Drop Windows 9x/ME Support For Firefox 2

There seems to still be ongoing discussion about the fact that the versions of Firefox 3 released by the Mozilla Project in 2007 will not support the Windows 9x family of operating systems.

To my mind, arguments about the exact market share of Windows 98, and the comparative release dates of the various OSes we support are irrelevant. The key point is that after July 11th, 2006, Microsoft will no longer be providing even critical security updates for any of the Win 9x family. And, because it’s a proprietary operating system, no-one else can do so either.

I argue that continuing to support these operating systems in a browser or other Internet-facing product after vendor security support ceases is actually irresponsible, because it gives users the idea that they can continue to safely use those operating systems for surfing the Internet.

July 11th 2006 will be, if all goes to plan, around the time of the final release of Firefox 2. So if we have a strong commitment to the security of our users, why shouldn’t we intentionally disable Windows 9x support in that release as well, even if it’s not necessary for technical reasons?

93 thoughts on “Drop Windows 9x/ME Support For Firefox 2

  1. Because then Joe User, who just bought a second-hand laptop with Windows ME on it, will be forced to use Internet Explorer. After all, he’s not going to upgrade his operating system (when the only upgrade he can see is eye-candy) just to use a web browser that I tell him is better (he, of course, can’t tell the difference).

  2. Because Firefox on Win98 is safer than IE on Win98. Why force people to use IE or older, less secure versions of Firefox just because they don’t want to pay to upgrade their OS? Surely having an insecure OS makes having a secure browser even more important.

  3. As long as working around Win9x/Me bugs don’t adversely affect development of Firefox 2, I say leave support for them in. Don’t bend over backwards to include them, but if Fx2 can work with those OSs, by all means let them.

  4. On my Job as a computer repair man, about 30% of my customers are using Windows 98 on very old machines. Win98 might be 2% or something of the world, but that’s including business desktops and everything else. I encounter windows 98 & ME so often that to drop support in FF2 would be devestating.

  5. > why shouldn’t we intentionally disable Windows 9x support in that release as well, even if it’s not necessary for technical reasons?

    Because our user aren’t kids who have to be prevented from harming themselves? Because if Microsoft sets the pace, the rest of the world takes a few years to follow? Because we prefer to not piss of our users who quite surely wouldn’t understand this decision? Because these users especially depend on (fixes from) third-party vendors to keep their systems safe?

  6. The title implies that Firefox 2 will not support Windows 98/ME. However, Firefox 2 WILL fully and officially support Windows 98/ME until at least August, 2007 (and possibly later). It is Firefox 3 that is dropping this support.

    This gives Win9x users at least at least another year to decide what to do.

  7. James said: Surely having an insecure OS makes having a secure browser even more important.

    Isn’t that like saying “Surely having an insecure front door makes having secure windows even more important”?

    Kroc said: On my Job as a computer repair man, about 30% of my customers are using Windows 98 on very old machines.

    Assuming these machines get connected to the Internet, how much more repair do you think they are going to need after Microsoft stops issuing security patches?

    Simon said: Because our user aren’t kids who have to be prevented from harming themselves?

    Oh, but they do. Did you miss the transition from Seamonkey to Firefox?

    One further point: what is about to happen on July 11th has never really happened before. An operating system still used by a significant number of people is about to become unsupported, during the Internet age where malware, trojans and worms abound. What do you think is going to happen after three months, when the first remote exploit is discovered, Microsoft refuses to remove a patch, and every single Windows 98 box on the Net gets owned? It’s a train wreck waiting to happen.

  8. I think that users of older operating systems should not be abandoned just because the maker od the operating system has abandoned them. Firefox does bring increased security (and a lot of other features) to its users and that’s why they choose Firefox. And by not abandoning them it also increases the reputation of Firefox and when they switch to another operating system or upgrade it is much more likely they will continue to use Firefox and say a couple of good words about it to other people they know.

    Dropping support for old versions of OSes should only be an option if maintaining the support is to high and starts taking away too much time that would be spent for modern OSes and alternative OSes like Linux and Mac OS X.

  9. Well, when Vista comes out, then Windows XP should be cheaper, also there seem to be version of Vista aimed at the cheap customers that might meet their budget. I mean XP Home is 99 USD. Joe User might like the fact that Windows Vista Starter has everything they need (and nothing they don’t be hey) at a relatively cheap price.

    That is unless the Starter starts at $99 and goes up from there, but I believe it will start out cheaper than that. I predict it will sell at 50 to 75 dollars and is what most people spend on PC games and Antivirus packages.

  10. The truth is that the Win9x series has very little network attack surface. The Windows NT series (NT, 2K, XP, Vista) has a much bigger network footprint, which provides a lot more attack surface. From this perspective, a 9x series box is relatively safe from external network attacks by virtue of it’s limited functionality. Its market share has also shrunk to the point where it just isn’t a viable target for most automated attacks and worms. The fact is that malware writers experience the same compatability issues that the Mozilla devs do. All of this combined means that simple client-side attacks the only real threat to a 9x system. Given that, I can actually see value in continuing to support FF2 on 9x. It may actually improve the security of the end-user somewhat.

    Accepting the above statements, I completely agree that 9x support needs to go away in the 3.0 series. I am familiar with the burden of maintaining application compatability between the 9x and NT series. It’s a real pain because there are so many gotchas with the 9x series. That effort is better devoted elsewhere. Plus, supporting an application indefinitely after the OS EOL does seem a bit irresponsible. It looks like FF2 will be supported for one to two years after the last 9x EOL, and that seems reasonable.

    One final point is that I am surprised that there is such a vocal minority on this issue. I personally don’t understand how anyone could be comfortable with a single user PC OS these days. Of course, I don’t understand how people can log in as admin on a regular basis either.

  11. Isn’t that like saying “Surely having an insecure front door makes having secure windows even more important”?

    Not really. It’s more like saying “Having a large pile of valuables on display and a van on the drive with the keys already in the ignition and a big, neon sign above it all saying ‘PLEASE STEAL ME’ makes having secure windows even more important” – except, of course, it’s the Windows that are the problem…

    What do you think is going to happen after three months, when the first remote exploit is discovered… and every single Windows 98 box on the Net gets owned?

    I expect that the first Win98 exploit to be discovered will actually be an IE exploit from which Firefox users will be immune. Of course, as soon as somebody does find a way to crack the OS post-8/11 everyone using Win98 has a pretty serious problem but that’s no reason to stop supporting them.

    If Firefox 2 did drop support for Win98 without a good reason, you’d just end up with a whole bunch of pissed off users who would be left with an even less secure system.

  12. Racer says:

    The title implies that Firefox 2 will not support Windows 98/ME. However, Firefox 2 WILL fully and officially support Windows 98/ME until at least August, 2007 (and possibly later). It is Firefox 3 that is dropping this support.
    This gives Win9x users at least at least another year to decide what to do.

    Uh sorry, but Mozilla will officially drop support for Win98 and Win98SE with Firefox v2. Not even Mozilla thinks it’s worthwhile to support non-Unicode OS’s. See URL for more info.

  13. Gerv, what are you smoking? Final release of FF2 isn’t until August or September. See URL link has updated schedule as of 26 May 06.

  14. does ME actually support unicode? i’d be surprised if it did.

