There’s another reason for Windows XP, Vista, 7 and 8 holdouts to upgrade to Windows 10. Aside from experiencing voice-assistance features from Cortana, an improved Start Menu, a more robust Windows Defender with protection from ransomware, users need to upgrade to Windows 10 to continue getting the full features of Gmail.
That’s correct. Google wants Gmail users to upgrade to Windows 10. Google announced that the full version of Gmail will only be available for people who use the Chrome browser beginning with version 54. By the end of 2017, users on Chrome 53 will be redirected to the less secure HTML version instead of the full-featured Gmail. Chrome 53 cannot be upgraded to a more recent version past Windows 7 and the limit for Windows Vista and XP is version 49. So meaning future versions of Chrome will only be supported on Windows 7 through 10. Gmail is still functional but will display a banner to encourage users to upgrade to Windows 10 which will begin on February 8. With Yahoo dying, and Firefox seemingly in the red, users only have Microsoft Outlook.com as a powerful free email alternative in case they don’t agree with this Google directive.
The reason is that Gmail says that older versions of Chrome and basically older versions of Windows are less secure, and Google won’t bother itself to support older versions of Chrome as well as account for older Windows versions like XP and Vista as Microsoft has ceased supporting them. Chrome version 55 meanwhile has important security updates. It’s not that they want to force users to upgrade both their browser and Windows operating system. With the continued growth of Windows 10, Google will apparently be concentrating its efforts on developing for still supported versions of Windows especially Windows 10. This announcement however only applies to Chrome as Google has yet to make a statement on supporting Gmail on other browsers like Firefox, Opera, Safari, Edge and Internet Explorer.
“Gmail will continue to function on Chrome Browser v53 and below through the end of the year. Users who remain on Chrome v53 and below could be redirected to the basic HTML version of Gmail as early as Dec 2017.”
— G Suite Blog
Well, Google didn’t explicitly state that users should upgrade to Windows 10, but it is the logical way to go for Windows users who access Gmail through the Chrome browser.