Firefox 13 is scheduled to be released in June 2012, and that, dear readers is when the hammer finally comes down and WinXP will be the minimum required Windows OS to install the Firefox browser. The image to the right is exactly the notice you will get on Win2000 running the the current Fx 12.
Several times I’ve had to point out to people that yes, you can install the newest version of Firefox using the native installer in the Windows 2000 OS. Even if you download Firefox 12 right now and go to run it in Win2000, it will install and it will work just like it’s supposed to.
Side note before continuing: Don’t even say "OPERA!" to me. Don’t go there. Opera is crap just like Safari is. And if you ask "What makes it crap?", the list is long. Buggy operation of web form usage, comes bundled with crap nobody needs (like a mail client nobody cares about that you can’t uninstall), ridiculously complicated settings menus, etc., etc. etc. Like I said, the list is long, so don’t bother singing the praises of that turd of a browser. Opera does great on mobile, but sucks on the desktop and is absolutely not a suitable replacement for Firefox.
Firefox is what makes Win2000 still usable on the modern internet. That browser in combination with a recent version of Java and Flash Player allows the environment to browse the web and do everything you’d normally do just as if you were in XP, Vista or 7 – and do it rather well.
As for how long you can go with Fx 12 on Win2000 before that becomes unusable on the internet, I’d give it until 2015. After that, you’ll have to go with Linux assuming the hardware in your old computer box hasn’t changed by that time, or you bought a new PC by then.
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