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Will Opera continue to support Windows (32-bit) beyond version 36.0?

  • Anyone that updates their engine to Chromium 50 will not be able to support XP unless they do the necessary development themselves. And testing. That's probably the main issue there, they don't keep XP systems around for testing on.

  • Oh, okay. I finally did read on Slimjet's website where it says that "Slimjet will continue to support Windows XP for as long as technically possible." Well, while that's definitely better than hearing that a browser will no longer support Windows XP, there's also no guarantee that that "as long as technically possible" doesn't suddenly turn into "will no longer support Windows XP" rather soonish.

    Either way, I'll see about trying it out this weekend.
    Thanks for the heads up, rseiler.

  • I was following the developer stream of Opera on Windows XP, and the first inkling I got of the dropping of XP support was when my copy of developer 36 did not update to version 37.
    I suspect that is all that will happen, once 37 comes to the stable stream, those with XP and Vista will just no longer be offered any updates to later major versions of Opera. 36 will continue to work as before of course.
    Hopefully there will still be occasional security patches for Opera 36, as Opera have said that there will be.
    🙂

  • Well, that would work. I can live with that. In fact, I guess it could be said that it is Good News that FINALLY something was able to stop the unauthorized, unwanted, infuriating, party-crashing automatic updates dead in their tracks. IF indeed that's all that is going to happen.

    Thanks for that bit of insight, Dave.

  • I can't believe people are still on XP good god either Upgrade or get of the Internet you're just asking to be hit with cryptoware or worse become part of a botnet stop running an EOL and out of date OS or get used to programs no longer supporting your OS with the like of updates for security and features

  • Thank you for your kind advice. :rolleyes:
    I'm actually still getting security updates for my XP system, as are many others who are "in the know".
    I have Windows 8.1 on my machine as well, which I use when I have to, I just still prefer XP for my main use. It's still being used on millions of systems, including large corporate networks, and there are still many home users who simply cannot afford to "upgrade".
    Thank you for your concern, but I feel as safe online now as I always have (take that any way you want!)
    🙂

  • Windows 7 will be next, and then 8 and so on. I'll stick to what I like and works for me, which is Windows 7 in my case.

  • ... I finally did read on Slimjet's website where it says that "Slimjet will continue to support Windows XP for as long as technically possible." Well, while that's definitely better than hearing that a browser will no longer support Windows XP, there's also no guarantee that that "as long as technically possible" doesn't suddenly turn into "will no longer support Windows XP" rather soonish...

    But, what you need to fully understand is that any XP support, even by Opera, will be a winding down clock at best. In particular, security patches for the chromium engine itself will no longer ripple down to XP users via chromium updates routinely embedded into new browser updates, since the engine itself has deprecated support for certain XP-related specific code peculiarities starting with chromium 50. Note especially that deprecation does not just mean that chromium developers won't test any longer for XP compatibility, but it means that any specific XP-related chromium code will be removed whenever various parts of the chromium code get worked on for whatever reasons. With time and normal chromium code evolution, more and more vestigial pieces of any remaining XP-related code will be pruned out of the engine. In other words, the inherent incompatibility of chromium itself with XP will only grow over time.

    Unless Opera were to somehow fashion patches for chromium vulnerabilities in Opera's own GUI layers sitting on top of the chromium/Blink engine (which may not even be possible in various cases), future chromium vulnerabilities (and these will indeed occur) would still have to remain unpatched for XP users. Likewise, chromium XP incompatibilities impacting SlimJet will sooner or later force them to either stay with a last known-good chromium engine that they can keep patched for XP users (a costly forking process that I doubt they can economically withstand) or else they will have to abandon XP users just like other chromium/Blink browsers are now doing. My speculation is that abandonment point will be reached much sooner, rather than later, given the realities of code updating involved.

    None of this necessarily means the immediate 'end of the world' for XP users. Existing apps software on those systems will still work, in many cases for a very long time. But it does mean that updates for XP-compatible software will gradually dry up, starting with browsers and such, followed by antivirus programs, etc. XP users will have to employ more and more 'safe hex' when/if taking their systems online in coming years as this all unfolds. It may also mean that those users may need to adopt more protection tools than in the past (installing extensions like browser ad-blockers or script-blockers while they can still be found for XP-compatible browser versions, installing and maintaining a robust host file, and so on). The key here is to be proactive in finding tools while they can still be found online in XP-compatible forms. I speak from experience, most recently in driving a Win98FE system online until 2010, whereupon it just became impossible to keep it secure. (It still sits here in periodic use for certain old, unique software - but its online days are over.)

