Google announces plans to support Windows XP throughout 2015 with Chrome updates

Google has announced that it will keep supporting the now-defunct Windows XP this year through continued updates to its Chrome browser.

Microsoft's Windows XP was one of the most popular versions of Windows and many consumers worldwide still rely on it, despite the fact that Microsoft dropped it a while back. Nevertheless, according to the latest figures released last month, Windows XP still holds as much as 16.94 percent of the global market.

As a reminder, Windows XP finally reached its end of life status on April 8, 2014, after several warnings and announcements. This means that after that date, the OS has no longer been patched for security issues or compatibility.

Google, for its part, had announced back in October 2013 that it would abandon support for Windows XP in April 2015. The time has now come, but Google has reversed its decision and has now revealed that it will in fact continue to support XP throughout 2015 in the form of Chrome updates. While this will not mean the revival of Windows XP, it will nonetheless reduce the risk of browser-related problems.

"On April 8, 2014, Microsoft stopped supporting Windows XP. This isn't just a formality: computers running Windows XP haven't received security patches in over a year and are facing a number of critical security vulnerabilities. At the operating system level, computers running XP are inherently in danger of being infected by malware and viruses, making it increasingly difficult for Chrome to provide a secure browsing environment. That's why we strongly encourage everyone to update to a supported, secure operating system," Mark Larson, Director of Engineering at Google Chrome, explained in a new announcement on Thursday, April 16.

"That said, we know that not everyone can easily switch to a newer operating system. 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."

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