Technology changes fast.  When Google realized that more people access websites from mobile devices than from computers, it decided not to display websites that were not mobile friendly in search results.  This caught business owners off guard, and many scrambled to update their older websites. However, after almost a year, some website owners still haven’t heard the message. They continue to run websites that are not mobile friendly, and miss a significant share of search traffic.

This week, Google made another game changing announcement.

No Support for Google Chrome

This week, Google announced that in April 2016 it would no longer support its Chrome browser on older operating systems (OS).  They will cease support of Windows XP, Windows Vista, Mac OS X 10.6, Snow Leopard 10.7, Lion 10.8 and Mountain Lion on Apple computers.

Chrome will still work on older operating systems, but Google will no longer update the browser with security patches.

While Microsoft ceased its support of XP computers in April 2014, many still use this operating system.  In fact, until this summer, its market share still surpassed Windows 8.1.

Many of us never even consider upgrading the operating system on our computers.  We buy our computers with the OS software loaded.  The only upgrade we get is when we get a new computer.  Those of us with older computers that still work, continue to use the old OS. And we only purchase a new computer when the old one breaks down.  The adage “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it,” often applies.

Upgrading Issues

While computers running Windows 7 and above are eligible to get Windows 10 free, computers running XP are not eligible for a free version. The cost of the software is about $100.00.

There are also potential problems with updating the OS. Some older PC’s will not support the Windows 10 operating system, and it can be difficult to figure out if you will be able to install Windows 10 on computers running older equipment.

A bigger problem for some users will be the fact that when updating from XP to Windows 10, you will have to do what is called a “clean installation.”  What that means is that you will have to back up all of your files and folders, and re-install software the files after the installation. Your hard drive will be wiped clean.

Finally, some of the software you have purchased for your older computer may not translate well to the new system.

Why Should I Upgrade?

The cost of repairing a computer infected with malware is significant.  Having your data stolen or compromised could be even more catastrophic.

Once a company stops supporting its operating system, they stop providing security patches, which open computers to attacks by cyber criminals, who are always looking for vulnerabilities in the operating system.  This is true even when third party virus protection software (like Norton or McAfee) is up to date.  Even Apple is not immune to cyber attacks, and regularly releases new operating systems. (They no longer support Snow Leopard (OS X 10.6).

As one of the most used internet browsers, Chrome’s announcement removes another layer of protection from cyber attacks, viruses and malware for older operating systems.

Most computers today are connected 24/7 with broadband connections. With the constant barrage of new malware and viruses being unleashed by very cunning hackers, a system that was secure last year may be insecure today.  That is why companies like Microsoft, Apple and Google are constantly upgrading their defenses and regularly install patches.  However, there comes a day when patches are not enough and a new system is needed.  It looks like Microsoft and Chrome believe that time is now.