Proposal: Raise minimum requirements for 1.9.2 on Windows to WinXP SP3

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Michael Connor

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Apr 13, 2009, 10:33:59 PM4/13/09
to dev-pl...@lists.mozilla.org
Proposal:

Raise the minimum requirements for Gecko 1.9.2 (and any versions of
Firefox built on 1.9.2) for Windows builds to require Windows XP
Service Pack 3 or higher.


Background:

Supporting multiple OS versions is not zero cost, in terms of testing,
code complexity and developer sanity. We have previously raised the
minimum requirement to Windows 2000 for Firefox 3. We have also
raised the minimum requirements for Linux and Mac builds in that same
timeframe. While we have not formalized a policy by which we drop
support for OS versions, in general the main concerns have been how
recently the OS versions have been available and sold (in some cases)
as well as the ability and costs involved for users to upgrade.
Additionally, the continued availability of security updates for the
OS level is important, as users on unsupported of operating systems,
especially Windows, are highly vulnerable no matter what we do, so
there is a strong argument against giving those users a reason to stay
on that platform.

On July 13, 2010, Microsoft will end all support for Windows 2000 (all
service packs) and Windows XP Service Pack 2 (XP SP1 and the original
XP have already passed their end of support). This means that after
this date, these OS versions will not get any security updates and
will not receive any support from Microsoft. Service Pack 3 is a free
upgrade for all XP users. Windows 2000 has no free upgrade path, but
has not been available at retail since March 2004, and was last
legally sold as a preloaded OS in March 2005, which is over four years
ago, and will be more than five years from when we ship the last
supported version of Firefox. Users should be able to successfully
migrate to XP or Linux if they intend to keep using their old hardware.


Affected Users:

All users still running either Windows 2000 or Windows XP Service Pack
2 (or lower). As Service Pack 3 is a free upgrade for XP users, only
Windows 2000 users will be forced to change their OS to use the next
version of Firefox.

As we intend to ship the next version of Firefox in early 2010,
Firefox 3.5 will continue to be supported under our current support
policy (six months after the next version) until after those OS
versions are no longer supported, so users will continue to be
supported by Mozilla as least as long as their OS is supported.


Relevant Links:

General Microsoft Support Lifecycle Policy:
http://support.microsoft.com/lifecycle/

Windows Service Pack Support End Dates:
http://support.microsoft.com/gp/lifesupsps#Windows

Windows 2000 Support Lifecycle
http://support.microsoft.com/lifecycle/?p1=3071

Windows Life-Cycle Policy (licensing availability)
http://www.microsoft.com/windows/lifecycle/default.mspx

Robert Accettura

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Apr 13, 2009, 10:40:33 PM4/13/09
to Michael Connor, dev-pl...@lists.mozilla.org
I know Win2k is somewhat limited at this point but is there any data
regarding what percentage of Windows XP users run something less than
SP3? I presume most impact will be corporations that are slow to roll
out upgrades as SP3 has been out for a while now.

-R

Mike Beltzner

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Apr 13, 2009, 11:13:05 PM4/13/09
to Michael Connor, dev-pl...@lists.mozilla.org
On 13-Apr-09, at 10:33 PM, Michael Connor wrote:

> Proposal:
>
> Raise the minimum requirements for Gecko 1.9.2 (and any versions of
> Firefox built on 1.9.2) for Windows builds to require Windows XP
> Service Pack 3 or higher.

Is there a reason for specifying SP3 here, in terms of development
demand to keep Gecko compatible? Put another way, have the Windows
libraries changed sufficiently between SP1 and SP3 that it's likely
that we'll produce a version of Gecko that would be compatible with
Windows XP SP3+ but not with SP2 or SP1?

