Chrome 50 Ends Support For Windows XP, OS X 10.6 and Other Old Operating Systems

Google Chrome version 50 was released to the browser’s stable channel yesterday, and in addition to a handful of new features and security fixes, the update also ends support for a wide range of operating systems that have been supported since Chrome launched on those platforms. Windows XP, Windows Vista, OS X 10.6, OS X 10.7, and OS X 10.8 are no longer supported.

This shouldn’t come as much of a surprise, since Google promised last November to end support for these older OS versions in April of 2016. Old versions of Chrome installed on these OSes won’t stop working (for now), but they’ll no longer receive updates and there’s no guarantee that things like Google account sign-in and data syncing will continue to work.

If you’re still using one of these operating systems, you have a couple of options. One is to upgrade to a newer OS, assuming your hardware can handle it. Security patches for Windows XP stopped in April of 2014, and patches for OS X 10.6 stopped a few months before that. Updates for OS X 10.7 and 10.8 ended roughly when versions 10.10 and 10.11 were released, respectively, since Apple’s unofficial policy is to provide security fixes for the most recent OS X release and the two previous releases. Windows Vista is still getting bare-minimum security patches from Microsoft, but that ends in April of 2017.

Your second option is to switch browsers, some of which still support these legacy operating systems. Firefox 45 still runs on Windows XP and OS X 10.6, while the latest version of Opera should still run on XP and OS X 10.7 and above. Running an up-to-date browser can’t protect you from vulnerabilities in the underlying OS, but if you absolutely can’t (or won’t) upgrade and you still want an actively supported browser, you still have a couple of options for now.

Is Your Website ‘Mobile Friendly’? Check Now and Boost Your Website with Smartphone Searches

Google is now factoring in how mobile-friendly a website is when ranking your search results on a smartphone. Pages that are optimized for smaller screens will be boosted in result versus those designed strictly for the desktop. This boost will only apply to mobile searches. Google announced plans to take this step in February, giving web developers some time to prepare, and today it’s officially going into effect. “Now searchers can more easily find high quality and relevant results where text is readable without tapping or zooming, tap targets are spaced appropriately, and the page avoids unplayable content or horizontal scrolling,” the company wrote in a blog post. The change applies to searches in all languages and in all countries where Google operates.