Google to pull Chrome plug on Windows XP at year's end

Windows XP
Credit: Nick Perla, Flickr

Another browser on XP bites the dust

Google on Thursday announced it will shut down support for Chrome on Windows XP at the end of the year.

"We will continue to provide regular updates and security patches to Chrome on XP through the end of 2015," said Mark Larson, Chrome's director of engineering, in a short blog post Thursday.

A year and a half ago, Larson pledged to support Chrome on the even-then-aged operating system until "at least April 2015."

"We know that not everyone can easily switch to a newer operating system," Larson said of Google's decision to continue supporting Chrome on XP after the latter's retirement. "Millions of people are still working on XP computers every day [and] we want those people to have the option to use a browser that's up-to-date and as safe as possible on an unsupported operating system."

But enough was apparently enough.

Microsoft called it quits on Windows XP a year ago Tuesday, when it issued the final scheduled security updates for the 2001 OS. (The company made a one-time exception shortly thereafter when it shipped an emergency patch for its Internet Explorer (IE) browser.)

Because Microsoft halted security fixes for IE on Windows XP on April 14, 2014, security professionals urged the OS's users to switch to another browser. Dropping IE for Chrome, Mozilla's Firefox or Opera Software's Opera was one way to minimize -- but not eliminate -- risk, they said.

Neither Mozilla or Opera have publicized end-of-support dates for their browsers on Windows XP.

According to Web metrics vendor Net Applications, approximately 18.5% of all Windows PCs ran XP in March, slightly more than half the 34.5% the OS accounted for in October 2013, when Larson set Chrome's earliest support demise at this month.

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