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Opera Browser Discontinued For Older Windows Versions?

  • Just an I hope relevant aside for anyone who may be considering it, sadly and I suppose inevitably, Slimjet have just announced that XP support will be dropped with version 12.
    NPAPI plugin support has also now just been dropped with version 11.
    I think that will leave no Chromium-based browsers still being fully updated that will run on XP, although like Opera, the Slimjet developers have said that critical security fixes will be maintained for their version 11, as Opera have with their version 36.
    I guess there is just too much non-XP compatible code in Chromium now to make continued support viable.
    ;_;

  • Slimjet have just announced that XP support will be dropped with version 12.
    NPAPI plugin support has also now just been dropped with version 11

    I'm not a developer but i guess it may not be very easy to keep patching Chromium to maintain the support for things already unsupported by the engine.

  • First, some brief history is in order to keep a clear perspective. Back in 2010, Opera ended its support for Windows 98 after Opera version 9.64, telling users of later versions to use at least WinXP. Some of us at the time who were still running Opera on Win98 complained, but managed on our own to keep later versions of Opera running, in some cases up through version 12.0x, though increasing numbers of features failed to work with the successive Opera versions. After version 10.xx, the KernelEx kernel enhancement software needed to be installed into Win 98 to get Opera to install and operate on the OS. At version 12.10 and higher (late 2012), Opera simply could not be made to work at all on Win98, regardless of the user heroics attempted.

    Though Win98 was 10 to 12 years old (depending on version) at the time Opera ended Win98 support, and though Microsoft had ended official support years earlier, there was still a lot of hand-wringing and complaining at the time directed at Opera for dropping Win98-compatible browsers. Many of the same arguments raised today regarding support of XP were raised back then about 98; some of them were even raised by me at the time. Moreover, back then Opera still had the browser's rendering engine (Presto) in its own 'pocket'. Had it elected to expend the resources and money, it could conceivably have continued supporting Win98 for years longer. But it didn't do it because there was absolutely no economic future in burning the necessary resources to do it.

    In mid-2016, Windows XP is almost 15 years old. Opera no longer designs its own rendering engine for the browser, instead using an 'external' chromium/Blink engine which has deprecated XP support/compatibility. Thus the costs to Opera of attempting to unilaterally continue supporting XP would be far greater than under the earlier Win98 scenario. Yet the arguments by users facing OS obsolescence remain unchanged, though the users have most likely been supplanted by a later user generation. Unfortunately, the realities and economics of free browsers supporting obsolete OS's have also largely remained unchanged. So the inevitable outcome here, in spite of all the complaints and arguing to the contrary, will also remain unchanged - most browsers will simply not continue supporting an obsolete OS like XP. Regardless of their individual situations, it is up to XP users to adapt to this reality, just as those of us years ago had to.

  • Google's reasons are invalid and contradictional.

    • It is not their fault if a computer gets infected. A Windows 7 computer can still get infected via zero-day exploits and can become a part of a zombie network. Even if updated. But not all computers are updated. Some people just disable updates.

    • With discontinuing XP support they will increase the risks of those who are using Chrome on an older OS, because they will not likely to upgrade. If they were likely to upgrade, they would have already done it. So they will just achieve the opposite with the discontinuation.

    • They also discontinued the support for Vista as well, which is still supported by Microsoft. This contradicts their main reason (that they discontinued XP because Microsoft does not support it anymore).

    • They also discontinued the support for 32-bit Linux which will also affect those who use older netbooks that only have a 32-bit processor. This is not a big impact though, they can use Chromium 32-bit.

    "Liability"? Oh please... Marketing bullsh*t. Google just does not want to put effort in it because they feel sorry for that abt. 0.00001% of their revenue to put it into supporting the needs of millions of users. It's all about money and resources. They have tremendous amount of resources and they would be able to support even OS/2 or Amiga OS if they decided to. However, it seems they just pick up every cent on development and this fact makes them more greedy, arrogant and ignorant than they seemed before. So, all in all, shame on Google.

  • ...
    Google just does not want to put effort in it because they feel sorry for that abt. 0.00001% of their revenue to put it into supporting the needs of millions of users. It's all about money and resources. They have tremendous amount of resources and they would be able to support even OS/2 or Amiga OS if they decided to. ...