    @gerv: 9x is a different animal than you’ve gotten used to. we all accept the patch situation with XP to be the norm now. do you remember installing critical OS patches monthly when you were running Windows 95? i honestly can’t remember a single security patch for 9x itself, only ones for internet explorer. it’s not unlikely that i’m forgetting a couple, but either way, they’re very few and far between, and with an OS that old being used by a minority of the population, i doubt many people are even looking for new vulnerabilities.

  15. Racer said: The title implies that Firefox 2 will not support Windows 98/ME.

    No, it doesn’t. It’s a full, grammatical English sentence suggesting something we should do. It doesn’t say “we are dropping”.

    Christopher Lewis said: Actually Microsoft has stopped supporting Windows 98, 98se and ME for things that are “not feasible” to fix

    It seems so – although be fair, they only updated that security bulletin to make this clear yesterday (8th June)!

    Cornelius said: Gerv, what are you smoking? Final release of FF2 isn’t until August or September.

    You didn’t give a URL, but I was looking at the Firefox 2 Roadmap, which says “Late Q2/Early Q3″, which is July-ish. Is there a more recent source? If so, the two should be synced.

  16. Doh, my bad! Actually, I was thinking back to 1 of the dev’s saying he had written a Unicode-to-Windows converter, so that the XML parsing for RSS could be written natively. So yes, my bad.
    To Gerv, the FF2 roadmap was written 17 JAN 06 by a non-Mozilla employee, back when “Places” was a gee-whiz feature. ;-)

  17. I think mozilla should support win98 in ff 2, and drop it for ff3, which was the original plan.

    Changing the plan now wouldn’t be fair –> the decision was made, and widely advertized.
    (That’s not a particularly good reason all of the time, I know. You should be allowed to change your minds. But if you change your minds now, you owe an explanation of what caused this change of mind between now and when you developed the original plan to support win98 on ff2. The excuse the windows itself is no longer supporting the os doesn’t really wash, since this has been known to so for a long time.)

    The idea that because windows doesn’t support 9x means that mozilla can’t and shouldn’t (for “security reasons”) support it is not too fair. It has been supporting it up to now. Have there been any special security changes made to mozilla, exclusively to deal with undocumented or previously undocumented, now known, bugs in windows 98 operating system, rather than bugs restricted to mozilla itself?

    What you could do is to not support win9x through the whole release cycle of ff 2.0. That is, after some point, develop two branches — ff 2.0 for windows 98, and ff 2.0 for the rest. Don’t spring a decision like that now …

  18. I vote to let FF 2 support the older OS as long as it is technically feasible, and then by the time FF 3 comes out, FF 2 will be hopefully be stable enough that users of the older OS won’t mind sticking with it.

  19. The official release schedule has been Q3 for a while now. There are details in the bonecho meeting minutes, but those are just plans, of course.

    I for one have been tought to say Q3, independent of what webpages say.

  20. Do not drop support for Firefox 2.0.
    It works on Windows 9x/ME.
    It’s not like Firefox devs are asked to path Windows 9x.
    All they have to patch is Firefox 2.0 bugs.
    By the way, I am all in favor of not supporting 9x/ME for Fx 3.0 because of technical reasons.
    And yes, Windows 9x/ME is safe for browsing.
    It’s not like there is a remotely-executed flaw in the operating system.
    Or any service that someone can attack.
    After all, I can still telnet to port 80. And issue GET commands.

    Once again, it’s responsible of Mozilla.org to support Win9x/ME for Fx 2.0
    Thanks for your time.

  21. “Surely having an insecure front door makes having secure windows even more important”?
    So I shouldn’t not care about locking my windows just because the lock on my door is busted? What kind of stupid argument is that?

    The browser is the piece of software most used to access the internet and, consequently, the one through which users are most likely to get hacked. I can’t believe you are suggesting abandoning users of Win98/ME in FF2. Why should Mozilla rush to abandon them just because Microsoft has? Just wait until FF3 like originally planned.

  22. So I shouldn’t not care about locking my windows just because the lock on my door is busted? What kind of stupid argument is that?

    If the lock on your door is busted and can’t be fixed, locking your windows is pointless. You need to either a) not store anything valuable inside the house, or b) move.

  23. Until recently I used w98 and I surely can’t remember the last time that I patched it. I’m not saying that it’s a good OS, just that I didn’t use any support from MS since several years ago so I wouldn’t care if it’s July 11th or any other date because I didn’t download patches since long ago.

    I can understand the drop of support in Firefox 3 and I welcome it, there’s a need to move forward the development, but if Firefox 2 works in 98 I can’t understand a good reason to say those users “Hey, we won’t give you this version. We know that it works, but we don’t like your OS, so move away and leave us alone”

    Again: drop support for Firefox 3, but leave Firefox 2 as it is.

  24. “If the lock on your door is busted and can’t be fixed, locking your windows is pointless. You need to either a) not store anything valuable inside the house, or b) move.”

    I think the door and windows are the wrong way around in this analogy.

    As has been mentioned, the browser on those versions of Windows has been, and will probably continue to be, the main entry point for malware. There aren’t many network services to exploit.

    While it would be good for those people to upgrade to Windows 2000 (or XP, or some other operating system), many of them won’t. I would have said it was more helpful to the world in general if Firefox supported them for as long as possible – the likely alternative is that they continue with Firefox 1.5 (or use IE 6) with no security updates. Geeky people who actually know what they are doing running older Windows systems may have ways of ensuring that security exploits are covered (putting the system behind a firewall, for example), so if they have a secure browser they are pretty much covered. On the other hand, those geeks could also move over to Opera – they already support more Windows platforms than Firefox and may well continue to do so.

    Just because your window locks are not up to scratch, that doesn’t mean you want to leave your front door open.

  25. Gerv, I would fully agree with you if Windows were free – yes, lets drop support and force them to move to some more current operating system. However, Windows isn’t free, it actually costs quite some money (not to mention the cost of new hardware and the effort – most computer users have never installed an OS in their life). And given that – what Firefox supports and what it doesn’t just doesn’t matter. If you drop support in Firefox 2.0, people will keep using Firefox 1.5 – simply because they *cannot* upgrade. And I don’t think this will make the situation any better.

    I think Windows 98 should be supported as long as it is possible without too much effort – and lets hope for the best, because there is absolutely nothing we can do.

  26. I also do not see the merit in dropping 98/Me support. Or, to put it differently, I am not persuaded by the original security argument.

    If OS security is the main concern, then I suggest adding appropriate security warning flash screens to the Firefox install/upgrade process for those OS’s. That will at least warn the users of the problems, which they may otherwise not even know about.

    Also, the other points above (Firefox intrinsically safer than IE, etc., ) imo still hold.

    On the other hand, maybe cost is important. If supporting 98/Me (including security patching) is expensive, then I can see a good case for dropping these OSs, provided the number of such users is appropriately small.

  27. I understand the problem of lack of update for win9x.
    Nevertheless, as far as I am concerned I still use Win9x on some of my machines because they can not support WinXP. It is not a problem to deal with WinXP price, just a problem of compatbility (Pentium II 400 Mhz).
    And do not say : you can not do anything with that PC. My wife use it for word processor and spreadsheet (Word, Excel, or OpenOffice…) and to browse the Internet.
    I can not buy another computer only because of that.