  • Here's what I found on the Opera Blog:
    http://www.opera.com/blogs/news/2016/04/chrome-alternative-opera-for-windows-xp-vista/

    --- "The Chrome alternative you choose should be one that provides security updates for older versions of Windows. There are several browsers out there worth trying, but among major browsers only Opera for computers will continue to bring bug fixes and security updates to XP and Windows Vista users to ensure people stay safe when browsing online." ---

    Unless someone has word that supersedes that, I'm gonna gather that contrary to earlier claims in this thread, Opera WILL be supporting Windows XP. Yeah, I know. Not all the way until 2030, but at least for some decent, comfortable time frame.

  • ===== Posted by Althonite:
    --- "I can't believe people are still on XP good god either Upgrade or get of the Internet you're just asking to be hit with cryptoware or worse become part of a botnet stop running an EOL and out of date OS or get used to programs no longer supporting your OS with the like of updates for security and features" =====

    Oh just great ... another Internet Boss / Police with exaggerated scare tactics. Not a friggin' thing has happened to my system since Microsoft ceased support for Windows XP. I perform regular scans with avast, MBAM, SAS and Dr. WebCureIt and my computer never gets infected. Yet I see the tech forums full of computer users with Windows 7, 8 and 10 with multiple layers of security and everything state of the art ... with infected computers.

    I am more of a believer of that saying that: The weakest link in any computer system is the OPERATOR rather than what Anti-Virus or other Security Apps they might have or not have.

    Anyway, bottom line ... We Windows XP users of course cannot twist the arms of browser companies into supporting Windows XP. That's their prerogative. But, if some of them on their own free will decide to support Windows XP and make it available, there's no reason why we Windows XP users can't use it all the way up to whenever it ceases to be available.

  • Just to add to what @suntana said, my understanding from the Opera blog, as I said before, is that Opera 36 will continue to receive security patches for use on XP and Vista systems. It won't of course receive any enhancements.
    It uses Chromium 49.0.2623.112, which is the last version for XP and Vista. Chromium have now moved on to version 50, which is incompatible.
    How long Opera 36 will continue to be patched is unknown of course.
    🙂

  • The use of an OS as old as Windows XP is foolishness, plain and simple. If you cannot afford to upgrade to Windows 7 then you should seriously consider pulling the plug on your computer. With the price of Chrome books and entry-level computers today, there is no real need to operate with such an antiquated system. You put yourself at risk and others by extension.

  • athlonite

    I can't believe people are still on XP good god either Upgrade or get of the Internet you're just asking to be hit with cryptoware or worse become part of a botnet stop running an EOL and out of date OS or get used to programs no longer supporting your OS with the like of updates for security and features

    You think that's bad, I work at a computer store, and had a guy in the other day that still runs his entire business off of DOS. Yes, his entire business (and it's a fairly successful local business, so it's not like he couldn't upgrade). Some people just refuse to upgrade. I admit to doing some of that myself (I'm still running Opera v12), but even I recognize that at some point, you just have to give in and move on.

    suntana

    I am more of a believer of that saying that: The weakest link in any computer system is the OPERATOR rather than what Anti-Virus or other Security Apps they might have or not have.

    In this, I concur wholeheartedly, though a good AV (such as a properly configured Eset NOD32) can help secure even incompetent users from their bad habits.

  • ...
    You think that's bad, I work at a computer store, and had a guy in the other day that still runs his entire business off of DOS. Yes, his entire business (and it's a fairly successful local business, so it's not like he couldn't upgrade). Some people just refuse to upgrade. I admit to doing some of that myself (I'm still running Opera v12), but even I recognize that at some point, you just have to give in and move on. ...

