Not everyone can afford to have the latest and best gadgets all of the time, and in fact, a good number of people have to keep what they own going for as long as they can. As computers age, they can no longer support the latest operating systems and eventually software too. A company will decide to stop supporting older software, leaving the people who run it with increasingly vulnerable systems from time to time.
At times, this may seem incredibly unfair. It is perfectly understandable when devices cannot take the newest software because they are too slow. Still, when companies stop supporting older software, it almost seems like discrimination. Yet, they have an acceptable reason for doing so, especially when considering the number of people who choose not to upgrade, even when their computers are capable and when the upgrade is free.
Those people who no longer can upgrade the software put in the awkward situation of being on their own. In some cases, it might merely mean that they no longer have support from the company, as when Windows operating systems stop supported. However, it does not mean that they can no longer use the software, just that they are vulnerable to threats from weaknesses in the software. These weaknesses can overcome by the appropriate use of anti-virus software suites.
Yet when companies such as Google stop supporting a product, it can cut people off. For whatever reason, those people will not upgrade their browsers will eventually find that they cannot access certain Google services and either have to find a way to boost or go elsewhere for the services that Google used to provide. So why do they do it?
Older software, in short, can be dangerous. An older browser such as Internet Explorer 6 is likely to have several vulnerabilities. As software ages, more of the potential problems discovered by hackers and virus writers, and the number of viruses that can exploit them increases. As long as vulnerable software continues to use, the risks remain high to those who use it, and it increases the chances to all of us by supporting botnets and other significant threats.
From a website creator’s perspective, the older browsers don’t support current standards or current functionality. That can be limiting as it prevents them from using the latest features available to create interactive pages. It increases the work for them, as they have to test their carriers backward to ensure that even older browsers will correctly display what they have created.
Many browser alternatives are available, many of them being far lighter on resource requirements than IE is. That means that even older computers should find a more modern browser that works to continue to use all websites.
That is why, from August 1st, Google will cease to support older browsers. It will only keep the two latest versions of any browser types and will not be testing functionality for older versions. As unfair as it may seem when more senior software support dropped, the reasons for it are genuine and often very necessary.