioned IE7 is  
coming, and other comments about IE7 being available to customers with  
paid support contracts with Microsoft, I imagine your company is  
paying a non-trivial amount of money to stay on Windows 2000.  I'm  
sure if they wanted to run Firefox, they could also pay someone to fix  
Win2k specific issues, just like they're paying Microsoft to continue  
to fix issues.  Like I said, TANSTAAFL.

-- Mike
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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 Nick-225
On 16-04-2009 09:28, Nick wrote:
>
> Additionally, they do not want to have to move to Vista, which is the
> recommended move, but Windows7 won't be out before MS ends support for
> W2000.

I don't think this is accurate. The schedule is for early 2010, and all
indications are of the launch only being earlier (late 2009 or so).
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Re: Proposal: Raise minimum requirements for 1.9.2 on Windows to WinXP SP3

emailaddress
In reply to this post by Mike Connor-4
On Apr 13, 10:33 pm, Michael Connor <[hidden email]> wrote:
> Proposal:

First, I should write that I concede many of your concerns are valid,
that inevitably all things must come to an end eventually, but at the
same time it seems as though you are deliberately trying to take a
stance then expect others to argue against it instead of starting out
weighing both sides and then only focusing on the strongest points for
each, which has basically strung out this topic longer than it needed
to be.


> 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.  

Fair enough, but doing something once is not a direct justification
for doing it again.  There were far stronger reasons for people to
move on from legacy OS versions in years prior to Win2k, it is
somewhat of a cliff in modern PC usability in the fact that it
supports multicore CPUs, Gigs of memory, 48bit LBA hard drives, USB2,
etc.  These things are universal needs as they are specs of any semi-
modern system, but beyond these things further OS features are quite
subjective, and in fact, not actually used frequently by most PC
users.


>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.  

There should never be a factor of the ability of users to upgrade.
You could argue users have the ability to travel to Tibet to acquire a
CD with the browser on it, but this is even more unreasonable.  The
goal of a browser seeking to be ubiquitous and gain market share
should be to support the most OS possible.  Already many lament the
former days of Firefox becoming bloated, slow.  It seems the wrong
path to spend time on future OS issues instead of as universal an OS
support as possible.

> 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.

I completely disagree.  This is an extremely weak argument.  With zero
patches, the most vulnerability to an unpatched Win2k, not even SP1,
is the browser.  Continued availability of security updates also  has
to be weighed against features newly introduced into newer OS, where
there is no flaw there need not be a patch.  It is invalid to claim
"giving those users a reason to stay" as if you are judging and
deciding what they should do to run YOUR choice of browser, and a bit
backwards.  A user does know what their needs are, if they find
benefits of a newer OS they will upgrade without someone else second-
guessing them, the only argument to upgrade is when someone decides to
abandon millions of users.  More likely, the users abandon the
application because they don't want to face the same situation again
in the future before they chose to.


>
> 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.

I do appreciate the issue this poses to software development and
testing, but the reasoning to stop should not include the factors
mentioned.
It is not relevant how many years ago it was, only what the goals of
the browser are and where the time is best spent.  What users should
be able to successfully do, is within a context of their time and
money too, and it is incorrect to thing a user must be using "old
hardware" if they are not running the OS with SP level you would
like.  XP is a prime example of this, but the same can be said for
Win2k especially in smaller businesses.

>
> 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.

With all due respect, that is a bit backwards.  People pick their OS
with more preference than their browser.  A choice to drop support
might be validated in some ways but not with the arguments posed
except for the initial one about time/cost from a development and
testing standpoint.  That is the issue and the rest are just excuses.
Be that as it may, there is no charge to use this software so it is
entirely fair to plan support around time and cost.

> 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.
>

As another person already wrote, "support" really means nothing.
Typical users are not calling in to MS for support, not hanging on the
edge of their seat for the latest OS patches.  Their risks, if you are
truely concerned, are only the applications that pose point-of-entry
risks, namely the browser, email client, and windows networking.  The
latter isn't much of an issue on a properly secured lan.  The former
two, especially the first, is where security starts and almost ends
for over 90% of users.

The point is, we are reaching the point in history where there should
not be a need to perpetually change to a newer OS to do the same
tasks.  To take the age old phrase, "if it ain't broke don't fix it".
There is little sanity in changing an OS if it does what is required
and it does for those who stuck with older OS.  They are not stupid,
they better than anyone else know if a machine is doing what they need
done, is as patched, as secure, as trendy, or whatever other attribute
we'd like to consider,  as required.  Many people who aren't
particularly techinically inclinded, which may be the majority of
society, use the originally shipping OS on their PC and only end up
changing when hardware failure forces them to buy a new PC.  Through
technology mankind has a hope, and a green one at that, that our
progress allows a system to run for it's useful lifespan which with
today's performance levels (even those of 5 years ago) comes close to
predating Win2k for the most common tasks people do on a pc.