Right now the majority of our Windows users are still on XP, but I'm
not sure it's clear how many of those users have upgraded, or intend
to upgrade (or in some cases are able to upgrade) and while I
understand that the platform itself isn't supported by Microsoft, I do
think that keeping those XP users from being able to use Firefox will
end up doing more harm (to them) than good, no matter what the intent.

cheers,
mike

Rob Arnold

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Apr 13, 2009, 11:25:21 PM4/13/09
to dev-pl...@lists.mozilla.org
On Mon, Apr 13, 2009 at 11:13 PM, Mike Beltzner <belt...@mozilla.com>wrote:

> On 13-Apr-09, at 10:33 PM, Michael Connor wrote:
>
> Proposal:
>>
>> Raise the minimum requirements for Gecko 1.9.2 (and any versions of
>> Firefox built on 1.9.2) for Windows builds to require Windows XP Service
>> Pack 3 or higher.
>>
>
> Is there a reason for specifying SP3 here, in terms of development demand
> to keep Gecko compatible? Put another way, have the Windows libraries
> changed sufficiently between SP1 and SP3 that it's likely that we'll produce
> a version of Gecko that would be compatible with Windows XP SP3+ but not
> with SP2 or SP1?


There are new features in SP2 (mostly security related) such as the
IAttachmentExecute interface which the download scanner uses. We could
eliminate the old IOfficeAntiVirus code if we drop support for Win2k and XP
SP<2. The APIs are mostly the same however. We can also drop the theme
hackery that currently exists entirely due to supporting Windows 2000 (since
it lacks the uxtheme api).


> Right now the majority of our Windows users are still on XP, but I'm not
> sure it's clear how many of those users have upgraded, or intend to upgrade
> (or in some cases are able to upgrade) and while I understand that the
> platform itself isn't supported by Microsoft, I do think that keeping those
> XP users from being able to use Firefox will end up doing more harm (to
> them) than good, no matter what the intent.


We can justify dropping 2k/XP entirely better than setting the minimum to XP
SP3 because there are many more new features in Vista that we could take
advantage of (native condition variables, graphics changes, integrity
levels, etc...).

I think we should see how Windows 7 pans out. If the result is good and
users migrate from XP, then we should consider dropping XP. Of course, there
will always be people who cling to old systems like Win2k and XP and they
will be vocal.

It should be pretty safe to drop support for Win2k but I cannot think of any
reasons besides the theme APIs.

-Rob

Mike Beltzner

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Apr 13, 2009, 11:33:15 PM4/13/09
to Rob Arnold, dev-pl...@lists.mozilla.org
On 13-Apr-09, at 11:25 PM, Rob Arnold wrote:

> There are new features in SP2 (mostly security related) such as the
> IAttachmentExecute interface which the download scanner uses. We could
> eliminate the old IOfficeAntiVirus code if we drop support for Win2k
> and XP
> SP<2. The APIs are mostly the same however. We can also drop the theme
> hackery that currently exists entirely due to supporting Windows
> 2000 (since
> it lacks the uxtheme api).

Yes, I understand the case for dropping W2K support (though we should
get our approximate user counts there and do that with our eyes open)
and think it's virtuous. It was the SP1/2 bit that I didn't quite get.
Aside from the IOfficeAntiVirus API, any other wins that anyone knows
of?

> I think we should see how Windows 7 pans out. If the result is good
> and
> users migrate from XP, then we should consider dropping XP. Of
> course, there
> will always be people who cling to old systems like Win2k and XP and
> they
> will be vocal.

Indeed, I think it will be a function of schedule (when will Gecko
1.9.2 drop?) and market function. From what I hear in the latest
rumour mills, though, Windows 7 may not be as early as originally
expected, meaning that the XP market share is likely to stick around.

cheers,
mike

Justin Dolske

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Apr 14, 2009, 12:35:54 AM4/14/09
to
On 4/13/09 8:13 PM, Mike Beltzner wrote:

> Is there a reason for specifying SP3 here, in terms of development
> demand to keep Gecko compatible?

I suppose one minor point is that we don't have tinderboxes testing the
3 different SP flavors of XP. [AFAIK they're all the same SP, though I'm
not sure exactly which one.] It would be nice to raise requirements to
what we actually test (which should become SP3, if it's not already).