    In my mind many Win9x machines are still in use for this reason

    Mos

  28. This sudden turning around is retarded. It works on Win9x, just like FF 1.5 has. There’s no technical barrier necessary or major development occuring.

    As has been pointed out above, the Win9x series have limited (but sufficient) network support, and exploits go through IE in 99% of the cases. That M$ is dropping support is thus not a good reason.

    Hell, I still use Win95 OSR 2.5 (without IE, take THAT, M$!) on this PC, with SeaMonkey, and I haven’t had any problems. Haven’t even had viruses or malware since switching to Mozilla products.

  29. Everyone seems to be acting like people can’t use Firefox on those operating systems. YOU CAN! No NEW versions will be supported there. Is the current release of Firefox already a better alternative than the old IE on that Operating System? If you think not, why would you use Firefox at all?

  30. So if we have a strong commitment to the security of our users, why shouldn’t we intentionally disable Windows 9x support in that release as well, even if it’s not necessary for technical reasons?

    If the Firefox 1.5 line will continue to be supported for security reasons, then I have no problems with not having 2.0 on Win9x, if that is what you mean.

    If that isn’t right, then Firefox 1.5 would be a target for exploits. If Opera also removed support for Win9x, then there would be no modern browser left on there that would be safe from malware.

    Though Windows 9x is outdated, those who use it still find it is useful, and are happy with the OS because it still works in all other ways just as well.

    Leaving Win9x users without a defence between the computer and the web via Firefox, for it being inconvenient, would be irresponsible.

    So the answer depends on when the Firefox 1.5 line would reach its end of life date, which I hope would last for the same amount of time as 1.0, about 18 months.

    (I understand that Microsoft will stop all support for Win9x and its users, and that Firefox could do the same, but doesn’t have to because Microsoft will.)

  31. Justin says:

    The truth is that the Win9x series has very little network attack surface. The Windows NT series (NT, 2K, XP, Vista) has a much bigger network footprint, which provides a lot more attack surface. From this perspective, a 9x series box is relatively safe from external network attacks

    Given that, I can actually see value in continuing to support FF2 on 9x. It may actually improve the security of the end-user somewhat.

    I completely agree that 9x support needs to go away in the 3.0 series.

    canconfirm, never had any problem using Netscape4, Mozilla, Firefox, Seamonkey on Win98 and Win98SE.

    Christopher Lewis says:

    Actually Microsoft has stopped supporting Windows 98, 98se and ME for things that are “not feasible” to fix: see MS06-015 and Windows 98, 98SE and ME: Information about Support Lifecycle and MS06-015

    Read in Link: MS06-015
    Frequently asked questions (FAQ) related to this security update

    Microsoft strongly recommends that customers still using Microsoft Windows 98

    ME protect those systems by placing them behind a perimeter firewall which is filtering traffic on TCP Port 139. Such a firewall will block attacks attempting to exploit this vulnerability from outside of the firewall, as discussed in the workarounds section below.

    They don’t recommend a Personal Firewall, but a Peripheral Firewall, maybe running on the router.
    If you look further into the document, open ‘Vulnerability Details’ you’ll see it’s easy to fix Win9x:

    Block TCP ports 139 and 445 at the firewall:

    Although WebDAV uses TCP port 80 for outbound communication, TCP ports 139 and 445 can be used outbound to attempt to connect to a malicious service and try to exploit this vulnerability. Blocking them at the firewall can help prevent systems that are behind that firewall from attempts to exploit this vulnerability. We recommend that you block all unsolicited inbound communication from the Internet to help prevent attacks that may use other ports. For more information about ports, visit the following Web site.

    There used to be a pref in Mozilla blocking some ports, or allowing some hardcoded blocked ports to be unblocked, don’t remember.
    If you disable filesharing and use the very informative tutorial at Network Bondage
    Discipline your network bindings in the privacy of your own home.

    your ports are closed.

    Gerv says:

    So I shouldn’t not care about locking my windows just because the lock on my door is busted? What kind of stupid argument is that?

    If the lock on your door is busted and can’t be fixed, locking your windows is pointless. You need to either a) not store anything valuable inside the house, or b) move.

    On a typical WIN98 system you can run a free Antivirusscanner and a free personal firewall, so the frontdoor left wide open is IE, OE and ActiveX.
    Removing Win9x support will to using IE, I don’t think it will lead to using Opera.

    I don’t think it’s a good idea to switch to WinXP, as history told it’s more vulnerable than Win9x. Are you able to update a fresh installed WinXP (without Servicepacks) from the internet? No, the worms are faster than the patches…
    A friend of my father, a 79 year old young widow, is using the internet.
    She doesn’t have the money to buy a new machine, and my father, 86 years old, doesn’t like to buy green bananas, he’s too old for that.

    The typical Win98 user is running mostly a non-networked computer connected via Modem, ISDN. As win98 doesn’t offer services to the net besides filesharing and NETBIOS, vulnerability from the internet is extreme low if you don’t use IE and OE, have filesharing and Netbios blocked.

    And that’s a mail I got because of daring to doubt the wiseness of the non-technical arguments defending the decision, Firefox Marketing at it’s best:

    X-Gmail-Received: 75528c3927ae15ce04618e5e4cc4d488accd5b65
    Delivered-To:
    Received: by 10.66.222.15 with SMTP id u15cs43314ugg;
    Thu, 8 Jun 2006 18:39:25 -0700 (PDT)
    Received: by 10.70.33.8 with SMTP id g8mr2908846wxg;
    Thu, 08 Jun 2006 18:39:25 -0700 (PDT)
    Return-Path:
    Received: from monkey.sneakemail.com (sneakemail.com [38.113.6.61])
    by mx.gmail.com with SMTP id h17si2647708wxd.2006.06.08.18.39.24;
    Thu, 08 Jun 2006 18:39:25 -0700 (PDT)
    Received-SPF: pass (gmail.com: domain of a5oorrx02@sneakemail.com designates 38.113.6.61 as permitted sender)
    Received: (qmail 18156 invoked by uid 501); 9 Jun 2006 01:39:24 -0000
    Date: 9 Jun 2006 01:39:24 -0000
    To:
    Subject: Firefox Win 95 Support
    Encoding: 8bit
    From: “km”
    Message-ID:

    Dear Whiny Baby,

    Anyone still running Windows 95 in the year 2006 should be gutted like a pig, and so should you!

    I hope you die of cancer soon!

    Have a Shitty Day!

  32. Gerv says:

    So I shouldn’t not care about locking my windows just because the lock on my door is busted? What kind of stupid argument is that?

    Just to be clear, as your quoting is a bit ambiguous: I didn’t say that (those don’t sound like my words, I hope) – wg did.

  33. Benoit said: This sudden turning around is retarded.

    To be clear: I have no power to force the project to do this. I’m merely suggesting it, and asking for good reasons why we shouldn’t. Several people seem to have provided them.

  34. Windows 9x and Firefox 2: Update

    I asked: Why shouldn’t we intentionally disable Windows 9x support in that release [Firefox 2] as well, even if it’s not necessary for technical reasons? And people came up with several good reasons why we shouldn’t :-) Among them: Windows 9x have a mu…

  35. The reason that ancient operating systems like 98 and ME are still being used is that every time someone dares to stop supporting them, there’s an outcry from staunch supporters who think that, as users of antiquated platforms, they still deserve all the benefits of modern security and modern programs.

