Change is hard for some people, and even more difficult for others. Perhaps this is why so many computers in the world are still running Windows XP. Windows XP was the desktop operating system(OS) offered by Microsoft in 2001, and it once ruled the world. It may not have been the greatest OS in history, but it was easy to get comfortable with it. XP has unfortunately not been one of those world leaders that make a graceful bow into retirement once their reign has ended; no XP has been a clinger. At 14 years old, even though Microsoft has discontinued support for it, the OS still commands a sizable chunk of the market share. The Google Chrome team made the announcement Tuesday that Windows XP, Windows Vista, Mac OS X 10.6, 10.7, and 10.8 are all platforms that will no longer receive support from Chrome beginning April 2016. This means while the Chrome program will still connect to the internet and function as a web browser–when running on the aforementioned platforms– updates and security fixes will not be received.
These older platforms, Mac OS and Windows alike, are outdated and no longer receive software or security updates from their respective companies–all but Windows Vista. Vista has guaranteed support from Microsoft for two more years but commands less than 2% of the market share. Windows XP, on the other hand, accounts for approximately 12%. To be fair, the versions 7-10 of Windows combined, make up a rather bulky 76% of the market. The three retired Mac Operating Systems combined still have a footprint that is less than even Vista's. It really is XP's large presence that causes the most concern. When that many vulnerable systems are left connected to the internet, the potential for systems to be compromised and used maliciously en masse, makes them a security threat to more than just the user.
The lack of support for these platforms has led Google to deem these operating systems as too insecure, and far too prone to be infected by virus and malware. As such the company cannot justify the continued support for Chrome on platforms where the user's system and data are so vulnerable. Google encourages users still operating on any unsupported platform to upgrade to a modern, more secure system. Moving onto a supported operating system can ensure the continued availability of Google's various web services, as well as keep security risks minimalized.