Justin

Michael Connor

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Apr 14, 2009, 12:37:58 AM4/14/09
to dev-pl...@lists.mozilla.org

On 13-Apr-09, at 11:33 PM, Mike Beltzner wrote:

> On 13-Apr-09, at 11:25 PM, Rob Arnold wrote:
>
>> There are new features in SP2 (mostly security related) such as the
>> IAttachmentExecute interface which the download scanner uses. We
>> could
>> eliminate the old IOfficeAntiVirus code if we drop support for
>> Win2k and XP
>> SP<2. The APIs are mostly the same however. We can also drop the
>> theme
>> hackery that currently exists entirely due to supporting Windows
>> 2000 (since
>> it lacks the uxtheme api).
>
> Yes, I understand the case for dropping W2K support (though we
> should get our approximate user counts there and do that with our
> eyes open) and think it's virtuous. It was the SP1/2 bit that I
> didn't quite get. Aside from the IOfficeAntiVirus API, any other
> wins that anyone knows of?

There's a number of other places this occurs. There's also been bugs
that were SP1-only (i.e. bug 366643, which turned up from an mxr
search). There were significant architectural changes with Service
Pack 2 around security, which benefits users if it doesn't impact
compatibility. (Someone on IRC described it as the "Internet is
Scary" service pack.)

Put another way, XP (no SP) and XP SP1 have been unsupported and
unpatched for years now. Users on those OSes are almost certainly
vulnerable, if they're not already owned. Any effort expended in
supporting those users is the technical equivalent of throwing good
money after bad. I don't know of any software that would require
SP1. Other than slow-to-upgrade corporate environments (which will
_surely_ migrate by SP2 EOL), I am unaware of anyone choosing to
remain on lower service packs past the support date for any reason
other than being unaware of the very real risk involved. IE7/IE8/
Chrome already require XP SP2 or higher (I can't find data on whether
Safari has any Service Pack-level requirements) so I don't think we
lose anything by catching up.

>> I think we should see how Windows 7 pans out. If the result is good
>> and
>> users migrate from XP, then we should consider dropping XP. Of
>> course, there
>> will always be people who cling to old systems like Win2k and XP
>> and they
>> will be vocal.
>
> Indeed, I think it will be a function of schedule (when will Gecko
> 1.9.2 drop?) and market function. From what I hear in the latest
> rumour mills, though, Windows 7 may not be as early as originally
> expected, meaning that the XP market share is likely to stick around.

I don't think completely dropping XP is feasible for 1.9.2 unless it
ships in 2012, given that many machines (notably netbooks) are still
shipping with XP Home right now.

-- Mike

John J. Barton

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Apr 14, 2009, 1:11:18 AM4/14/09
to
Michael Connor wrote:
> Proposal:
>
> Raise the minimum requirements for Gecko 1.9.2 (and any versions of
> Firefox built on 1.9.2) for Windows builds to require Windows XP Service
> Pack 3 or higher.

...


> On July 13, 2010, Microsoft will end all support for Windows 2000 (all
> service packs) and Windows XP Service Pack 2 (XP SP1 and the original XP
> have already passed their end of support). This means that after this
> date, these OS versions will not get any security updates and will not
> receive any support from Microsoft. Service Pack 3 is a free upgrade
> for all XP users.

I wonder if this is true. I would believe "free upgrade for all XP
licensees". Anyone with a corporate install Windows computer from a
former employer or other circumstance may not have access SP3. I wonder
how many of us there are? Betcha a lot more than you'd think. It's not
like SP3 is important (or Vista for that matter).

I could switch this machine to Linux, but I would be very reluctant to
break what works.

Seems like July 13, 2010 would make 1.9.3 more appropriate.

>
> Relevant Links:
>

Microsoft policy is not so important as what the installed base actually
contains. Is there info on that?

jjb

Phil Ringnalda

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Apr 14, 2009, 1:43:46 AM4/14/09
to
On 4/13/09 9:35 PM, Justin Dolske wrote:
> I suppose one minor point is that we don't have tinderboxes testing the
> 3 different SP flavors of XP. [AFAIK they're all the same SP, though I'm
> not sure exactly which one.] It would be nice to raise requirements to
> what we actually test (which should become SP3, if it's not already).

Sort of depends on what you mean by "test" - according to wikimo, the
Talos XP boxes are SP2, but afair unit tests have always been Server
2k3, and even back to Fx2 builds are 2k3 (though I think they might have
started out as 2k, and Thunderbird 2 is apparently still chugging along
on a 2k tinderbox).

