Fwd: Firefox Support for Windows 2000 Coming to an End

Mark Banner mbanner at mozilla.com
Thu Feb 2 18:45:21 UTC 2012

Hi folks,

As Gecko is the one dropping support here, we'll be needing to do the 
same. This will take effect from Firefox/Thunderbird 13.

Although our windows builders still be on VC 2008 for a little longer 
whilst we get them upgraded, it is likely that upgrades to these builds 
on TB 13 will be prevented from today, with the installer also blocking 
installations. This is because of changes in the installer in gecko.


-------- Original Message --------
Subject: Firefox Support for Windows 2000 Coming to an End
Date: Fri, 27 Jan 2012 15:45:23 -0800
From: Asa Dotzler <asa at mozilla.org>
Newsgroups: mozilla.dev.apps.firefox

For a number of years we've held off on updating our Windows toolchain
to a newer version of Visual Studio, and in so doing preserved support
for Windows 2000 and Windows XP RTM and SP1. Firefox developers and the
99.6% of our Windows users have paid a price for this support, though.
Our developers have not been able to take advantage of new compiler
features and have had to struggle to keep valuable optimizations from
breaking -- including having had to back out and ultimately delay
important new some features like SPDY.  Our users have have suffered a
slower Firefox than would be possible as both direct and indirect
results of moving to a more modern compiler.

So this week, after a few months of discussion and evaluation of the
latest Firefox user numbers and the pros and cons of moving our tools
forward, I've called for Mozilla to begin the process for ending support
on those older Windows version. Next Tuesday or Wednesday, after Firefox
12 moves to Aurora, the Mozilla Release Engineering team will begin
upgrading our Windows build systems to Visual Studio 2010.  With VS2010,
we will no longer be able to build a Firefox that runs on Windows 2000,
Windows XP RTM, and Windows Service Pack 1.

It's always a difficult decision to leave some users behind. The number
of Firefox users on those OS versions -- less than one half of one
percent of our Windows Firefox users, and the benefits to our
development process and the hundreds of millions of Firefox users on XP
SP2 and above, however, compel us to look forward rather than back.

If you are a Windows 2000 user, Firefox 12, released on June 5th, will
be the final supported Firefox release. After that, your options are
limited. Switching to Opera[1] is probably the best path forward.

If you're a Windows XP user still on RTM or Service Pack 1, I strongly
urge you to install the free Windows Service Pack updates[2].

And finally, for Enterprises adopting the ESR[3], these older Windows
versions will be supported for the length of the first ESR of Firefox.
That works out to an extra 6 months or so before these Windows versions
become unsupported.

- A

[1] http://www.opera.com/browser/download/requirements/
[2] http://windows.microsoft.com/en-US/windows/downloads/service-packs

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