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Mozilla ditches Mac OS X 10.4 support in fresh Firefox

Toothless Tiger loses fight

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Mozilla has officially ditched Firefox support for Apple Mac OS X 10.4 for upcoming versions of its browser, despite gripes from some web surfers.

The open source group confirmed on Tuesday that, following heated discussion from the Mozilla community, it would only support Mac OS X 10.5 or later when it released the next iteration of its browser.

"We believe a Mac OS X 10.5 minimum will allow us to provide the best experience possible to our users," said Mozilla Mac programmer Josh Aas in a mailing list message.

The decision was essentially an academic one after Mozilla confirmed plans in early February to release version 1.9.3 of its Gecko rendering engine later this year.

At the same time support for Tiger will be dropped altogether, even though the Mozilla Foundation estimated that nearly 1.5 million Mac OSX 10.4 users are still surfing the web with Firefox 3.5. Meanwhile 36,000 Tiger-fanciers are running Firefox 3.6, which is Mozilla’s current version of its popular browser.

Mozilla spun out Firefox 3.6 earlier this year, which does support Tiger.

“This does not affect current users of Firefox, or updates to Firefox 3.6: Mac OS X 10.4 will continue to be supported via Firefox 3.6 until its end-of-life (not yet scheduled),” said Aas.

“Thanks to everyone who provided input on this issue. We believe a Mac OS X 10.5 minimum will allow us to provide the best experience possible to our users." ®

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