If you break perf on SP3 but not on SP2, you won't know it, but if you
break something unit tested on XP-anything but not 2k3 (or Vista but not
2k3), you'll only know it if someone finally says "you know, I haven't
been able to get a test run on my XP VM to pass since..." or when
someone reports the real-world breakage.

Michael Connor

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Apr 14, 2009, 2:10:02 AM4/14/09
to John J. Barton, dev-pl...@lists.mozilla.org

On 14-Apr-09, at 1:11 AM, John J. Barton wrote:

>> On July 13, 2010, Microsoft will end all support for Windows 2000
>> (all service packs) and Windows XP Service Pack 2 (XP SP1 and the
>> original XP have already passed their end of support). This means
>> that after this date, these OS versions will not get any security
>> updates and will not receive any support from Microsoft. Service
>> Pack 3 is a free upgrade for all XP users.
>
> I wonder if this is true. I would believe "free upgrade for all XP
> licensees". Anyone with a corporate install Windows computer from a
> former employer or other circumstance may not have access SP3. I
> wonder how many of us there are? Betcha a lot more than you'd think.
> It's not like SP3 is important (or Vista for that matter).

If you don't have the license (i.e. if it was part of a corporate site
license, and you left the company with the machine) then technically
you aren't using the software legally. I suppose there's some number
of people using software without actually having a license to that
software. I don't believe we should make a decision based on users
who can't upgrade their OS because they aren't using it legally.

> > Relevant Links:
> >
> Microsoft policy is not so important as what the installed base
> actually contains. Is there info on that?

Microsoft policy is completely important, if that's when security
updates stop happening. I don't think we want to put time and
resources into operating systems which will rapidly be exploited. https://isc.sans.org/survivaltime.html
has a fun graph which shows average time to exploit an unpatched
system exposed to the Internet.

If the installed base wants to be zombies, that's fine, but that
doesn't mean we should invest in giving them one more reason to expose
themselves.

-- Mike

John J. Barton

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Apr 14, 2009, 2:31:59 AM4/14/09
to
Michael Connor wrote:

> software. I don't believe we should make a decision based on users who
> can't upgrade their OS because they aren't using it legally.

Ok, I guess we disagree. I think mozilla should make decisions based on
the needs of their users.

jjb

Rob Arnold

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Apr 14, 2009, 2:38:01 AM4/14/09
to John J. Barton, dev-pl...@lists.mozilla.org


I don't want spend my time debugging or trying to reproduce an issue for an
operating system that isn't up to date when it could easily be. If users are
illegally using their OS and cannot upgrade due to that, I do not want to
have to bend over backwards to recreate their environment to reproduce the
bug and test a fix (in addition, there are moral issues with helping these
users). I would argue that supporting those systems doesn't help the needs
of the vast majority of users who are using their OS legally and properly
maintaining it.

We have users who use the server editions of Windows and Firefox works
mostly correctly there, but it is technically unsupported and I have had to
deal with bugs resulting from the subtle differences. The fewer platforms we
have to support, the more productive my time can be spent working on bug
that address issues for a much larger set of people.

-Rob

Serge Gautherie

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Apr 14, 2009, 5:20:24 AM4/14/09
to

Count me in as a W2K user :->
(And, unrelated, I build with '--disable-vista-sdk-requirements'.)

I would ask for some kind of '--disable-xp-requirements' if that's possible.
If it's not (= probaly unwanted), then too bad for me...


Robert O'Callahan

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Apr 14, 2009, 5:39:11 AM4/14/09
to
On 14/4/09 4:37 PM, Michael Connor wrote:
> Put another way, XP (no SP) and XP SP1 have been unsupported and
> unpatched for years now.

Those are excellent reasons for dropping support for XP/noSP and XP/SP1.
But why drop support for XP/SP2?

Rob

Simon Paquet

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Apr 14, 2009, 8:19:52 AM4/14/09
to
Michael Connor wrote on 14. Apr 2009:

> Proposal:
>
> Raise the minimum requirements for Gecko 1.9.2 (and any versions of
> Firefox built on 1.9.2) for Windows builds to require Windows XP
> Service Pack 3 or higher.

