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boyfromthesand
New member
Status: New idea

Forewarning, this forum post will be long because of the explanation of this request. A TL;DR will be available at the bottom.

With the end of Windows 7 extended support outside of ESU updates and the upcoming end of Windows 8 support in January 2023, popular Chromium browsers will be ending support for the two operating systems, the former which still has a sizeable user-base. With talks of Firefox potentially ending support in January 2023 as well or possibly extending it to mid-2023, this is a major concern in the conflict of Mozilla's interest to a free internet, holding big tech accountable, ensuring its users security from data being handled responsibly.

With the release of Windows 10 and now Windows 11, Microsoft has made an effort to harvest as much user data as it possibly can, down to the very core of the operating system. Although we will inevitably run the risk of our data being mined by using our cell phones that either Google or Apple holds a stake in with their respective operating system, for many users, the desktop is their last ditch effort for a private workspace and to prevent the user's information from being leaked, stolen and sold to others as a for-profit measure. Windows upgrades from one version to another are largely free now because they profit off of the user's data.

The telemetry measures that were implemented in Windows 10 eventually made their way into Windows 7 and 8, and possibly even Vista. Many of the updates know to harvest user data as a for-profit measure can be disabled in Windows 7 and more difficulty done in Windows 8, however it is not the core of the operating system to harvest the users' data. While most of the telemetry features can be disabled on Windows 10, not all measures can be disabled and user data is *still* harvested and sold.

A desktop environment is a wonderful environment for several things, but it should not be one where we fear for our data being stolen in a possible cyber-attack that can target any corporation, where personal and private information can be stolen and used against many people. I think Mozilla's staff, a majority of Mozilla users and a lot of others would agree that spyware is bad and this is exactly spyware behavior. Most people have become complacent with Windows 10's behavior of mining and selling user data and have stuck with Windows 10 for several reasons, but that side of the complaint lies with Microsoft, not Mozilla.

My request is, in alignment with Mozilla's mission of creating a free, safe, and private web, that Mozilla continue support for Windows 7 and Windows 8 past mid-2023. I use the term support loosely - in other words, my request is that after support has been ended for the two operating systems, that no "artificial blocks" be put on an installer, in which a user would be able to normally run a program but can't *only* because the version number is not of Windows 10 or greater.

I know, like many other businesses and such, Mozilla can have their hands tied with many things, especially labor wise. In my request, I would recommend that Mozilla not provide first party support for Firefox on Windows 10 and later in order to best allocate resources to the environments where they are needed with the changing world of computing since it would of course be rather selfish to say that we need to have a dedicated team to the older systems.

Mozilla SHOULD continue their development of their browser and start to allocate more resources to Windows 10 and above. However, if we are being honest, Windows 7 is not much more functionally different than Windows 10 or 11, in fact in reality, they are still based on the Windows NT 6 kernel, introduced back in Vista. The NT version number was changed to 10 *only* to reflect the Windows version number with the NT kernel "version" number. Windows 7 would likely not need anything special or different to be able to function in a way that Windows 10 or 11 could not. If so, in respect to my first party support comments, the community of legacy Windows users is a wonderful thing and would be willing to develop necessary functions in order to make Firefox work on legacy version if there were to ever be an update that would officially break Firefox on Windows 7 because it is too functionally different. In terms of "artificial blocks," if we SHOULD be able to get Firefox to run, please allow us to without nagging us by simply saying that "Firefox is not supported on your version of Windows" or some variation thereof.

As I obviously speak for myself, I also speak for a lot of other users. Some of us using legacy Windows versions may not be able to afford upgrading to a newer machine, or upgrading might simply be unnecessary. As I mentioned, Windows 7 is not so much functionally different that it is obsolete, which is why Windows 7 has about equal market share with Windows 11. With Windows 11 requiring the need for TPM 2.0, upgrading can cause a lot of e-waste, in the same way that forcing people to upgrade to a newer machine in order to run later versions of Windows can create e-waste as machines still running Windows 7 can operate perfectly fine, in turn also doing worse for the environment. This is not my main point of this, but especially during the global economic crisis, the chip shortage has created a lot of hurdles for people who may not be able to afford or obtain a newer machine and this is a troubling issue if browser developers decide to halt support of a functionally sound system.

Thank you to anyone for reading this and your consideration. I am glad to be a Firefox user for the past 10 years, and I would love to remain one. Thank you Mozilla for helping us keep an free, open and safe web. I hope you will take my request into consideration in accordance with your mission.

Happy holidays!

 

TL;DR: (still a little winded, my apologies.)

