Vivaldi on Windows XP and Vista
Opera have just announced that like Google Chrome, they are dropping support for Windows XP and Vista. Opera 36 will be the last version that will run on Windows XP. That has made my decision over which browser to replace Opera 12 (now 12.18) with on my XP system when I finally have to abandon it, somewhat easier. It will hopefully be Vivaldi, but I am now very worried that if the Chromium project as a whole abandons support for XP and Vista, Vivaldi will have to as well. Can anyone from Vivaldi comment on this? Is it the intention that Vivaldi will carry on supporting XP and Vista, at least until it becomes impossible to do so? Google Chrome and Opera seem to have made this decision as a matter of policy, not for technical reasons as yet.
I still have an old computer with Windows XP but I really don't like using it now.
I have Windows 7 64-bit on my new PC (not so new, now two and half years old). It is so much faster to boot up, recover from sleep mode, and when running software.
I think you should abandon XP — its time has passed.
Thanks Pesala, it's been a long time!
I remember you well on the old Opera forums years ago, your knowledge of using and customising Presto Opera was second to none!
I'm afraid every time I put anything about XP on a forum now I always get people just advising me to abandon it. In fact only earlier this evening I went on the Opera developers' blog and bemoaned the fact that they were abandoning it, and someone replied who was really quite abusive about anyone who's still running XP in 2016!
I'm not a Luddite by any means, I run a multi-boot machine that has Windows 8.1 on it as well as XP, and I use both. I have nothing against 8.1, but I still prefer XP for day to day use.
My only reason for posting this was just to see if I could get the Vivaldi's developers' opinion on this, as to whether they will keep trying to support XP (and Vista, which is still supported by Microsoft for another year in fact!) or whether they will soon make it impossible to run Vivaldi on XP as Opera have now done with their latest version.
A search for "Windows XP" found this earlier thread.
It looks like support will depend on Google, and they have dropped support for XP.
To keep this in accurate perspective, a lot depends on which chromium/Blink versions the Vivaldi developers use going forward and whether they follow along using the forthcoming chromium versions that are going to start deprecating XP/Vista support in April 2016. For example, the https://code.google.com/p/chromium/issues/detail?id=582262 blog states: "As part of Chrome Platform Deprecation CPS (2015-10), we will end support for Windows XP and Windows Vista in April 2016."
Unless Vivaldi elects to freeze their chromium/Blink engine updating (with possible negative engine security or bug-fix implications) or fork their own engine sub-version (with costly support implications), XP/Vista support is going to likely end at some not-distant point simply because the underlying engine will go that route. Only Vivaldi knows for sure what path they will take, but it's hard to imagine they won't be swept along by the chromium/Blink XP/Vista deprecation current. The Microsoft (Win10) and Google (Chrome) push for this deprecation is going to be impossible to stop, particularly if (as I suspect) it's largely marketing driven.
Thanks, that's pretty much how I read things too.
I certainly wouldn't expect the Vivaldi developers to keep using older versions of Chromium/Blink just to keep die-hard XP and Vista users happy, so I fear they will have to drop support like everyone else.
Doing that would make things very difficult for them and potentially compromise security and functionality.
To be fair to Opera, they have at least said that they will continue to provide security patches for Opera 36, which when it's released to stable will be the last version for XP and Vista, although no functional improvements will be made to it.
How long this will last for remains to be seen of course, but Opera do have a history of maintaining support for platforms for very long periods of time with Presto Opera, and indeed they have just (completely unexpectedly) released Opera 12.18, a security patched update to Presto Opera, two years after everyone assumed it was completely abandoned!
Videos on XP have some severe issues because of missing GPU/hardware acceleration/driver problems or missing codecs.
And fixing such issues in Vivaldi is much work as Chromium code will not support XP any more. On these fixes for very old XP much time must be spent, much testing, and for every ne Chromium code update new investigation for XP bugs and then repatched in Vivaldi.
I heard in tester team chat from some devs that repatching for XP this is not really usable, cery timecostly and may result in more problems and new bugs.
I am sorry for you, but if you stay on XP some problems may occur and make Vivaldi unpleasant.
One possible strategy for XP users to consider just before April 2016 arrives is to begin downloading new browser versions thereafter (instead of 'updating' known-XP-compatible versions) and installing those new versions over top of each superseded version. That way, the user will build a library of installable XP-compatible versions until the version point is eventually reached (and it WILL be reached) where major XP-compatibility issues start to arise.
The user will also have to assure that no auto-updating can occur for any chromish browser brand (not a problem for Vivaldi yet, but it might be for Opera or Chrome unless auto-updates are shut off or otherwise securely blocked by the user). Along with making frequent profile-folder backups, this will provide an XP user an easy pathway to always "get back home" to the last compatible version for their system if the browser should somehow get updated to an incompatible version. At that last-compatible version point, the user's system will have to remain thereafter for that particular browser brand.
In fact, this all actually applies especially to any auto-updatable software as its own particular end-of-support point approaches, and affected users should note that a program's auto-updating becomes your mortal enemy at that time. Having lived through a number of OS end-of-support experiences, inadvertent software auto-updating beyond the compatibility point can really ruin your day, particularly if you lack an earlier installable version or a full backup.
My first indication that all was not well with Opera for me was when I got a notification via a blog post that the first version of Opera Developer 37 had been posted.
When I went to my Opera Developer 36, it didn't automatically update, and a manual check said it was up to date.
I then found the blog post for 37, and was greeted with the very unwelcome news that support had been dropped for XP and Vista with version 37.
Interestingly, I've now read here that it still actually works on Vista!
It does look as if auto-updating won't be a problem at least for Opera, as it won't now update on XP anyway, at least not to the next major version. Opera have said to their credit that they will still be providing security patches for 36 on XP systems, so presumably auto-updates will continue to deliver them, but nothing else.
Windows XP has terible HTML5 and GPU Acc. no browser will support it
This will be a problem in the future I'm sure, as technologies move on and develop, but I don't agree that it's a major problem quite yet.
As a webmaster I use just about every major browser for testing purposes on XP, and HTML5 and indeed all multimedia playback works absolutely fine.
I use Windows 8.1 as well, on the same hardware, and I wouldn't say that performance is particularly noticeably better in 8.1, although it does support more formats natively of course.
… It does look as if auto-updating won't be a problem at least for Opera, as it won't now update on XP anyway, at least not to the next major version. Opera have said to their credit that they will still be providing security patches for 36 on XP systems, so presumably auto-updates will continue to deliver them, but nothing else.
As new XP-deprecated chromium engines continue emerging from chromium/Blink development and are folded into chromish browsers, they will indeed start to exhibit auto-update "reactions" for XP - the kind of reaction depending on what the developers have included into the installer/updater to deal with OS incompatibilities. Hopefully, all the chromish browser brands will use graceful approaches to this, Opera's approach frankly being a good example.
Unfortunately, not all development houses will necessarily employ grace, hence my advice earlier about XP users making sure they have a way to 'get back home' if a particular browser flavor doesn't handle future auto-updates gracefully. And its not just browsers… any auto-updating software has the potential to overrun compatibility if the developers fail to block it in the installer/updater. At the end of the day, it's the user himself that has to be sure he safeguards his system and its configuration, particularly as obsolescence comes over the horizon. Not all software makers make archives of prior versions available. Just sayin'...