I am a little bit concerned about dropping Windows 2000 given that
Gecko 1.9.2 will be released when W2K will still be supported by
Microsoft for a few months.

On the other hand, its global market share is steadily declining and
already very low according to the market share reports from Gemius,
StatCounter and Net Applications.

Do we have any reliable numbers from our own download and AMO
statistics on the percentage of users, which are still using W2K?
I think this discussion would benefit from those numbers.

Simon

--
Thunderbird/Calendar Localisation (L10n) Coordinator
Thunderbird l10n blog: http://thunderbird-l10n.blogspot.com
Calendar website maintainer: http://www.mozilla.org/projects/calendar
Calendar developer blog: http://weblogs.mozillazine.org/calendar

Chris AtLee

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Apr 14, 2009, 9:12:59 AM4/14/09
to
On 14/04/09 01:43 AM, Phil Ringnalda wrote:
> On 4/13/09 9:35 PM, Justin Dolske wrote:
>> I suppose one minor point is that we don't have tinderboxes testing the
>> 3 different SP flavors of XP. [AFAIK they're all the same SP, though I'm
>> not sure exactly which one.] It would be nice to raise requirements to
>> what we actually test (which should become SP3, if it's not already).
>
> Sort of depends on what you mean by "test" - according to wikimo, the
> Talos XP boxes are SP2, but afair unit tests have always been Server
> 2k3, and even back to Fx2 builds are 2k3 (though I think they might have
> started out as 2k, and Thunderbird 2 is apparently still chugging along
> on a 2k tinderbox).

Yes, all of our Fx 3.5 builds and unit tests are done in windows 2003.
Talos testing is done under XP and Vista.

Robert Kaiser

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Apr 14, 2009, 9:42:57 AM4/14/09
to
Michael Connor wrote:
> Proposal:
>
> Raise the minimum requirements for Gecko 1.9.2 (and any versions of
> Firefox built on 1.9.2) for Windows builds to require Windows XP Service
> Pack 3 or higher.

We're really trying as hard as possible to piss off as many users as we
can, right?

Robert Kaiser

Robert Kaiser

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Apr 14, 2009, 9:51:35 AM4/14/09
to
Michael Connor wrote:
> Put another way, XP (no SP) and XP SP1 have been unsupported and
> unpatched for years now. Users on those OSes are almost certainly
> vulnerable, if they're not already owned.

Wait, you seriously believe one single user would upgrade their OS just
because there's no new Firefox available for them? Int he contrary, they
will either switch to a different browser or continue to use an old,
more insecure Firefox. That's already the case with a good number of
people on Win9x and Firefox 2 (still millions of people, last I heard)
and I haven't yet heard of anyone who thrashed Win9x because Firefox 2
was EOLed and Firefox 3 is not available for them.

It sounds like some people here have a strange view of how people decide
to use what system. Firefox is not the driving force for people to buy
new computers (which is bad for nature anyways) or buy and install new
operating systems.

And dropping Win2k support will be a very good argument for business not
using Firefox ;-)

Robert Kaiser

Mike Shaver

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Apr 14, 2009, 9:57:13 AM4/14/09
to Robert Kaiser, dev-pl...@lists.mozilla.org

Yes, that is our goal. It has nothing to do with trying to apply our
limited resources to where they can affect the most people.

On the bright side, SeaMonkey will be able to continue to support XP
SP1 and Win 2k, and thereby gain all those users, since per your other
message they'll just switch to another browser -- sounds like a real
opportunity for you.

Mike

Mike Shaver

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Apr 14, 2009, 10:03:07 AM4/14/09
to Robert Kaiser, dev-pl...@lists.mozilla.org
On Tue, Apr 14, 2009 at 9:51 AM, Robert Kaiser <ka...@kairo.at> wrote:
> Michael Connor wrote:
>>
>> Put another way, XP (no SP) and XP SP1 have been unsupported and
>> unpatched for years now. Users on those OSes are almost certainly
>> vulnerable, if they're not already owned.
>
> Wait, you seriously believe one single user would upgrade their OS just
> because there's no new Firefox available for them?