    Not to be too argumentative, but if it's a business and his software is adequate to the tasks needed to be done and if it's not online-facing, there's absolutely nothing wrong in his still running DOS. Computers in a work environment are simply tools, not unlike hammers and pliers - just because one can buy air-driven nailing machines or hydraulic benders doesn't mean the original hand tools suddenly don't work anymore. Replacement decisions in business are (or ought to be) based on ruthless economic analysis of life-cycle costs and suitability to task. I've noted elsewhere that I still operate a system offline running Windows 98FE, mainly for its DOS capability in running Lotus Symphony (ca. 1985). That's simply because I need to run some extremely complex spreadsheets whose self-modifying Symphony macro code would be difficult beyond words to replicate in a newer macro/scripting language - and certainly not worth the great development/test costs of doing so.

    Having said all that, if the system faces online, it's another story entirely... and unless one has some solid, bullet-proof protective measures in place, a computer with an ancient OS (and any personal user/customer data thereon) risks being 'pwned' very quickly online. Old exploits often don't just go away, they get absorbed into new ones that sniff the visiting user-agent ID and respond with an exploit tailored to the OS. Exploit code is cheap once written, so it persists; and OS obsolescence is no real assurance of online security.

  • It may also mean that those users may need to adopt more protection tools than in the past (installing extensions like browser ad-blockers or script-blockers while they can still be found for XP-compatible browser versions, installing and maintaining a robust host file, and so on).

    What's the host file?
    😕

  • It's a plain text file simply called "HOSTS" (no extension) that should be in your C:\Windows\System32\Drivers\ETC folder.
    IP addresses can be blocked by adding them to it, although IIRC it's largely depreciated in later versions of Windows.
    🙂

  • ...
    What's the host file?

    Textual Internet URL addresses entered into a browser or supplied by some link must first be converted to an IP address (all numbers and decimal points) to actually route data on the Internet. Your computer contains an internal address list (called the hosts file) for cross-referencing URLs to IPs and which can be auto-used for that conversion purpose (though it's rarely used that way any more); if an entry is not present in the hosts file for a given URL address, the computer then auto-requests the IP address be supplied from your ISP or some other DNS listing site that you've specified.

    However, the hosts file, by cross-referencing a URL address to an internal 'nul' IP address on the computer, can also block that URL from communicating with its correct IP on the Internet by instead converting it to a non-functional system internal IP address. This capability allows the hosts file to be used to block adware, malware, etc URLs from communicating with their associated IP addresses if the hosts file is first populated with a lengthy list of known malicious URL addresses. Consequently, there are in existence a variety of free hosts file updating services that can provide such host file lists for users, such as hpHosts or MVPS Hosts (my own favorite), and these are periodically updated for changes in the known-malicious URL address universe.

    Some critics argue that a really massive hosts file can actually slow down a system in accessing a legitimate site. However, that's never been my own experience with a free hosts file like MVPS, which contains typically 14,000-15,000 blocked URL entries. I look at it like these are 14,000+ malicious URL's that can never be contacted by my system, which really puts a major dent in the possibilities for getting infected by malware or adware from those addresses, particularly those URLs referenced in website or ad-server scripts (a prime source of drive-by infections). Naturally, there will be a few omissions of malicious URLS (especially new ones), since hosts file updates are released typically about every 6 weeks or so. However, such a file still cuts back the possibilities for harm in a very big way. I've used a robust hosts file for over 17 years, and have never looked back with any regret nor any problems; I feel it's a key integral part of 'layered security'.

  • Let's not forget to discuss these HOST files when I start a topic on "the security of your system", right?
    ☕

  • Ok. A really significant thing about a good hosts file is that it can help greatly to protect a system running an older OS when conventional anti-malware tools start to drop their legacy support for those older OS's. Certainly, a hosts file is just one layer of security, but as other protective layers drop away due to support deprecation (eg: AV, OS updates, etc), the remaining layers take on much greater importance. For XP users going forward, if they're not already using it, I strongly recommend adopting a good hosts file to help fill the gap, since Microsoft is no longer issuing security updates for XP (unless one has installed the XP POS registry mods, and even those 'versions' still receive only kiosk-related security updates).

  • Black, as Dave mentioned, and myself too: sec. ups are still sent here, roughly 1 a month. Well, in Russian they're called like "tools for malware deletion", no idea.

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