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Mozilla knocks Microsoft’s decision to abandon XP support

Microsoft has been getting some bad press lately. A Mozilla executive is knocking Microsoft’s decision to abandon support for the decade old Windows XP operating system in the new Internet Explorer 9 browser.

As ComputerWorld reports, Johnathan Nightingale, the director of Mozilla’s Firefox, did not want to partake in the debate over which browser is better and which browser sported the best hardware acceleration in Windows Vista and Windows 7. Instead, he argued about Microsoft’s decision to drop support for Windows XP. “For me, the most interesting thing is not the quibbling about what browser [boasts] full hardware acceleration,” Nightingale said. “What surprises me the most is that acceleration is not available for Windows XP.”

“That took us a lot of work. We had to do almost twice the work to accelerate [Firefox 4] on Vista and Windows 7, and Windows XP,” said Nightingale. “But by our count, Windows XP still accounts for 40% to 50% of the Web. Our obligation is to the users, and Windows XP is not a part we can cut out.”

Ryan Gavin, senior director of Internet Explorer, argued otherwise. “We knew we didn’t want to optimize for the lowest common denominator, you need a modern operating system. Supporting XP would have been optimizing for the lowest common denominator. It’s ten years old. That’s not what developers need to move the Web forward.”

It is reported that 38% of Windows OS’es used to access the web last month were Windows Vista and Windows 7 combined.

Mozilla is set to launch the final version of Firefox 4 on March 22 at approximately 7AM Pacific Time.

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