Google Chrome 50 has been released, and its most notable feature is the end of support for older versions of Windows and Mac, specifically Windows XP.
The new edition doesn't support Windows XP, which has been end-of-life since 2014, even though it still has an 11 per cent market share. Windows Vista, which is hovering at around two per cent, is out too, as are versions of Mac OS X prior to version 10.9 (Mavericks).
We were warned last year, after an extension from the original end day of December 2015, that this was going to happen in April. The company said at the time: "Such older platforms are missing critical security updates and have a greater potential to be infected by viruses and malware."
Devices running these operating systems will continue to be able to access Chrome but will receive no further updates. This means that soon, as new features evolve and old ones are retired, the whole thing will start to look a bit pants.
Those who get the new version will enjoy much better system reliability for notifications which have been, shall we say, a little shonky at times in previous builds. This is down to the switch to a system called Push Notification Payloads.
This will also mean that if you close a notification on one device it won't then nag you on another.
It's worth noting that the new version of Chrome will, at some point, see the new look that finally embraces Material Design, which has been the mainstay of Android for some time.
However, the change is limited for this initial release to Chrome OS, i.e. Chromebooks and similar devices. At time of writing, our ageing HP Chromebook 14 wouldn't go past Version 49, but we're told that it is coming imminently along with the version for Android.
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