Usually third party browsers are popular for those who are using older versions of an operating system. Browsers like Mozilla Firefox, Opera, and Google Chrome tend to stick around much longer on older operating systems than native browsers such as Apple’s Safari or Microsoft’s Internet Explorer.
After some time though, even third party browsers begin to move. This is what Google’s Chrome seems to be doing with Apple’s Mac OS X Leopard.
According to Jason Kersey from Google Chrome:
The Dev channel has been updated to 22.0.1201.0 for Windows, Mac, Linux and Chrome Frame[…] Please note, on Mac we now require 10.6 or higher, and this release will not be available if you are on 10.5 or lower.
Chrome has only been supporting Intel-based Macs. Thus, people on the PowerPC Macs would not be losing anything here. For those who are unaware, Intel machines can run 10.5 can also run 10.6. Therefore, no hardware is being phased out either. Unfortunately, the early models of the 32-bit Intel Macs cannot upgrade past 10.6. So the next time Google Chrome abandones an operating system, the small population of users still using 10.6 will be stuck.
For those of you who did not already know, Mac OS X 10.5 Leopard was launched in October 2007. Last time, it was updated in August 2009. It seems like it is time to move on, so the move is not a surprise. If you have old 32-bit Mac, you can still update to Mac OS X 10.5 Leopard via Amazon so you are not completely stuck, at least not yet.