People still using Windows XP or Vista and the Chrome browser will soon be forced to upgrade to a newer operating system or a new browser if they wish to use the full Gmail service, as Google takes a hard line on security for its mail service.
Windows XP, which has been End-of-Life for nearly two years, and Windows Vista, which reaches end of life in two months, will be blocked from using the popular mail service in its current form starting at the end of 2017.
This is because Google is going to stop supporting its full Gmail service on versions of Chrome below 53 and it's stopped updating Chrome for Windows XP and Vista from version 49.
"Gmail users that are still on Windows XP and Windows Vista are the most likely to be affected, because v49 was the last released version which supported those operating systems," it said in a blog post.
"As previously announced in April 2015 and November 2015, these systems are no longer maintained by Microsoft, and we strongly encourage you to migrate to more secure and supported systems.
The block isn't complete as users will still be able to use a basic HTML interface but this lacks most of the key Gmail features and is generally a less pleasant experience.
Google has already warned customers that it will stop GSuite apps working in versions of Chrome prior to 53 soon, and warning screens will appear for anyone running versions below 55.
Google Drive is already blocked for Vista and XP users too, so this latest move isn't really much a surprise.
The latest version of Chrome (56) is the first to embrace HTML5 as its default, having killed off all the plug-ins such as Flash and Netscape related hangovers.
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