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Mozilla Firefox ESR icon The latest official version of Firefox that comes with support for both Windows XP and Windows Vista, especially aimed at organizations or public institutions with slightly outdated IT infrastructures

Note: The 52 ESR family will be the last release to run on Windows XP and Vista. The Mozilla OrganiZation urges all enterprises or companies that use Firefox ESR to sign up for the Enterprise Working Group mailing list. More details can be found here.

It's somewhat understandable why a while back Firefox, alongside other web browsers out there, have dropped support for Windows XP and Vista since, we all know, newer OSes bring a lot of advantages, especially in the security department.

Firefox ESR - bullet-proof stability and support for Windows XP and Vista

So, bad news for all Windows XP and Vista users and even worse news for organizations (schools, universities, and other types of enterprise workgroups) with fairly outdated IT infrastructures, right?

We're glad to say that this is not quite the case since Mozilla is one of the few organizations that still offer support for the outdated iterations of Windows (at least for the time being, see the last paragraphs for more details)

Found under the moniker of Firefox ESR, short for Extended Support Release, this is an older version of Firefox with a deferred development cycle that, besides the obvious Windows XP and Vista support, offers stability at the expense of newer features.

Still, works and feels like a modern Firefox browser should

The good news is that realistically speaking, it's not really as far-off the latest versions of Firefox as you may be lead to believe.

You still get a fairly similar, although a slightly outdated, user interface with the same "hamburger menu", and most of the features you would expect from a modern web browser, such as smooth sync capabilities (for bookmarks, history, tabs, passwords, and so forth), private browsing, support for add-ons and themes, as well as various handy developer tools.

It should also go without saying that you are also provided with various options to manage the tabs, an integrated spell checker, a fairly decent download manager, a bookmark manager, pop-up blocker, as we were saying, a lot of bits and bobs that you're used to.

The official support end date, the whole reasoning behind it and a few conclusions

Before we conclude, it's time to talk a little about, well, the elephant in the room, namely the support end date for the ESR versions, which should be September 2017. It remains to be seen if this date will be extended or not, but the truth is that after this date there are very slim chances of further security updates, which should put things into perspective.

If you were to ask us, Mozilla has really done an outstanding job of finding a middle ground here. On the one hand, evidently, they strongly encourage users and enterprises to upgrade to the latest version of Windows, while on the other, they also offer this ESR version to help a few users and various companies and organizations running desktop environments to sort out their infrastructure plans.

At the end of the day, though, the encouragement to upgrade to the latest Windows is with good reason, since there's only so much protection that a web browser can provide (regardless of its security updates) all on its own, without a reliable and secure OS to back it up.

Firefox Extended Support Release Firefox for Windows XP Firefox for Vista Firefox Web Browser Bookmark Enterprise

Mozilla Firefox ESR was reviewed by Vladimir Ciobica

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Mozilla Firefox ESR 60.2.1 / 60.2.2 RC2 / 52.9.0

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  portable version
A portable version of this application is available: Portable Firefox ESR
  file size:
34.6 MB
  runs on:
Windows 10 32/64 bit
Windows 2003
Windows 8 32/64 bit
Windows 7 32/64 bit
Windows Vista 32/64 bit
Windows XP 32/64 bit
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