The prior paragraph seems quite on target because of the topic, a
discussion of a browser which is at the heart of the most common tasks
people do on a PC.
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Re: Proposal: Raise minimum requirements for 1.9.2 on Windows to WinXP SP3

ktosiek1001+
In reply to this post by John J Barton
Google Translate  (English):

What a stupid idea (written by Rob Arnold) from the end of full
support for Windows XP. Vista is a system for the idiots who fell
victim to Microsoft's or people who want to have a "sweet" design /
interface. Windows XP is the best operating system on those days,
change my mind if Windows 7 will work just as efficiently as XP on old
computers. Why improve something that works well (Win XP)? Vista is
only 14% percent of the market. If Firefox will end support for Win
XP, leaving to the opera (and I know that many users will do the
same).

Polish:

Co za idiotyczny pomysł (autorstwa Rob Arnold) z zakończeniem wsparcia
całkowicie dla Windows XP. Vista to system dla idiotów którzy padli
ofiarą Microsoftu lub osoby które chcą mieć "cukierkową" szatę
graficzną/interfejs. Windows XP jest to najlepszy system operacyjny na
te czasy, zmienię zdanie jeżeli Windows 7 będzie działał równie
wydajnie jak XP na starszych komputerach. Po co ulepszać coś co dobrze
funkcjonuje (Win XP)? Vista to tylko 14% procent rynku. Jeżeli Firefox
zakończy wsparcie dla Win XP, odchodzę do Opery (i wiem, że wielu
użytkowników zrobi to samo).
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Re: Proposal: Raise minimum requirements for 1.9.2 on Windows to WinXP SP3

dancios
On Apr 16, 11:08 am, "ktosiek1001+" <[hidden email]> wrote:

> Google Translate  (English):
>
> What a stupid idea (written by Rob Arnold) from the end of full
> support for Windows XP. Vista is a system for the idiots who fell
> victim to Microsoft's or people who want to have a "sweet" design /
> interface. Windows XP is the best operating system on those days,
> change my mind if Windows 7 will work just as efficiently as XP on old
> computers. Why improve something that works well (Win XP)? Vista is
> only 14% percent of the market. If Firefox will end support for Win
> XP, leaving to the opera (and I know that many users will do the
> same).

and opera still suport win95 :)

You should support win2k:

For Older System Should Be Information as obligatory homepage message
"Your Operating System is vulnerable, you surf/use  at your own risk"
with some funny picture (Linux/MacOS/newer Windows) or something
else :)
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Re: Proposal: Raise minimum requirements for 1.9.2 on Windows to WinXP SP3

Ryniek90
Yeah.
You only loose users. People will stop interesting your web browser,
for multiplatform Opera, always available for Windows IE, or other-
also-free web browser. I think you should wait for 3 more years, and
then end support for older systems.
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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 emailaddress
[hidden email] wrote:
> With zero patches, the most vulnerability to an unpatched Win2k, not even SP1,
> is the browser.

You were sounding fairly reasonable until right here.  If you connect an
unpatched Win2k system to the internet with no firewall, it'll be owned
in a matter of minutes with no browser involved.

> It is not relevant how many years ago it was, only what the goals of
> the browser are and where the time is best spent.

The "years ago" thing is relevant in terms of the browser goals, and in
particular as a rough proxy for user numbers.  If we can get better user
numbers, of course, that's even better.  But it's hard to do better for
user numbers a year or year and a half from now, really.  Do you have a
time machine?

> The point is, we are reaching the point in history where there should
> not be a need to perpetually change to a newer OS to do the same
> tasks.

While true, we also want to do new tasks

> To take the age old phrase, "if it ain't broke don't fix it".

All OSes are broke, pretty much.  We've had to work around bugs in every
singe OS we support.  As we add new code for new low-level features
(including silly things like process separation, accelerated graphics,
out-of-process plug-ins), we will run into more and more things we need
to work around, especially on the older OSes in the Windows case
(because the newer ones tend to have more APIs that do the same thing,
so more chance that one of them will happen to work for us).

If those features (and whatever else is being worked on) happen to work
on Win2k, then there won't be a problem: Firefox will just run on it.
If not... which of the above three features would you propose dropping
if we can't make it work on Win2k?

> There is little sanity in changing an OS if it does what is required

Fully agreed, but if it can't do what Firefox wants it to do and you
want to run Firefox, then it's in fact not doing what is required.  The
job of an OS is to let you run applications.