    If 2.0 already supports the older platforms, I suppose there’s no reason to arbitrarily remove support, but at the same time, I really have to pity for people running these platforms. If you can’t afford to upgrade to a modern Windows release, there’s always a hundred different Linux distributions that won’t cost a dime.

  36. It’s Firefox THREE POINT ZERO that won’t run on 9x/ME, NOT 2.0
    2.0 WILL run on 9x/ME still.

  37. Well, according to the Firefox 2 requirements page (see URL), Windows Me is a priority 1 (max) support requirement, but Windows 9x isn’t even listed.

  38. I agree with the idea to drop support for Windows 9x. For those arguing the case of a user getting a second hand or using an old computer, I would recommend that the Mozilla Foundation continue to advertise Firefox 1.5, etc. And in fact, if a user is using an OS is that old, how likely do you think it is that he will go out just to upgrade his browser? I’d suggest that those users won’t care about security at all, as long as it seems to work fine for them.

  39. Those of us who use Win98se have been amongst the most vocal supporters of Firefox since its inception; and we are repaid by being stabbed in the back BEFORE we migrate?!?

    We may need to migrate soon, but please don’t pull the rug out from beneath us while we are still standing.

    Please keep FF alive at least through 2.0, to give us a chance to migrate.
    By 3.0, we should be done migrating, but NOT in time for 2.0

    Please don’t force us to mutiny here :(
    We have been loyal!

  40. Max: I don’t give a toss about Joe User’s security; I just want him to use a browser that’s vaguely standards-compliant.

    At best I might be able to convince him to let me install a browser, since it’s free and takes ten minutes; I doubt I can get him to upgrade his OS, even if it is free.

  41. Ummmm, in case “dir” had not noticed, Gervase is suggesting
    dropping support for Windows 9x IN TIME FOR 2.0

    That is one thing that has a lot of loyal Firefox fax angered!

    Disbaling support in time for 3.0 is understandable.
    Disabling support in time for 2.0 is UNFORGIVABLE! :(

  42. The Opera browser still supports windows95.
    opera is is my main browser.also run windows98.
    do reccommend firefox to others who cant use opera.
    opera is more sophisticated and a better browser.
    have firefox on my computer as well.
    if firefox stops supporting 98 which is a good system will do everything in my power to get people to switch more to opera.
    will say that firefox sucks.
    how the hell firefox got so popular is beyond me.
    its a meager browser even with its extension.
    have been running 98se with no problems.
    microsoft says it is a secrity risk.naturally they want you to buy another system.
    only if you dont know how to use it it is

  43. if you’ve got a computer that wont sport xp, do you even want the most recent version of firefox (which is bound to be more resource intensive)?

    Its not like older versions of firefox will suddenly stop working once the new version comes out, and I imagine that should security flaws be found, they will be patched. ff 1.5 will remain a perfectly good browser for win9x folks.

    this really seems like a non-issue to me.

  44. I am running a chinese version of win89 for my wife on a 5 year old CPU. It works just fine for her needs and for my 3yr old son’s educational games. I won’t let her use IE & depend upon Firefox. Please don’t break this — just for the sake of breaking it. If you don’t, I guess that I will have to grab your source & fix it to provide the necessary support.

  45. Well you’ve picked a controversial subject Gerv, the answer to your question is simple. You as part of the Mozilla Foundation have the duty to honour your mantra of “choice and innovation on the internet”. You are taking away people’s freedoms to do what they want to do, this is counter to your stance and would make you a hypocrite. Just because Microsoft decide to stop supporting something, if everyone kept doing that we would have no software that just gets dumped by vendors i.e. SeaMonkey Project.

    You do however have a point. But I don’t think Firefox 2.0 should drop support for 98/ME etc. that should happen at Firefox 3.0.

  46. Bottom line is that Mozilla has right to make decisions that will help it create a browser that enhances the web browsing experiance for the majority. If dropping support for WIndows 9x/ME makes my Firefox use on Linux, OS X, Windows XP, better…then Im all for it.

    It’s a sign of weakness to be bound by backwards compatibility that only pulls you backwards. There is also nothing saying, from what I’ve seen, that the installer will give up and say “ERROR: Windows 9x Detected…installer halted” like some other companies. Perhaps you’ll try to install it and it works, or perhaps it’s a buggy use or fails to start. In the end, you can still use a slightly older version of Firefox, or you can use opera, or, if you are feeling adventurous, you could even try opening up Internet Explorer and attempt to use that.

    Either way, like someone else said above, Firefox is probably not your best bet on a system so old that you can’t run XP…and if it’s not so old and you just can’t afford XP, you should probably be looking into Linux, so you’ll be able to use a new Operating System on your older computer.

    As far as these “Average Joe” people, they are going to use whatever they want anyway, if you can get them on Firefox then fine, but end of the day, they’ll use what works for them. If you are computer savvy enough to be able to choose your own browser, you either won’t be runnin windows 98, or you’ll know how to get around the issue or fix the issue in your case. This is not the end of the world…

  47. And what about the OS/2 version ? ? ?

    OS/2 isn’t supported, but your ftp servers offers Firefox for that unsupported and unsafe OS !

    I don’t really use OS/2 (I have one old server running OS/2 version 2 and Lotus Notes 3 at work for fun – according to IBM it wasn’t year 2000 ready).

    I just want to say that you can’t force users to upgrade to XP, but doing that, you can force them to use Opera.

    Just a message during install: yes
    Mozilla run on win98 but we don’t like you OS: no

  48. “choice and innovation on the internet”.

    I’m sorry, but forcing us to use MS-IE is NOT “choice and innovation on the internet”. no no no

    Please continue w98 support in FF-2.0!

  49. Please consider that Win XP SP2 with all the patches is more dangerous than Win 9x on the net! I’m still using a very old Win 95 without any problem, spyware or viruses. Please let the Win 9x live!

  50. Why the hell is there any need to release new versions of a software for someone, whose computer is so old, he can’t install a more modern OS (or don’t care).
    Will he really have to upgrade to FF2?
    Don’t forget that the security fixes for previous series are normally available for more than a year.
    The short way: If it costs you a single line of code (or it makes it less clear) DON’T DO THAT!

  51. The truth is that Win98 is BETTER than Win2000, WinNT, WinXP etc…It is easier to maintain and to install, it is much faster, and there is a LOT of software. I don’t want a multiuser OS, and I want to be free. Maybe the fact that MS will abandon Win98 is a strong reason to continue to use it ! We are free from the MS intrusions at last ! Firefox is the best software I have never used , I don’t think that its developers would have problems in maintaining a Win98 compatible version.

  52. I am a freelance computer engineer who visits home users. At least 30% of my customers are using Windows 98. I use Mozilla Internet Suite and external broadband router/modem boxes to extend the useful life of these machines. I would like to see Windows 98 support maintained as long as possible. I could be prepared to pay money into a fund to maintain Mozilla back-compatibility if necessary. If it ends I will have awkward explaining to do.

