The announcement came months after the company expressed the intention to extend the support for the Firefox browser in November 2022. At that time, other third-party companies were preparing to leave Windows Windows 7 and 8.1, which officially reached its end of support last January. However, Mozilla’s developers seemed hesitant, primarily due to a considerable population of Firefox users on the said OS versions. Developers were also taking into account the economic situation at that time.
“I think that the following circumstances should be taken into account,” one comment on Bugzilla reads. “We are still in a chip shortage and economic crisis that will make upgrading to a new computer or new version of Windows difficult. Most Linux distros have also dropped 32-bit support which will affect many Windows 7 machines such as Intel atom netbooks so switching to Linux won’t be a viable option either.”
In March, the company confirmed extending support for Firefox on Windows 7 and 8 until the third quarter of 2024. Now, the company said it would be specifically until September next year via the Firefox 115 Extended Support Release (ESR).
“Microsoft ended official support for Windows 7, 8 and 8.1 in January of 2023,” Mozilla said on its latest announcement post. “Unsupported operating systems receive no security updates and have known exploits. With no official support from Microsoft, maintaining Firefox for obsolete operating systems becomes costly for Mozilla and dangerous for users.”