Windows XP and Vista are the absolute examples of Microsoft’s inconsistency; one was hailed for its brilliance and is still used today, while the other received nothing but hate.
However, thankfully, Microsoft isn’t very attached to either of them; the company ended support for Windows XP in 2014, while Windows Vista’s extended support period ends on 11th April 2017.
Google, however, decided to abandon both operating systems back in 2015; the last version of Chrome available to XP and Vista users is v49 – and that is a problem.
Chrome’s latest stable version – v55 – contains “several important security features” per Google; these features are, apparently, required for Gmail’s security features.
Google is, therefore, asking everyone on Chrome v53 or below, to upgrade to v55. It’s not like it’s a complicated process – in fact, Chrome updates itself unless updates were disabled manually.
However, there’s Windows XP and Vista. Starting from 8th of February, Gmail will start prompting its users with a banner, asking them to upgrade to the Chrome browser.
Gmail users will be able to ignore this banner, until sometime in December 2017; that’s when Gmail will stop working on older Chrome versions and will fall back to its basic HTML version.
The HTML version is less secure, has fewer features, and is a worse experience overall; anyone using Gmail extensively will, therefore, suffer severely.
The trouble is: XP and Vista can’t update to anything above v49, and thus will suffer.
The solution you ask? Well, upgrade to Windows 7 or 10; though, 7 will also lose support soon enough.
You could also switch to Firefox instead, as Mozilla still supports XP and Vista.
Other Chromium-based browsers like Vivaldi also do not support the old operating systems, with their minimum requirements being Windows 7 or above.
Windows XP is finally dying, and Google is helping Microsoft kill it.