The End of Support for Firefox 3.6, Win 2K, and Win XP RTM & SP1


A while back I wrote about the end of Firefox support for Windows 2000 and a new minimum requirement of SP2 for Windows XP. Today, we've posted about that and the end of support for Firefox 3.6.

After two years of regular updates, we'll end our support for Firefox 3.6 on April 24th. In the years since Firefox 3.6, we've make incredible improvements to Firefox, including phenomenal HTML5 capabilities, Firefox Sync, faster JavaScript performance, support for the Do Not Track header, and an easier, quieter update process. Barring any major stability or security issues found over the next few weeks, Firefox 3.6.28 will be our last 3.6 release.

We strongly advise our users to upgrade from Firefox 3.6, as they will no longer receive critical security updates as of April 24th. In support of Firefox 3.6 users in organizations, we've delivered on our promise to implement the Extended Support Release plan three months ahead of ending support for Firefox 3.6. Enterprises and organizations should complete qualification and deployment of the ESR over the next month.

We'd also like to take this opportunity to announce that our minimum supported Windows version will change from Windows 2000 to Windows XP SP2 in Firefox 13. We never change minimum requirements lightly, but this support change allows us to significantly improve Firefox performance on Windows by using a more modern build system. Windows XP users are advised to update to the latest service pack, and Windows 2000 users should consider upgrading ahead of the June release of Firefox 13.

Happy to try to answer any questions you have. Oh, and if you're a Windows 2000 user and you simply cannot upgrade your PC to a more modern Windows version, I'm sure the good folks over at Opera will be happy to help you out. Moving to Opera means you'll not only get continued security updates, but you'll also be able to enjoy a modern browser experience.


That sure seems like a blog to include in PMO, no? Is there a way to find* blogs that aren't syndicated in PMO?

And not a single tear was shed.

I am surprised that you are supporting even SP2, rather than *only* XP-SP3.

I know that SP3 is only available for 32-bit windows, but the 64-bit users should be moving forward to Windows 7 anyhow. SP2 is really old, my memory is that it predates Mozilla 1.0 and's independence.

@Sean: I'm disappointed -- I fondly recall Windows 2000, and think it was probably the best version of Windows ever produced. I run it in VMware for any occasion when I need a Windows system (and don't *require* XP). However, I understand that things move on, and Firefox is hardly the first application to require Windows XP. So it's okay; but I fondly remember the time when software (like Firefox 2) worked on every version of Windows released after 1994.

@Ben Chuang: According to Wikipedia, Mozilla 1.0 was eventually released on June 5, 2002 and Service Pack 1 was released on September 9, 2002. Service Pack 2 was released two years after that, on August 25, 2004.

@Asa: Yeah, I was off by a bit.

I should stay "on message". So, supporting SP2 -and- SP3 strikes me as unexpected.

32-bit customers should be using SP3, if for no other reason then they have the latest IE6, if they are holdouts.

Even Microsoft is not helping out for SP2 on 64bit. When I checked the site, their page could not provide correct directions for getting the SP2 for 64bit. They point to the Windows 2003 article.

@Ben Chuang: This is nit-picky, but Windows XP Pro x64 is based off of Server 2k3, so it follows the service pack releases of Server 2k3 and NOT Windows XP (Pro and Home). Windows XP Pro x64 SP2 is not the same as Windows XP SP2. It is therefore irrelevant to users of x64 XP if Mozilla ceases support of Windows XP SP2 since it is a completely different OS.

I do agree with you that Mozilla should drop support for anything earlier than Windows XP SP3. It came out in 2008 (4 years ago!), and was a comparatively minor release when looking at SP2 (which was more like a completely different OS). If anyone is still using SP2 and refuses to upgrade to SP3 (not to mention moving to another OS completely), they should really look into other solutions (upgrading their OS or another browser like Opera for instance).

@Ben Chuang: You're not 100% correct. Windows XP Pro x64 (which is based off the Windows Server 2003 codebase) will be supported until April 2014.

It's unfortunate that there will be some users who are unable to upgrade from Windows XP Service Pack 2 since Microsoft will only provide limited troubleshooting for the predecessor service pack of Windows XP.

If people have been thinking that only Windows XP SP3 will be supported in Visual Studio 2012, you're dead wrong.

Visual Studio 2012 will probably not be due out until later this year and will unfortunately, not even support Windows XP. As far as I heard so far, the lowest supported version for the CRT included in VS 2012 will be Windows Vista Service Pack 2. The compiler for VS 2012 will require Windows 7.

@nandhp: I personally find it very sad that Mozilla made a difficult decision to discontinue support for Win2k after more 7 1/2 years. Unless, users find ways to make (some) of the newer software work on Win2k without Mozilla's help, I'm afraid that they're gonna be stuck on a unsupported browser.

People are welcome to try to build future versions of Firefox using free compiler tools. If people wanted to make Firefox work on Win2k, I'm guessing that they'll have to re-add the support code that Masatoshi Kimura removed from Gecko and I believe that it would be too much work for some people and that they'll end up with a less reliable version of their favourite Firefox browser. :(

Other than that, wasn't there some sort of EOL plan in for Firefox 3.6 as well as Win2k, XP RTM and XP SP1?

the newest versions for firefox sux!! they are soo bugy
ill stay with 3.6 i dont care about ubates ..

Opera is happy enough, as 11 is unusable in Win2K - crashing all time. Fortunately 10 is still usable.
Firefox v. >3 is good, and theme mechanisms makes it easier to make it usable browser, but multitasking without minutes of swapping is important too.
Generally we've grown out of these times (if you remember old PDAs you know it) when multitasking required shutting down one application and starting another.

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