    At the moment it is cheaper and better for my customers to pay me to fix up their old Windows 98 PC than it is to go to PC World and buy a new one instead. For example, I have found that a Windows 98 PC with Mozilla Internet Suite, Flash Player, Flashblock, Real Alternative, CDex, Zinf MP3 Player, AVG Anti-Virus and an Ethernet broadband router/modem is nicer for web browsing than a brand new Dell PC as it presently comes out of the box. On a side note, did you know Office 97 doesn’t seem to have the new vulnerability that Office 2000 and later has?

    In my experience the only common reasons to replace an old Windows 98 PC with a new Windows XP box at the moment are: 1) the Apple iPod music player; 2) certain games; 3) wireless networking and 4) serious PC hardware failure such as bad motherboard. I realise there will probably soon be others but I wasn’t expecting Mozilla to be one of them.

  53. I should have to throw away my computer according to Gates criteria, but I love it with my Windows 98 SE. I feel comfortable and sure. I’ve got acquainted with the system and keep it in order with ordinary simple and routine repairs. No problems at all since 2001. No viruses. No crashes. Old? Of course, but simple, sure and always in order. For as long as I may, I will not fall into the trap. Sorry if Firefox stops support, I hope I’ll find a new internet system. Thanks for your help until now.

  54. >The truth is that Win98 is BETTER than Win2000, WinNT, WinXP etc…It is easier to maintain and to install, it is much faster, and there is a LOT of software.http://www.mvps.org/winhelp2002/hosts.htm. I do find some (6 items over 2 months) of spyware (hitbox, doubleclick, webtrends) that spybot type scans find and fixes. For browsers I use Firefox 1.5.4, with extensions, though lately i have been trying out Opera 9 (sorry!), both of which run fine on either 98se or 95 (the latter must be updated to IE 5.5 , which itself often crashes). I also usually do a new install of my OS about once a year to keep it fast, and use the unofficial Windows 98 update (http://exuberant.ms11.net/98sesp.html).

    And though i am not too much of a real “geek”, i have found my experience to be quite different than those with XP.sp2, whose PC’s are not only slower than mine though there processors are twice as fast as mine (650mhz), and far too “newbie friendly” for me, but the one’s i have dealt with seemed far more prone to malware. Though i would like to get XP some day (when the price comes down) for some reasons (like sys, resources), but for now i hope that firefox will still work on w/9x. And thank God for you who help to make that browser work so much better than IE, and so very customizable! God made things with variety.

  55. For some reason that last post lost content after the beginining quoted sentence. I was explaning that i have used w/98se for many years in this small non-profit ministry,, and also use w/95, on tweaked and rather fast but heavily loaded older PC’s (650 and 500mhz). Though i use the Internet extensively, i have, thank God, had no real problems with viruses (1 in 5 years), and no scanners, online or off, have found any in a long time. I do use the host file which the first url was for, but other than that and the type of browsing and browsers, prevention is pretty much “pray and punch.” So i still find w/98 very able and safe, and assume the many in poorer countries might also, and hence hope that firefox can still be used for a time though it is unreasonalbe that this should slow down clearly viable advancemnts. Thanks

  56. What are you people whining about? You use Windows 98 till today? Great, use firefox 1.5 or 2.0 till your box burns down to hell. You don’t seem to care about new improved functions in 2000/XP nor you seem to care about linux. It’s ok, then you even wont care about the new function in ff 3.0!

    Security Bugs in Windows98 and no updates? Who cares? You don’t seem to, then don’t care about the ones found in 1.5 or 2.0 after the support runs out!

    best wishes to the spyware/trojan sending boxes out there (and the people who don’t care)

  57. The same comments about OS/2 can also apply to BEOS and I guess Win9x.

    I think there is a need for Win9x versions, but they can come from the same sources as the Seamonkey project, and the above OS projects. At first I guess I was against this, but after thinking about it, they CAN run 1.5.x for the next x years and then upgrade when their computer does finally die.

  58. I certainly do care if i am sending torgans, etc, but am confident i am not and far less likely to than those who engage in risky surfing habits, which i think is the larger problem. Here is a brief discussion on 9x vs XP security: http://www.sysinternals.com/Forum/forum_posts.asp?TID=6326&PN=1. And i am interested in Linux distro’s, and have 4 of them, but do not have the time to spend learning the commands, etc. that would make it as quick and functional to use as my tweaked Windows.

    For me using 9X has been a matter of economics (and not buying illegal OEM’s), meanwhile my main PC came with an actual OS cd – not a hidden partition or restore CD’s – which makes clean installs a breeze. And sometimes i run up to 4 HD’s, switching btwn another PC elsewhere, which XP’s hardware hash check might think suspicious.

    But back to the orginal subject, i do agree 9x considerations should not stop advancements, and by the time such exclude 9x most present users likely will have moved on, at least in the western world.

  59. “You don’t seem to care about new improved functions in 2000/XP nor you seem to care about linux.”

    Why should I “care about linux”? Will linux run my library of Win9x software? If not,then it is of no use to me.

    If I can ever find a copy of W2K in a local store, I might try it.

    Windows XP? Has that changed since it’s initial release?

    Will it now run all of my existing software?

    Does it still report all hardware, including CPU serial#, to Microsoft?

    Does it still report all installed software to Microsoft?

    Does it still require “product activation”?

    Are people who live in areas where broadband is unavailable still required to call Microsoft, to get the (50 character?) activation code?

    And are the reports regarding the new “Windows Genuine Advantage” correct, in which they state it connects to Microsoft, every time the system is booted?

  60. I think that if “Microsoft will no longer be providing even critical security updates for any of the Win 9x”, it must open a source code of Win 9x. And let users make updates by itself.

    Am i right ?

  61. Sorry in my last post i meant “none” not “ru.net”

    @ru.net: That will sure happen and the hell will freeze in the next couple of days as well ;)

  62. “There will be firefox 2.0 with support for 98/ME so no need to cry…”

    I’m not crying, I’m simply disappointed by Mozillas’ decision.

    “”Does it still report all hardware, including CPU serial#, to Microsoft?””
    “If that makes you nervous you should use 2000 or a good Firewall”

    From what I’ve read, it’s part of the XP product activation. You don’t have a choice. When activating XP, info regarding hardware (which IIRC is where the activation code comes from) and installed software is transmitted to Microsoft. A firewall is of no help.

    I am strongly considering Windows 2000. Though I wonder: If Microsoft drops support for W2K (perhaps after Vistas’ release), couldn’t people running W2K find themselves facing the same threats, etc. as the other NT-based versions of Windows, and yet be without the patches/upgrades needed to keep W2K safe? (Just asking.)

  63. “”I’m not crying, I’m simply disappointed by Mozillas’ decision.””
    So you don’t understand the decision. Well Mozilla always trys to keep the code safe and clean. One of the main reasons why i switched to firefox.
    But a “safe” browser with an unsafe no longer support OS? Why aren’t they support Windows 3.11? After nearly ten years i think its Ok to drop the support. I am also understanding Microsoft why they aren’t supporting Windows 98 any more!

    Well part of the XP product activation. Well ok, haven’t thought about that. But there is still the possibility to activate the OS via phone. And by the way… are you really worried about it? I mean, thats just what i am thinking, i don’t care if the knew that i am using a nvida card for example!

    Well Windows 2000 is about six years old. Sure they will drop support. But if you are thinking about a new computer, there are computer for about 4 – 500 $ out there, they sure support XP as well. And XP with SP2 is really not that bad.

