Google Apps Drops IE8 Support, Luddites Weep

Google Apps Closes a Door on OS History

It’s tough to claim you didn’t see this coming. Windows XP is more than a decade old. If every computer it’s run on counted as a lover, it would have died from some venereal disease long ago. The truth of the matter is, it’s time to put this old horse out to pasture, and at least in terms of Google Apps supporting Windows XP via Internet Explorer 8, that’s exactly what’s happening. According to a post on the Google Apps Update Blog, Google makes it their business to support the current version of a browser and the immediately preceding version (which has to make supporting Firefox and Chrome a real bitch lately, with as fast as they’ve been updating, am I right?), so the release of IE10 on Windows 8 coming on October 26th sounds the death knell for IE8 support. Read on past the break for details, dates and workarounds!

Anyone who’s enough of a Luddite to still be running XP and hasn’t switched to any of the many superior, free options is on warning: come November 15th, Google Apps will nag you to update. But hey, it’s not all bad! Read on after the break for some options that’ll keep you working if you really insist on being stuck 11 years behind the rest of the world!

Ah, there you are: that strangest of internet beasts, the technological Luddite. Don’t feel too bad, we all have our fears, yours is just about upgrading software. Yes, Brenda, I’m looking at you. Don’t worry, there are options of a sort.

First, there are still free, Windows XP compatible browsers that will continue to work just fine with Google Apps. Yes, they’re different from Internet Explorer, and yes, they involve a compromise that will shake up your comfy little world a little, but believe me it’s a lot smaller of a change than your eventual transition to Windows 8 will be. For your ease, here are the browsers Google Apps will continue to support, and you can download them for free.

1. Google Chrome. This is your safest bet, as there’s essentially zero chance Google will ever stop supporting their own browser. It’s got some perks, too: it’s fast, has a slim, neat UI and can sync your favorites to your Gmail account. Slick, right? Right.

2. Mozilla Firefox. This has been a favorite of many folks for years, and although it had an extended period of inactivity, the past year has seen Mozilla become very…prolific, at least when it comes to rolling out upgrades. Every time I blink there’s a new release of the damn thing, but at least it’s very good and very fast, and for the purpose of this article’s topic, it’s still supported and probably will be for a long time.

3. Apple Safari. Yeah, I know: Safari sucks and nobody outside of iOS users uses it. But hey–it’s supported! That’s gotta count for something somewhere, right?

4. Opera…Opera. Sure, the company name and the product name are the same, but who’s to blame? I don’t know the answer to that question, but I do know the browser is still supported, and what more can you really ask from a free product?

Hopefully one of these will suit you. Don’t dilly-dally, though, you only have 2 months until Google drops IE8 support, so you might want to get busy seeing which of these browsers floats your boat. Hurry up!

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