Update: the requirements for ervice pack installations has been revised following clarification from Tankmaster Finesmith – see comments below.
Linden Lab has updated the Second Life system requirements page to better reflect the current status of the Windows and Mac OSX operating systems.
The new requirements list Windows Vista, Windows 7 or Windows 8 as the minimum OS requirements for Windows systems and Mac OS X 10.7 or better for Mac systems.
While there are no moves to actually block older operating systems from accessing Second Life, the Lab notes that assistance will no longer be given to users accessing Second Life on unsupported operating system version. Additionally, the Lab is updating the Windows installer so that it will verify whether the latest Service Packs for Windows XP versions have been installed, otherwise viewer installation on XP will be blocked until such time as the relevant service packs have been installed. This means that the 32-bit Windows XP will be checked for the presence of Service Pack 3, and the 64-bit Windows XP will be checked for the presence of Service Pack 2.
The blog post announcing these changes reads in full:
We have made some changes to the Second Life System Requirements to bring them more up to date, and are making some related changes to the Viewer:
- We have removed Windows XP and Mac OSX 10.6 from the list of supported operating systems. Microsoft has announced the end of support for XP, and it has been some time since Apple has released updates for 10.6. For some time now, the Viewer has been significantly less stable on these older systems, and the lack of security updates to them make them more hazardous to use. We have no plans to actually block those systems, but problems reported on them that cannot be reproduced on supported systems will not likely be fixed.
- The Windows installer has been modified to verify that the system has been updated with the most recent Service Packs from Microsoft. While we will not block installation on Windows 8 at this time, we strongly recommend upgrading to 8.1 for greater stability. Our data shows that the Viewer is significantly less stable on systems that have not been kept up to date, so the installer will now block installation until the updates have been applied. This change will be effective in a Viewer version to be released in the next few weeks, so it would be a good idea to get your system up to date before then. You can find information on how to install the latest updates at the Microsoft Windows Update page.
Firestorm implemented a similar policy where windows is concerned with release 4.6.1, and STORM-1966 (from Tankmaster Finesmith of the Firestorm team) has been put forward as a means of enforcing similar controls in the Lab’s Windows installer. This code is due to appear in the upcoming STORM viewer release candidate.
For details on the availability of the STORM RC, please refer to my Current Viewer Releases page, where I list it as it becomes available.