I don't see that position stated in the quote -- why do you think that
Mike believes that they would upgrade only to get Firefox? (Though "a
single user" is a pretty low bar, so I'd probably be willing to make a
wager.)

> And dropping Win2k support will be a very good argument for business not
> using Firefox ;-)

They'll have to stick with IE6 if they want to keep Win2K on desktops,
I think, since IE7 isn't supported there AFAIK. That's not really an
addressable market for us regardless, I'm pretty sure, so we should
again focus on getting the most result for our investment.

Mike

Samuel Sidler

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Apr 14, 2009, 10:10:58 AM4/14/09
to dev. planning
On Apr 14, 2009, at 5:19 AM, Simon Paquet wrote:

> Do we have any reliable numbers from our own download and AMO
> statistics on the percentage of users, which are still using W2K?
> I think this discussion would benefit from those numbers.

I, too, would like to see some actual numbers from our user-base
(downloads, hits on mozilla.com, ADUs, etc) before making a
determination on what we should do about Windows 2000.

-Sam

Robert Kaiser

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Apr 14, 2009, 10:23:27 AM4/14/09
to
Mike Shaver wrote:
> On the bright side, SeaMonkey will be able to continue to support XP
> SP1 and Win 2k, and thereby gain all those users, since per your other
> message they'll just switch to another browser -- sounds like a real
> opportunity for you.

Wrong. We can't go with different requirements than the Geck we base
upon - well, unless, of course, we go and switch to WebKit and rewrite
our UI on some sucky native UI library. Though, before the latter
happens, I'd move to either be a Firefox or KDE dev. ;-)

Robert Kaiser

Mike Beltzner

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Apr 14, 2009, 10:35:43 AM4/14/09
to mozilla.dev.planning group
On 14-Apr-09, at 2:10 AM, Michael Connor wrote:

> Microsoft policy is completely important, if that's when security
> updates stop happening. I don't think we want to put time and
> resources into operating systems which will rapidly be exploited. https://isc.sans.org/survivaltime.html
> has a fun graph which shows average time to exploit an unpatched
> system exposed to the Internet.

This is slightly off-topic, but do we know if those exploits are from
just attaching the Windows network stack to a port or if they're from
browsing with IE? If it's mostly the latter, then by preserving
Firefox support for those users we're actually helping to protect them.

cheers,
mike

Mike Shaver

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Apr 14, 2009, 10:50:18 AM4/14/09
to Mike Beltzner, mozilla.dev.planning group
On Tue, Apr 14, 2009 at 10:35 AM, Mike Beltzner <belt...@mozilla.com> wrote:
> This is slightly off-topic, but do we know if those exploits are from just
> attaching the Windows network stack to a port or if they're from browsing
> with IE? If it's mostly the latter, then by preserving Firefox support for
> those users we're actually helping to protect them.

I believe those stats are based on the default set of
applications/services that can be remotely tickled for the various
operating systems, based on the list of ports they provide. They
would likely respond promptly to an inquiry on the topic, if asked.

Mike

Mike Shaver

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Apr 14, 2009, 10:50:51 AM4/14/09
to Robert Kaiser, dev-pl...@lists.mozilla.org
On Tue, Apr 14, 2009 at 10:23 AM, Robert Kaiser <ka...@kairo.at> wrote:
> Mike Shaver wrote:
>>
>> On the bright side, SeaMonkey will be able to continue to support XP
>> SP1 and Win 2k, and thereby gain all those users, since per your other
>> message they'll just switch to another browser -- sounds like a real
>> opportunity for you.
>
> Wrong. We can't go with different requirements than the Geck we base upon -

Sure, but the SeaMonkey team could maintain the alternate code paths
and compensations required for XP SP1 and Win2K, and drive the testing
on those platforms, right?

Or is that not a good use of your limited resources either? :)

Mike

Robert Kaiser

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Apr 14, 2009, 11:00:58 AM4/14/09
to

Erm, to be serious, we have good reasons to reduce the amount of code we
maintain and use toolkit instead of xpfe - I guess that should answer
your question ;-)

And yes, I know, that's all tough calls, but I wonder why we support
MacOS or Linux at all when it looks so easy to probably abandon more
users than we have on both of those together (has anyone stats that
would back or disprove that assumption?)