My request is that Windows 7/Windows 8 support be extended in accordance with Mozilla's mission. Windows 10/11 has a lot of spyware related practices that go against Mozilla's mission and should allow the systems which do not have data mining weaved into the core system to stay "supported," but unofficially Windows 7 and 8 are not so much functionally different than the later versions of Windows to end support other than just saying the user can't run Firefox because Mozilla no longer testing it on Windows 7 and 8 can't ensure its usability or because Mozilla would like for the user to move on for some reason. If no special programming is required for Windows 7 or 8 to make Firefox functional on them, then I encourage Mozilla to still allow 7/8 users to install and run Firefox but with no first party support, only community support. This is to ensure Mozilla is able to keep resources where they need them internally and not to cater to the minority. If Firefox does eventually break on Windows 7 or 8 and the community develops a workaround, please do not block us from running Firefox just because our version number is not 10 or higher. If we are able to run Firefox, but without it being designed with Windows 7 and 8 in mind (for instance, when official support ends,) let us know it may not work as expected but at the end of the day, if the user can run Firefox, please allow us to do so and not block us with the aforementioned version check or some other arbitrary reason to keep it from running on older systems. Upgrading may not be possible for some people who do not have a budget to do so and can also be environmentally bad in some cases. Thank you, care and regards from me.

10 Comments
lebo
New member

Don't stop supporting windows 7!

Hi

Don't stop supporting windows 7! I heard that you are going to do it. Do not do that! There are still a lot of us who use windows 7.
We use windows 7 not because we are such dumb conservatives, but because this operating system is incredibly good for many tasks and there is a lot of good software for it.
Unfortunately, this cannot be said about Windows 10-11.

Don't make the world worse. Don't follow Microsoft's pressure. Don't cut the branch you're sitting on. Be smart.

VictorTheVictor
New member

I whole heartedly agree. Mozilla has always been a free alternative to Microsoft's vision of the web. Starting with the battle with Internet Explorer as Netscape and now fighting against Google's monopoly on the web and Chrome, Mozilla's products were always a symbol of freedom on the web. That freedom did sometimes come at a cost, as most websites and browser extensions were optimized with Chrome in mind (Reddit, YouTube, every other site Google owns), but we stuck with Firefox regardless. We love Mozilla for what they stand and we kept our love and support throughout the years. Some people even went as far as making a community build of Firefox 68 (2019 release) run on Windows XP (now that is dedication!). No, I am not asking for Mozilla to all of a sudden shift their entire development team to use Windows 7, optimize code specifically for Windows 7 and only focus on Windows 7. That would make no sense from Mozilla's point of view, but I do ask however that they extend the support just to make the browser launch and load web pages on these operating systems. It is true that functionally, Windows 7 is not that different from Windows 8, 10 and even 11; most of the differences being in the way the operating system is distributed and licensed, the user interface and the availability on ARM systems. With this in mind, the legacy Windows community would be truly grateful for Mozilla to not follow in the steps of Google and Microsoft, and to stand by what it once stood. Freedom to choose and freedom to enjoy software the way we want. Also for those people bracing themselves to tell us to by the way use Arch Linux, not everybody wants to use Linux, myself included. Some people rely on software that just does not work there, and some people are not up to re-learning another operating system. Please Mozilla, even if you don't do it for us, someone will find a way to patch Firefox to work on 7 and people will be running modern Firefox on Windows 7, but any and all help is greatly appreciated in our struggle against Microsoft and corporate greed.

CSmy46
New member

Windows 7 support - please continue.

Please continue Window 7 support. I will disentangle myself from Google and make Firefox my main (& only) Internet browser. Please differentiate yourself from the other browsers that are discontinuing Windows 7 support. It can be a marketing lever, and perhaps help to attract new subscribers and new advertisers. 

Ardis7
New member

Please continue supporting Windows 7. You have a great web browser, and an opportunity to gain market share. Almost 20 percent of the world still uses Windows 7 and Google Chrome is no longer supporting it as you're aware. Many, like me, do not want  to be "forced" to upgrade to Windows 10 or 11.. Many cannot afford it either. Therefore, I will be getting rid of Chrome and only using Firefox. I was in the advertising business for a long time. If you get the word out that you will be continuing support for Windows 7 for a  long time to come you will gain many Chrome customers who can no longer use their browser. I hate Google, I think you have a better product, and their are many new potential users you can gain. Thank you very much. 

sw7fxY
Making moves

Yes please keep us windows7 users able to have the latest Firefox browser available. There shouldn't be any reason for us to have to buy a new PC or upgrade Windows just because they want that at Microsoft. I'm glad I can still use the latest version of Firefox on my PC with Win7, since others have dropped support for it. Long time user here of Firefox too since version 1.0

 

Thank You

CountryBoy84
New member

I'm running Win 7 and Firefox, exclusively, on 2 PCs since forever.  I dread being forced to buy a new (and unneeded) PC & having to deal with all the problems of Win 11 or anything else.  Please I beg you, find a way to allow the many happy Win 7 users to continue using Firefox.  We love it!

sw7fxY
Making moves

Looks like we got an answer, check out the Firefox section on ghacks.net  Windows 7 support.

mkaply
Employee
Employee

I can't speak to all our future plans, but at this point, we will at least be supporting Windows 7 and Windows 8 to at least the 3Q of next year via the Firefox ESR.

JillnScott
New member

Yes please continue to support Windows 7. I am computer illiterate and comfortable with windows 7. It is a solid OS. I really like Firefox and its security features. Much better than Google Chrome or even Microsoft Edge.  Thank you.

EvelynJT
New member

We want Windows 7 support from Firefox.
If you are unwilling to give it, we will go somewhere else.