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Google extends support for Chrome on Windows XP

Chrome browser will continue getting updates on Windows XP until the end of 2015

Google will keep supporting its Chrome browser on Windows XP until at least the end of the year, the company has pledged. Google was orginally planning to withdraw support for the defunct operating system at the end of this month, but says it will now continue to deliver updates for XP users until the end of 2015. 

Microsoft stopped supporting Windows XP last April, meaning consumers haven’t received any security updates for the OS for over a year, potentially leaving their systems wide open to critical security flaws. Internet Explorer 8 – released in 2009 – was the last version of Microsoft’s own browser to support Windows XP machines, and that hasn’t been updated since 2011. 

Rival browser makers such as Google and Mozilla took advantage of Microsoft’s decision to withdraw support for Windows XP by continuing to tout Chrome and Firefox as safer alternatives for those still sticking with XP systems. Google is continuing to appeal to those customers who may feel abandoned by Microsoft. “We know that not everyone can easily switch to a newer operating system,” writes Mark Larson, director of engineering for Chrome on a Google blog.

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“Millions of people are still working on XP computers every day. We want those people to have the option to use a browser that’s up-to-date and as safe as possible on an unsupported operating system. We previously announced that we’d keep supporting Chrome on Windows XP through ‘at least’ April 2015. It’s April 2015 now, and we’re extending that commitment. We will continue to provide regular updates and security patches to Chrome on XP through the end of 2015.”

Google’s decision to continue supporting Windows XP is another means of chipping away at Microsoft’s dwindling share of the browser market. Most counters already give Google Chrome a healthy lead, although NetApplications continues to claim Internet Explorer has a market share of 58%, with Chrome a long way behind with 17.9%.

Microsoft is sidelining Internet Explorer with the release of Windows 10 and instead introducing a new default browser, codenamed Spartan. The new browser was introduced for the first time in the latest Technical Preview of Windows 10.   

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