    But somewhere in the future they will drop support for XP as well… so you’ll never buy a computer with an Microsoft OS and use it forever. That will never happen… We all have to live with it… Thats the way of computer business.

    P.s.: about the crying part. I am just a little, how to tell, disappointed with the reactions out there. Omg they are dropping support for my nearly ten year old OS. In the near future there won’t be even new drivers for 98/ME so it’s really time for a switch. Also, i can only talk about my experiences with users who use 98 till today…. and mostly their boxes are full of spyware, Viruses, trojans. Some of them have open mail relays etc… Sure this can happen on XP without SP2 as easy as on 98. But with SP2 Microsoft made a real good OS which isn’t that easy to exploit! Just to make clear why i can’t understand some reactions!

  64. I have 2 perfectly workable machines, and the choice of changing my OS or my browser. ‘Bye FF, hello Opera.

  65. Many users I have delat with just want their browser to work on their favorite sites: they get upset when web based email doesn’t work, or they hit a flash enabled page and don’t have the right plug in. Microsoft used to have a scheme for refurbishing pcs for charitable causes where they offered a free copy of windows 98 or 2000 depending on the purpose of the pc (school/day center etc).

    I guess that’s all out of the window too.

    Drop support by all means but don’t expect win98 users to remain loyal.

  66. Yeah the lack of multimedia support (at the start). I familiar with the problem. Most of the starters are frustrated about that. But there is a reeeeaaaal easy solution for this “issue” :)

    http://ubuntuforums.org/showpost.php?p=356392 (its for gnome (Ubuntu) and there is a script called automatiKs which is made for Kubuntu the KDE version of Ubuntu)

    Here you’ll find an script which automaticly installs everything needed. It installs nearly every multimedia support + flash etc. (You’ll see a list of Capabilities where everything is listed)

    I dunno how old your computer is… If it’s realy old maybe another Version of “buntu” called Xubuntu fits your needs better. It’s specially made for “old boxes”.

    I think Vista will run on nearly every PC that supports XP at the moment. Maybe you’ll need an Ram upgrad but that sould do it. Sure you can’t use the flashy colorfull new UI but…. who really needs that? Afaik you can turn off all this “wonderfull” function and turn the thing to a realy usefull box. Btw. there should be a version of Vista without all this flashy things (for a cheaper price)

  67. Thank God for your interest. The pc i had most in mind is not that old, it was one of those 1′ sq. gateways (1.2ghz, w/ Intel 810e) that had no ports except USB and monitor (and winmodem), so i put in all in a bigger case. Will have to install Ubuntu again, or get a newer copy. Unless there is a better linux distro, free or low cost, that will get me going.

    But i do not want this to take over the thread, what’s left of it.

    Just reinstalled my neighbors XP from restore disks, The #4 was bad so we ended up with 2 sets, and but all is well now thank God. So i am not anti XP! I do wonder how many souls in poorer counties are still using 9x though, but again that should not stop the Fox from advancing. With the main the competition being IE, which is about the last browser to use, both FF and Opera should increase . My favorite FF exts are MAF, and savewithURL (both very helpful in a research database), and Print Preview, Text Size, Colorful Tabs, TabMixPlus, and Menu Editor.

  68. Oh course Microsoft will drop support for OSes. They will do the same with XP eventually. They simply do it to force people to upgrade or buy new computers. They can’t make money if people were still on Windows 98. However, $99 is cheap for some but unaffordable for others who are in a job in which they are not sure if they will be unemployed in the near future. Also, for me to upgrades means buying an entire new system as well. I can’t afford to do that either given the state of things. I am a computer tech who has no work in the area he was supposed to be working in, simply because companies like Microsoft are sending all the work to the Phillipines or India and eliminating lower jobs that people like myself would get. What’s the point? Without work that can be reliable, it’s hard to update your system to a new OS, let alone buy another machine. So, keep support for 98 for a while until people, like myself, can at least find a more reliable job. Right now, I am not working as much as I used to, and not only that, my friend has recently been laid off his job as well. I am seeing this trend as more work is sent outside the country for cheap labor that no one here can compete against wage-wise.

  69. @Scott. I do understand you problem. Sure without enough money it is a problem to buy a new machine etc. But in my oppionon you have to understand microsoft too. They can’t support a system forever. Be honest…. if it were your company would you still support a system after 8 – 9 years? A computer bought an hour ago is a old box …. Computer business is one of the fastest i guess. So to drop support after 8 – 9 years is really not that evil!

    But you won’t have any security updates. Doesn’t this bother you? I guess you are storing privat data on your computer. Using a system without any further security updates is like selling a only normally formated hard drive on ebay.

    Sure, using another OS than you are used too is hard at the start. But when you get used too it you maybe start to like it. I do like Ubuntu. It’s my favorite Distro. Runs on most, older, computers without any problems, plus its free. No need to buy anything? Security updates, sure no problem. And now it also has a long term support too…

    Another thing that comes to my mind. If Windows98 is running on your system, maybe 2000 will do so too. Maybe you’ll get a cheap, but regular copy on ebay or something like that too try it.

  70. >Another thing that comes to my mind. If Windows98 is running on your system, maybe 2000 will do so too. Maybe you’ll get a cheap, but regular copy on ebay or something like that too try it.

    Actually, OEM 2k’s on Ebay still command a preety hefty price, quite close to that of an XP OEM. Even 98se usually goes around $60.00. And retail versions (preferred) are much more. Seems like there is a still some demand for them. Of course, you usually don’t know if these are legal, or “virgin” copies.

  71. “So you don’t understand the decision.”

    I understand it perfectly well.

    “But a “safe” browser with an unsafe no longer support OS?”

    There are more reasons to use Firefox than safety/security. And 98 is only as “unsafe” as the person using it.

    “Why aren’t they support Windows 3.11?”

    Nice strawman.

    “And by the way… are you really worried about it? I mean, thats just what i am thinking, i don’t care if the knew that i am using a nvida card for example!”

    I see. You don’t value your privacy, so no one else should either.

    Just as what is in my closet, or what is in my desk drawers, is none of Microsofts business, the hardware in my system, and the software I have installed, is none of Microsofts business either. I’m sorry if you can’t understand why someone might feel that way.

    “But somewhere in the future they will drop support for XP as well… so you’ll never buy a computer with an Microsoft OS…”

    Well, I don’t buy PCs, I build my onw. But as far as the OS, no, I’ll never have anything later than Windows 2000 on any system I own.

    “We all have to live with it… Thats the way of computer business.”

    That’s the way it is, when people allow Microsoft to lead them around by the nose.

    “Also, i can only talk about my experiences with users who use 98 till today…. and mostly their boxes are full of spyware, Viruses, trojans.”

    And my experience is exactly the opposite, all of which proves nothing.

  72. Most of the flaws in Windows (especially in Win9x) are caused by IE, therefore continuing to release Firefox for Win9x will help to mitigate the damage caused by Microsoft’s abandonment of its users. Just because Microsoft does something doesn’t mean that Mozilla should do it too.

  73. PRO = W/9x have been found by users to be a very managable (and it must be managed) and able work horse, and in some ways less likely to be infected than XP, especially by users who are somewhat tech savy and thus use FF as their default browser. They therefore seek continued support for it.

