Mainstream support for Windows XP and Windows Vista (even though the latter is technically not at its end-of-life yet) continues to dwindle, with Google Chrome no longer supporting these operating systems as of version 50. This also removes support for Mac OS 10.6 – 10.8, although these platforms are not nearly as widespread as Windows XP. Chrome will still install on these operating systems, but it will not update beyond version 49. At some point, it is likely that Google will completely remove support for these platforms.
With Microsoft’s recent end-of-support announcement for most versions of Internet Explorer, this leaves only Mozilla Firefox as a mainstream option for Windows XP and Vista users (although Opera is also an alternative). Just to add to the fun, it is often necessary for users of these older operating systems to jump through some hoops to get Firefox installed, either by downloading Firefox 43 and then allowing the updater to run, or finding and directly downloading the appropriate binary installer from Mozilla (available from https://ftp.mozilla.org/pub/firefox/releases/, albeit with some digging).
Ultimately, this means that there is less support for older versions of Windows and Mac OS X on the Internet, since moving forward, many developers will likely stop supporting Chrome 49. While this certainly provides additional impetus for upgrading to a more current version of Windows or OS X, it also leaves a still-significant user base with dwindling alternatives for secure and up-to-date web browsing.
For us, that means that we’ll no longer be able to test the latest versions of Chrome on these operating systems, and our QA recommendations will be changing accordingly. Since we rarely recommend testing on Windows XP or Vista, this will have more effect on the platforms that we are commonly asked to test, but it is still noteworthy, especially for companies that are still required to support dated operating systems.