Mozilla announced in a recent blog post that Firefox support for Windows XP and Vista will continue until the middle of 2017. Sometime in March next year, Windows XP and Vista users will be moved to the Firefox Extended Support Release (ESR)
Firefox browsers for Windows XP and Vista will receive security updates without the need for additional action from users, however, it will only last until September arrives. The developers will assess the number of active XP and Vista owners and announce a final termination date for support.
According to Mozilla, Firefox ESRs are typically "for groups who deploy and maintain the desktop environment in large organizations such as universities and other schools, county or city governments, and businesses." These are not meant for individuals who want the latest features and upgrades.
Mozilla urges said organizations to sign up for the Enterprise Working Group mailing list to discuss the deployment of ESRs with community members.
Firefox ESRs include Firefox versions (v10, v17, v24, v31, v38, and v45) which Mozilla provides security updates for an extended period of time. Right now there are only two supported ESR versions, namely, Firefox ESR 38 and ESR 45. With Windows XP and Vista users using the two ESR versions, Mozilla maximizes providing security updates for only two Firefox versions, instead of updating a lot.
Of course, this is Firefox moving to strongly encourage its users to upgrade to a Microsoft supported version of Windows. Earlier this year, Mozilla announced the end of the support for Firefox on OS X 10.6, 10.7, and 10.8 in August 2016. Firefox ESR 45 will be there to support OS X 10.6, 10.7, and 10.8 but only until the middle of 2017 as well.
Google has put its foot down by ending its support for Chrome on Windows XP, Windows Vista, OS X 10.6 Snow Leopard, OS X 10.7 Lion, and OS X 10.8 this year.