    CON = 9x is old, more vulnerable to attacks, and to continue to support it hinders or prevents FF from necessary advances.

    I see both as true, and use 9x extensively, but agree that FF must be allowed to advance, while present version and 2.0 will still be available for 9x.

    Meanwhile, as one that uses both FF and Opera 9 (the latter due to it’s load time, speed, and ability to save in the .mht format), i hope both browsers continue to improve. Thank God for the freedom to choose, and the ability to improve!

  74. My box is a Windows 2000 Professional Service Pack 4, and some of the security updates it installs are for IE. But somehow most of the updates are for the actual OS itself.

    Some of my friends have Windows 98 Second Edition without broadband (dial-up), and their PCs are preinstalled with Windows 98 Second Editon. I have already converted one of them to use Firefox 1.5.0.3, so it would be a shame to explain to them to uninstall Firefox just because of compatibility issues, and make them switch to Opera! Furthermore, I am pretty much the “tech dude” of my friends, and making them edit and compile source code wouldn’t be fair. Also, they don’t have the money to buy newer Windows OSes, so they’re stuck with Windows 98 Second Edition (at least for now).

    Installing Linux on an already Windows platform on another hard drive is merely impossible.

  75. Contrary to the what the Microsoft propaganda machine says, lots of people still use Windows 98 because, for many purposes, particularly individuals, it is a better, more efficient and reliable platform that is actually more secure and requires far less maintenance, and avoids many problems with XP.

    The real divide here is between people who live in the age of Propaganda, and will believe anything Microsoft says, and people with critical facilities still left in their heads who still live in the Enlightenment and who ascertain truth based on facts and evidence.

  76. Mozilla.org is obviously not to be held responsible for Operating System security. And pulling support for Win98/SE/ME does terrible things:

    - It forces people to your direct competitors… and especially, back to the convicted criminal monopolist. (Opera is nice, but there’s no ‘mind share’ among my customers. They’ve heard of Firefox.)

    – When you yank the carpet out from under your customers with so little notice, they’ll won’t trust you again. (hint: mozilla.org DOES HAVE CUSTOMERS, even if most of them aren’t paying customers.)

    – Many people who aren’t as wealthy as us, and find even $300 for a new Windoze-XP computer to be a prohibitive expense. They can barely afford their dial-up Internet. These are the people whom you propose to shaft.

    At least when we yanked “Mozilla 1.8″, we offered a migration path (to FF and TB). Also, a team came on to take up the slack and create the Seamonkey project, a direct replacement. But for this, unless they’re still using the Mozilla/Seamonkey and Seamonkey continues to support Win9x, you propose to leave them back on 1.5.

    FF 2.0 nightly, AFAIK, works fine on Win9x. I don’t know how much work would remain to be done, creating internationalized editions when it is finished. But, would you really rather have mozilla.org stuck supporting 1.5 for a much longer time, supporting gecko 1.8.0 and 1.8.1 and 1.9.0 simultaneously? Leaving customers STRANDED on a less capable and less attractive product (without spell check, etc.) hurts your position in the marketplace. Bad idea, I think.

  77. “understand it perfectly well.”
    Good for you

    There are more reasons to use Firefox than safety/security. And 98 is only as “unsafe” as the person using it.
    Sure and there will be the same advantages in Firefox 2.0

    “I see. You don’t value your privacy, so no one else should either.”
    No one forces you to use it. I don’t care, so i use XP as well as Linux.

    “Just as what is in my closet, or what is in my desk drawers, is none of Microsofts business, the hardware in my system, and the software I have installed, is none of Microsofts business either. I’m sorry if you can’t understand why someone might feel that way.”

    Never heard that Microsoft is looking in your closet nor have i heard about the fact that they look into your installed software. Maybe vista will do so. I don’t know about that. But hopefully when Vista comes out i’ll have a Mac on my desk!

    “Well, I don’t buy PCs, I build my onw. But as far as the OS, no, I’ll never have anything later than Windows 2000 on any system I own.”
    Then you won’t have a problem with Firefox 3.0 either. If you build your own PC’s i’ll guess you don’t buy bad hardware. So maybe you should think about switching. If you have the money, and no trust in Micrsoft maybe you should buy something else? There are other OS out there. Apple, Linux or Unix! Maybe there are more… but those are the ones i know and sure do have a future!

    “That’s the way it is, when people allow Microsoft to lead them around by the nose.”
    Again a microsoft bash. Hmm, if you really hate Microsoft that much… change it!

    “And my experience is exactly the opposite, all of which proves nothing.”
    Yeah, and you sure have a good software firewall and a good antivirus. Maybe you even have a good hardwarefirewall. But most people here are saying that they can’t afford a PC upgrade or a OS upgrade. Maybe you’ll agree that softwarefirewalls aren’t the best way to secure your system. A hardwarefirewall isn’t that expensive anymore but it isn’t that cheap either. Also most people who can’t afford a upgrade or don’t have a computer specific knowledge are the people who call me and tell me their computer doesn’t work anymore etc. Thats the point when i have to startup an Antivirus, Spybot etc. And after hours of checks it shows me a huge load of spyware, Viruses trojans etc. Do you really think this is going to get better after Windows 98/ME isn’t getting any upgrades anymore? Are you telling me honestly that with Windows 98 after the support has been dropped by Microsoft this will get any better? I have no statistic at hand but i’ll bet that most zombie pc’s are windows pc’s without all avaiable updates (including 2000/XP). And when there are no updates any more for that many users, which are still using 98/me do you really think this number is going to decrease. Since Microsoft brought up automatic updates people are going to call me less then usual (beside hardware related problems). Maybe i am totally wrong, but maybe you should accept that no matter how much knowledge you have about computers there are people who don’t!

  78. Linux has largely dropped support for older computers too. It’s agreat shame when most users use their computers solely for word processing and web activities.

    Here, I run a Dell Dimension L600CX under Windows 98 purely because it works. I have 2 more Dells in the background both also running Windows 98. I have no plans to upgrade either to Windows XP nor to Windows 2000. I object strongly to Microsoft’s latest licencing policy. I happen to have a Compaq with XP but that was only because there wasn’t an Intel-based Apple available when I needed it. I shall not be using Vista. I shall be using OSX next.

    I have considered Linux but generally it’s a bit crap as is software support so I’ve never been that enthused.

  79. I’ve just installed firefox 2.0beta1 and I’ve been happy to see that mozilla has chosen to support WinMe. It works perfectly and I’m glad to have scuh a good software on my pc. *If possible*, I’d continue to support Win98/Me also on next releases, if it’s not too heavy for the developer. Maybe you could say at the installation start “Windows Me/98 aren’t officially supported on this release, but you can install firefox at your own risk”, or something similar…
    The biggest problems for upgrading these systems are the hardware costs, the WinXP cost, the ambiental impact of trashware(why do I have to change my pc, if it still works?). Sure, I can install Linux on old systems, but how many people will have the patience to learn a new OS? Probably they will trash their PCs and will buy a completely new hardware with XP (do we really want to reinforce M$ monopoly?)
    Anyway, I think that if tou use a good firewall, an antivirus software, a antispyware software and a good browser (as firefox is), you have a safe enough pc for a personal use. Obviously, business user will have to upgrade the OS or the pc, but home user will not have to upgrade anything (all imho).
    (sorry for my English, I’m Italian)

  80. “Never heard that Microsoft is looking in your closet”

    That’s called an ‘analogy’.