Robert Kaiser

Mike Shaver

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Apr 14, 2009, 11:07:20 AM4/14/09
to Robert Kaiser, dev-pl...@lists.mozilla.org
On Tue, Apr 14, 2009 at 11:00 AM, Robert Kaiser <ka...@kairo.at> wrote:
> And yes, I know, that's all tough calls, but I wonder why we support MacOS
> or Linux at all when it looks so easy to probably abandon more users than we
> have on both of those together (has anyone stats that would back or disprove
> that assumption?)

We would lose a lot of our developers, and valuable tools (shark,
valgrind), if we didn't support those operating systems, to say
nothing of Linux being one of our major mobile platforms. Are you
just trolling, or do you really not know that?

Mike

John J. Barton

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Apr 14, 2009, 11:39:49 AM4/14/09
to
Rob Arnold wrote:
> On Tue, Apr 14, 2009 at 2:31 AM, John J. Barton <johnj...@johnjbarton.com
>> wrote:
>
>> Michael Connor wrote:
>>
>> software. I don't believe we should make a decision based on users who
>>> can't upgrade their OS because they aren't using it legally.
>>>
>> Ok, I guess we disagree. I think mozilla should make decisions based on the
>> needs of their users.
>
>
> I don't want spend my time debugging or trying to reproduce an issue for an
> operating system that isn't up to date when it could easily be. If users are

But as I pointed out, updating is not always easy. Many, many users
avoid Windows updates if at all possible because historically they know
updates break things and rarely offer significant improvements.

> illegally using their OS and cannot upgrade due to that, I do not want to
> have to bend over backwards to recreate their environment to reproduce the
> bug and test a fix (in addition, there are moral issues with helping these

I think there is a large gap between "continue to support XP SP3 on
1.9.2" and "bend over backwards". Of course maybe I should try yoga.

> users). I would argue that supporting those systems doesn't help the needs
> of the vast majority of users who are using their OS legally and properly
> maintaining it.

But do you really want to base decisions on morality? Shall we ask users
to certify that their machine is being used legally and has been dusted
regularly? They never surf to sites on a mozilla-do-not-visit list?
Always properly shutdown at night?

I don't think any of this is mozilla's business. The only issue is the
number of users of XP SP2.

jjb

Robert Kaiser

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Apr 14, 2009, 11:55:37 AM4/14/09
to

Actually, I wanted to point out (somewhat in a somewhat tongue-in-cheek
way) that the number of users we're dropping with this decision might
outweigh the number of users we have on those other platforms which we
apparently value significantly. Of course, there's a lot of guessing
involved, as I'm not someone who has access to that shrine that keeps
all the actual number to back or counter that assumption.

There are a quite significant number of business users out there who are
still on Win2k (I don't care so much about XP < SP2) and it's not even
unheard that Microsoft itself prolongs support times for versions
heavily used in businesses (they even did so for Win98).
We once had that plan that our releases after 1.9.0 would be smaller in
scale and happen more often - I think 6 months was the target then, and
yes, 1.9.1 missed that by far. I for one moment assume that this is
still the plan - we don't have dates yet but you might know more than
me, even this open community shows that early-stage information is still
closed to smaller groups often enough. With all that in mind, the
6-month post-1.9.2.0 maintenance period of 1.9.1 would suggest that the
last version that supports Win2k might even be out before the current
official EOL of Microsoft support for Win2k, even if they don't prolong
this due to significant business usage.

Unsupporting a Windows version before even Microsoft drops it would be
very much unprecedented, and given that the primary argument seems to be
limited manpower and our manpower has nothing else than significantly
increased over the last years, sound like something not that easy to buy
in for someone watching this.

Of course, we are becoming more and more like big companies regarding
the decisions made, and while that might be good from some points of
view, it's not so easy to sell to those parts of our community that
expect us to think differently.

Robert Kaiser

RyanVM

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Apr 14, 2009, 12:06:49 PM4/14/09
to
SP3 was much more incremental in nature over SP2 compared to SP2 over
SP0/SP1. I'm personally sending this message from a company-controlled
computer running SP2 still. Given that SP3 doesn't seem to be offering
anything special over SP2 API-wise, why not set the cutoff at SP2 like
IE7/IE8?

