I understand the usefulness of legacy support on computer systems. Especially when a corporation has built custom software for a lot of money, sometimes millions of dollars, it is pretty painful if support ends, and that your software won’t run on newer machines.
This is one of the things why I appreciate Microsoft with their Windows platform, because they always have been pretty kind with legacy support, even though that has brought them a lot of security issues. But corporate life doesn’t update like you and I do on our private computers or tablets. Corporate life a lot slower, and with very good reason.
I usually support whatever the manufacturers are supporting. So, my productions don’t support anything under IE7 anymore, although I am not so active with supporting the Google and Mozilla support lines for only the previous versions, and then update the browser every three months. I usually handle a longer lifespan for those browsers.
And I have had occasions to tell clients, when they mentioned they were surfing on a Windows 2000 machine with Internet Explorer 5 installed, that I am not supporting it anymore. Once explained why, it never is an issue, but that is easy, I produce web productions.
But for client applications, ranging from small to huge, it is a whole other case. There are enough government offices that still have Windows 2000 running on some machines, and have completely insecure. So, I think it is a good thing to only support limited legacy support. At one moment, you need to tell a client that they need to move on, even if it is just for security reasons alone.
So I was absolutely surprised that Linux officially stops supporting the 386 chipset. I felt such a feeling of nostalgia! The 386. It was not our first PC, no, we have had PC’s from the 8086 time, but the 386 was a nice one. We owned a DX-40. Which was a powerhouse at that time.
Yes, yes, geek talk here. But we are talking about 1992 here that we moved from our 286 to this new machine that had no problems anymore showing 256 colors simultaneously, while the 286 had some refresh problems running in VGA.
In other words… it is old. These were the times people with PC’s were happy if they had a sound card in their computer. That a mouse started to become a tool that might be handy. The time that blue screens did not yet exists in Windows, because Windows would just be a program in DOS.
So, I have to applaud Linux with their support, and holding on to it for so long. And, I would not be surprised if there are still one or two 386 computers humming somewhere in the world and those owners might write this day down as a black day in history. But, still… keeping that level of computers alive with current versions of Linux is simply praiseworthy…
But now… please move on! Think about what they can do with my old 486 DX-2 66! WOOOHOOO!