    “Yeah, and you sure have a good software firewall and a good antivirus.”

    Yes, I do.

    “That’s the way it is, when people allow Microsoft to lead them around by the nose.”
    ‘Again a microsoft bash. Hmm, if you really hate Microsoft that much… change it!’

    Read it again. That wasn’t a “Microsoft bash”.

    “And after hours of checks it shows me a huge load of spyware, Viruses trojans etc.”

    Simply because someone is running Windows 98, and that system is infected with adware, spyware, virii or trojans, does not mean Windows 98 is at fault.

    If you visit the Spywarewarrior.com forum, you’ll see many, many posts (HJT logs/pleas for help) from people running Windows XP SP2. By your logic, since these people are running XP SP2, Windows XP SP2 must be the cause.

    “Do you really think this is going to get better after Windows 98/ME isn’t getting any upgrades anymore? Are you telling me honestly that with Windows 98 after the support has been dropped by Microsoft this will get any better?”

    First, I would have to think that infections of adware, spyware, virii, etc. are the caused by the OS, rather than actions (or inaction) of the user, which I don’t

    I’m sure you know what kind of action and inaction I’m talking about:

    Running a system without full/real-time anti-virus and anti-spyware/malware protection.

    Downloading and installing software without scanning it with an anti-virus program (and preferably scanning it with additional on-demand AV-scanners, such as Antidote Superlite).

    Downloading and installing software without searching Google and Google Groups, to see if anyone has reported problems (adware, spwyare, etc.) with the software.

    Going online without a firewall (even if on dial-up) and/or router (broadband).

    Opening files attached to unsolicited emails.

    Using Outlook/Outlook Express.

    Using MSIE.

    Spending countless hours surfing porn and warez sites.

    People who do any of the above are going to be in trouble, regardless of what version of Windows they use.

    I again suggest you peruse the forums at Spywarewarrior. You’ll see countless posts from people running XP, SP2 and whos’ systems are infested with spyware/adware.

    Perhaps the majority of these problems are caused by the behavior of the user, rather than the version of Windows installed?

    From 2003-2006, Windows 98 has had thirty-two (32) vulnerabilities (as reported by Secunia). Of those, three (3) are currently “unpatched”. All three of the unpatched are listed as “less critical” by Secunia. E.G. The “USB device driver vulnerability” requires that someone have PHYSICAL access to a vulnerable system. http://secunia.com/product/13/

    During the same time period, Windows XP has had one-hundred and forty-three (143) vulnerabilities, of which twenty-eight (28) still remain unpatched. (In other words, the number of unpatched XP vulnerabilities nearly equals the total number of Windows 98 vulnerabilities, for the years 2003-2006.) Of the 28 unpatched XP vulnerabilites, several are listed by Secunia as “critical”. http://secunia.com/product/22/

    If there’s a version of Windows that needs support and upgrades, it’s XP, not 98.

  81. The title of this blog, “Drop Windows 9x/ME Support For Firefox 2″, is technically misleading. The correct term should be “…98/ME Support…”.

    Support for Windows 95 has already been dropped as the result of the fix for Bug 329898.

    Firefox 2 will never run on Windows 95.

  82. I started downloading FF because it had better CSS support than IE. I was impressed. Then I downloaded newer versions because I was tired of all the IE updates (99.99% of Windows updates were IE updates).

    I can’t imagine the average user needing more than a safe browsing experience and pages that display correctly. Power users should have access to new functions, functions that older systems don’t need or want, but let’s face it, 99% of what’s new in FF2 is never used. Power users can install these new functions, but the rest of us don’t need them.

    FF2 still hasn’t come close to perfecting its bookmarks or CSS. In fact, my first version of FF probably did a better job at handling bookmarks than any of the other builds. What are they waiting for? What can be more important?

    I’m unimpressed with what’s new in FF2 – in fact I can’t see anything new. (on the other hand Seamonkey beta has tabs that show what the page looks like which is kinda cool).

    I want to go online and see a web page the way it’s intended to look and I want it to be reasonably safe. If FF can’t do that without me updating my OS I’ll find a browser that will. It’s that simple.

    We’re told FF3 will do better CSS – passing the Acid2 browser test but I need a new OS to see it. Forget it. Opera can do it and I don’t have to update. This tells me the people running FF lost the “vision thing.”

    I have yet to hear one reason why updating my OS will improve my browsing experience. Besides, who in their right mind would update their OS just to go online?

    After I update my system, I probably won’t return to FF. I’ll be used to another browser.

  83. There may be many reasons for not supporting firefox on older systems, but saying that it is irresponsible to support older by Microsoft unsupported system is not one of them.

    Would the win95/98/ME users be more secure if they have to use an unsecure browser as well. You have to realize that there often i no realistic option to upgrade to newer OSes to something that is still supported by Microsoft.

    Sure people could switch to Linux but, they may have apps that is not available on Linux, and we also have to remember that modern Linux that is as usable as Vista or MacOS-X may need better hardware than what’s on these old widows boxes.

  84. all this is verry well but win9x computers have something that the newr OS are lacking:
    win98: little box with most gagets and wistles does everything needed and can have thired party addons. with firefox will do every function like IE but more secure

    winxXP/later:big box with las-vages flashing lights and alot of time trying to figure out how to use it, spend most of your time updating the bugs then using, and have the Internet Browser crashing while looking at IMPORTANT COMPANY DATA, even with firefox, and unlike 9x you cant just pop in the CD and run a reliable setup/restore.

  85. FF 2.0 nightly, AFAIK, works fine on Win9x. I don’t know how much work would
    remain to be done, creating internationalized editions when it is finished. But,
    would you really rather have mozilla.org stuck supporting 1.5 for a much longer
    time, supporting gecko 1.8.0 and 1.8.1 and 1.9.0 simultaneously? Leaving
    customers STRANDED on a less capable and less attractive product (without spell
    check, etc.) hurts your position in the marketplace. Bad idea, I think.

    we arn’t asking you to giveup these lovely addtion’s that people have goten used to rather we would have it in the setup,
    this addition is for XP-Vista users only, is that too much to ask?

    that way even with FF 3.0 we still can have support for win9x/ME and STILL have the bells and wisltes needed for winXP/Vista

  86. Just because Microsoft has ended support and patches for these systems it doesn’t mean to say that there insecure. If anything, newer systems at the cutting-edge of technology are probably the most vulnerable, because with increased functionality probably comes increased risk. Windows 9x is old, but this does give it two distinct advantages, firstly there is not much incentive to target an older system and secondly it seems to be reasonably ironed out for what it does support. If there are no major technical issues involved in getting Firefox to run on Windows 9x then it’s a major bonus to support these legacy systems still. Probably from the Firefox development point of view, everything has been designed with porting in mind, which means that the code would probably preferably not utilize platform independent features, such as those only seen in the latest versions of Windows. So in short, life is probably made easier for the Firefox development team if older systems are still taken into consideration.

    Finally, much fuss is made over lack of support from Microsoft, Windows 9x actually was a good platform and will probably still be run by millions of users for a while to come (especially in less developed regions), just because no more patches are being made available it doesn’t mean the systems will cease to work. Chances are if it does the job there is no need to upgrade.