> They are not stupid,

Agreed.

> they better than anyone else know if a machine is doing what they need
> done

More or less; see above.

> is as patched, as secure

Generally speaking, no.  Heck, _I_ won't claim to know whether my
machine is as secure as it could be or should be, and I work on this
stuff for a living and for fun.

> Many people who aren't
> particularly techinically inclinded, which may be the majority of
> society, use the originally shipping OS on their PC and only end up
> changing when hardware failure forces them to buy a new PC.

Very true, but that doesn't square with the claim that they know
anything about how secure their setup is.

> Through technology mankind has a hope, and a green one at that, that our
> progress allows a system to run for it's useful lifespan which with
> today's performance levels (even those of 5 years ago) comes close to
> predating Win2k for the most common tasks people do on a pc.

Note that hardware lifetimes for typical consumer hardware are < 5 years
nowadays, especially for laptops.  This brings us back to the age
question, because if the last hardware that came with win2k was bought 5
years ago and people upgrade OS when they get new hardware (not all, but
most, as you say), what will the user base of Win2k be in Q3 2010?

In any case, the point is that no one is proposing breaking things on
win2k for the sake of breaking them.  The proposal is just to not spend
core QA and developer time fixing things if they do break due to new
feature work.  Anyone who cares to do said fixing is welcome to do it
and contribute patches: the source is open.

-Boris
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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 ktosiek1001+
2009/4/16 ktosiek1001+ <[hidden email]>

> Google Translate  (English):
>
> What a stupid idea (written by Rob Arnold) from the end of full
> support for Windows XP. Vista is a system for the idiots who fell
> victim to Microsoft's or people who want to have a "sweet" design /
> interface. Windows XP is the best operating system on those days,
> change my mind if Windows 7 will work just as efficiently as XP on old
> computers. Why improve something that works well (Win XP)? Vista is
> only 14% percent of the market. If Firefox will end support for Win
> XP, leaving to the opera (and I know that many users will do the
> same).


I suspect your translation of my post may have left out a subtle difference:
"We *can justify* dropping 2k/XP entirely better than setting the minimum to
XP SP3"
I worded it this way because I recognized that it is far to early to
consider dropping XP entirely.  My point (though not clearly expressed) is
that we gain the ability to use many newer features that Windows has sadly
lacked either in comparison to other operating systems or some reasonably
clearly improved design. If we move the minimum to Vista, we gain many more
such features than if we moved it to XP SP3. Maybe you should read my later
posts in this discussion where I argue against dropping XP and 2000 support
entirely.

My arguments in this discussion are made from the perspective of a
developer, often a systems or platform developer. I rely on others to bring
a non-developer perspective and they have. We proposed (and effectively
decided based on the comments in that thread so far) to set the minimum
supported platform to XP SP2 and move everything below down a tier (this was
my suggestion too).

-Rob
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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 Conan Kudo (ニール・ゴンパ)
LinWinOverlord wrote:

> SeaMonkey is not an
> option, simply because it provides email & newsgroup support.

Fwiw, SeaMonkey allows you to install the browser part only.

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

root2344
In reply to this post by ktosiek1001+
Well,

I can only ensure you that, most people with win XP will jump on
others browsers like chrome or opera.

Take this for consider while you will be planning new functions for
win Vista...

I'm not an expert but I thin that you should take for consider others
platforms like linux. =>> On Vista OK, on linux it should works as
well...

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

Mike Shaver
On Thu, Apr 16, 2009 at 3:07 PM,  <[hidden email]> wrote:
> I can only ensure you that, most people with win XP will jump on
> others browsers like chrome or opera.

That would be pretty challenging for them, in the chrome case, because
we'd be moving to the same baseline that chrome has -- so if they
can't run FF <future version> they can't even run the _current_
version of chrome.

Mike
(I should know better, but I have a compile going, honest!)
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Re: Proposal: Raise minimum requirements for 1.9.2 on Windows to WinXP SP3

Karl Tomlinson-4
In reply to this post by Boris Zbarsky
> If you connect an unpatched Win2k system to the internet with no
> firewall, it'll be owned in a matter of minutes with no browser
> involved.

It's not clear to me how good the "these computers are owned
anyway" argument is.

AFAIK the "minutes" figures are for a computer with an IP address
on the internet but no firewall.

Old operating systems should be behind a firewall, and I suspect
many of their users are in this situation, even if it is just the
network address translation provided by their modem.  This doesn't
eliminate the security risk; it only reduces the exposure;
the low-level network stack is still exposed.

Is it still a reasonable assumption that unsupported OS's are
owned?
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