Google Apps to stop supporting older browsers

Google Apps to stop supporting older browsers

Summary: Google Apps is to stop supporting all but the two most recent major releases of the Chrome, Firefox, Internet Explorer and Safari browsers.On Wednesday, Google engineering vice president Venkat Panchapakesan posted a blog saying that, from 1 August, "Google Apps will only support modern browsers".

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TOPICS: Telcos
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Google Apps is to stop supporting all but the two most recent major releases of the Chrome, Firefox, Internet Explorer and Safari browsers.

On Wednesday, Google engineering vice president Venkat Panchapakesan posted a blog saying that, from 1 August, "Google Apps will only support modern browsers". On that date, support will be discontinued for Firefox 3.5, IE7, Safari 3 and their predecessors, and the same policy will continue into the future on a rolling basis.

Old Chrome versions were not named in his post, presumably because Google's browser constantly updates itself without user intervention.

"For web applications to spring even farther ahead of traditional software, our teams need to make use of new capabilities available in modern browsers," Panchapakesan wrote. "For example, desktop notifications for Gmail and drag-and-drop file upload in Google Docs require advanced browsers that support HTML5. Older browsers just don't have the chops to provide you with the same high-quality experience."

Panchapakesan explained that older browsers may also eventually make it impossible to use certain features of Google Calendar, Google Talk and Google Sites.

"If it's been a while since your last update, we encourage you to get the latest version of your favourite browser," he added.

Topic: Telcos

David Meyer

About David Meyer

David Meyer is a freelance technology journalist. He fell into journalism when he realised his musical career wouldn't pay the bills. David's main focus is on communications, as well as internet technologies, regulation and mobile devices.

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6 comments
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  • This policy could leave XP users "in the cold" very quickly - when is MS planning to release IE10? Before 2014?
    Zogg
  • @Chris Rankin

    Since each version of Windows comes with a new version of IE, I'd assume that IE10 will ship with Windows 8, probably in Q4 2012. That's very definitely an assumption.

    Otherwise, I'd have hoped that most XP coporate/business users would have woken up by now. What proportion do you reckon are still in the reality-denial phase?
    Jack Schofield
  • "This policy could leave XP users "in the cold" very quickly - when is MS planning to release IE10? Before 2014?"

    Based on this article, IE8 will be supported and XP users can upgrade to that. On one hand, this is a little surprising that Google is doing this. I think Google needs to approach this with caution, so that they don't make the same mistakes as Microsoft and leave customers out in the cold. Hopefully they are using some sort of analytics to see how many customers are currently using the older browsers that they want to drop support for.
    Chris_Clay
  • Of course, those who can make the switch to always-updated Chrome are clearly encouraged to do so :)
    David Meyer
  • @Jack Schofield
    > Otherwise, I'd have hoped that most XP coporate/business users would have woken up by
    > now. What proportion do you reckon are still in the reality-denial phase?

    Precisely the same percentage who are still running IE6, of course. I assure you these people still exist ;-). But there are a lot more people still running XP than that anyway.

    @apexwm
    > Based on this article, IE8 will be supported and XP users can upgrade to that.

    But that's the point - Google will stop supporting IE8 once IE10 comes out, and XP users cannot upgrade to IE9.
    Zogg
    • IE8 Out the Door!

      I'm already starting to drop IE8 support from my sites (unless the job really calls for it). The web is growing at a fast rate and there's no need to support old browsers. IE9 and IE10 is all I'm supporting now. It's faster to develop websites with the latest standard technologies than having to go old school and do it the old fashion frustrating way.
      yanikegroup