Simon Paquet

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Apr 14, 2009, 12:11:30 PM4/14/09
to
Robert Kaiser wrote on 14. Apr 2009:

> And yes, I know, that's all tough calls, but I wonder why we support
> MacOS or Linux at all when it looks so easy to probably abandon more
> users than we have on both of those together (has anyone stats that
> would back or disprove that assumption?)

According to Net Applications, both OS X 10.5 and 10.4 are more popular
than Windows 2000 (6.00% and 2.66% vs. 1.24%).

Windows 2000 is more popular than Linux (0.90%) and all major mobile
platforms that we currently support or intend to support (Symbian 0,06%
and Windows CE 0.05%) combined.

Mike makes a good point however on the importance of Linux as a dev
platform (although based on my experience at the summit, pretty much
every techie in the US now runs a Mac).

But based solely on marketshare, we should not abandon W2K yet.

I couldn't find any data on Windows XP service pack allocation.

My "guess" would be that many people have at least updated to SP2,
since it was really a major update with many security and feature
enhancements that were widely discussed in tech *and* general media.

But I don't have any hard numbers on that. My "guess" for the update
to SP3 however is that not nearly as many people have made that step,
since it was mostly just a bundling of past security patches.

For example my company (Big4 professional services/auditing company
with roughly 120.000 Windows installations worldwide) is still
running Windows XP SP2, but Microsoft security updates are regularly
installed.

Cya

Serge Gautherie

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Apr 14, 2009, 12:22:45 PM4/14/09
to
Robert Kaiser wrote:

> Wait, you seriously believe one single user would upgrade their OS just
> because there's no new Firefox available for them?

(One not-typical user story:)

Not just because of Gecko, and only after a long time with v1.8.1,
but I did eventually replace my W98SE with W2Ksp4.
That was after Microsoft and everyone else stopped providing
softwares/updates for W98.

The only interesting point was I could run W98 without a need for
firewall nor antivirus.

Now, while WXP has some improvements I miss somewhat in W2K,
I'm certainly not interested in some other new features of WXP and beyond.

...
My goal would be to move to Linux, but that looks like a "big" task, and
I know beforehand some of the softwares I use are still available on
Windows only :-/

(Anyway.)

Aakash Desai

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Apr 14, 2009, 12:27:46 PM4/14/09
to Samuel Sidler, dev. planning

Going from there, I'd also like to see the number of computer users in the world (or just North America if that isn't possible) that don't have Firefox and what OS they run. It's a tall task, but the decision that's being discussed here is pertinent enough to ask for that IMO.

Thanks,
Aakash

-Sam
_______________________________________________
dev-planning mailing list
dev-pl...@lists.mozilla.org
https://lists.mozilla.org/listinfo/dev-planning

Mike Beltzner

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Apr 14, 2009, 12:42:00 PM4/14/09
to Aakash Desai, dev. planning, Samuel Sidler
Isn't that what sipaq provided?

> According to Net Applications, both OS X 10.5 and 10.4 are more
> popular
> than Windows 2000 (6.00% and 2.66% vs. 1.24%).
>
> Windows 2000 is more popular than Linux (0.90%) and all major mobile
> platforms that we currently support or intend to support (Symbian
> 0,06%
> and Windows CE 0.05%) combined.

cheers,
mike

Aakash Desai

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Apr 14, 2009, 12:49:07 PM4/14/09
to Mike Beltzner, dev. planning, Samuel Sidler
Actually, those are percentages of users, in the world, running a specific OS. They're not the percentages for those running OS' and that don't have Firefox which I was hoping to see. :)

-- Aakash

Michael Connor

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Apr 14, 2009, 12:54:24 PM4/14/09
to Robert O'Callahan, dev-pl...@lists.mozilla.org

Because SP2 will reach end of life before 3.5 reaches end of life.
Supporting SP2 for 1.9.2 would mean supporting a "dead man walking" OS
for at least a year, if not longer.

-- Mike

Samuel Sidler

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Apr 14, 2009, 1:00:10 PM4/14/09