    Chrome is free. Opera is free. Vivaldi is free. Slimjet is free. Firefox is free. Free, as in "they don't cost users a dime". What their makers do with their own 'money and resources' and how they balance their corporate books are entirely up to them. Just as with us, the decisions they make about how to expend their money and the things they deem to be 'worth it' are theirs alone to make. We may not agree with somebody else's decisions about how they spend their money, but unless we have a financial stake or contract in the matter, we have no effectual voice in the process.

    What strikes me most is the amount of anger, resentment, and outrage so many users express when a free-browser developer makes a decision which those users don't like. If one doesn't like a product, he is free to switch products. Or he can use his own resources and develop his own alternative product, in which case his perspective about the desirability of supporting an obsolete OS will almost certainly change. Browser users are obviously free to express their opinions, but there comes a point when - after all the arguments have been made (and they have been about supporting XP) - they have to simply accept reality that these kinds of development and support decisions are not up to them.

  • I guess that's why I can't get Flash content for the past couple of days.

    When you've taken on serving millions of people, you've taken on a big responsibility. When you stop providing that service, you're leaving millions of people in the lurch, which is irresponsible.

    When you unilaterally decide to stop providing a service to millions of people, you don't have the right to pronounce that "they'll just have to upgrade" or "they can program their own browser."


    No one is richer than Google. Regardless, avast! is still updating the antivirus on my XP computer. Firefox is still updating and displaying Flash content. But continuing support for XP was a financial problem for Google?

    Mostly, I find fault with Google. I find less fault with Opera, but it would appear that all the complaints when Opera adopted the Chrome engine are shown to have been more valid than they were given credit for.

  • You could try the Otter Browser for older versions of Windows. I use Otter Browser on my Windows Vista machine, and Opera on my Windows 7 machine. Otter Browser uses a Chromium-based renderer, it seems. Works just fine with Google apps like Docs, Sheets, etc.

  • Otter uses Qt Webkit. AFAIK that's not quite the same as Chromium (presumably it's an early fork?) and how long they will be able to keep XP compatibility again remains to be seen, they were quite non-committal when I asked about it.
    As with Chromium, they will be in the hands of the developers of the rendering engine they're using.
    🙂

  • Blackbird, there are lots of socialists nowadays. They think they're entitled to get. It's nearly about a hundred years since the universal suffrage was introduced, so they did have time to breed. :down:

    On your comparison, I didn't use 98, but this XP system, however old, seems - STILL - to appear perfect. O'k - almost.
    MicroSoft are the guys behind the decision to abandon it, I suppose it's just because they'd decided to - move on, financially, technologically.
    XP is a great system, and if it were up to a - charity organisation? 🙂 they'd sure I think tried to preserve things, like people on older systems and older hardware to remain able etc.

    Dave, it's interesting if you consider having a word, eg in that "Browsers" thread, about all that "forking" stuff of Chromium and company. See ye 😉

  • Blackbird ... MicroSoft are the guys behind the decision to abandon it, I suppose it's just because they'd decided to - move on, financially, technologically.
    XP is a great system, and if it were up to a - charity organisation? they'd sure I think tried to preserve things, like people on older systems and older hardware to remain able etc. ...

    Microsoft certainly wants to obsolete their pre-Win10 operating systems as fast as they possibly can for reasons known mainly to them - their frantic behavior (giving the OS away 'free', force-pushing it to Win7/8.1 users, etc) over the last year is proof of that. Otherwise, with the increasing web drift toward heavy graphics/video webpages, the use of hardware graphics is becoming more and more necessary to deal with a computer's graphics bandwidth demand. WinXP lacks the latest hardware graphics interfaces, so the combination of chip makers (Intel, etc), large website operators (Google, Facebook, Youtube, etc) and a host of others have their own vested interest in wanting to make XP and older OS's go away - it's become something of an unholy alliance of all the big players. A key way to make the OS go away (and the computer hardware it runs on) is to simply cease being compatible with XP.

    Users may not like it, and it may well be less than ethical by some standards, but it is what it is - namely, reality. And it won't end with XP (and Vista); Win7 and 8.1 are next on the hit list. This is why my focus increasingly is to move to a Linux distro on my next system.

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