Google has surprised users by announcing it will extend support for its Chrome web browser running on Microsoft's old Windows XP operating system until April 2016.
Windows XP was sunset in April last year, with security patches no longer available for the obsolete operating system.
Google at the time said support for Chrome on XP would be ditched at the same time as Microsoft ceased to provide updates for its operating system.
But despite the official death knell, Google extended support to April 2015.
At its new deadline Google said it would provide patches and support for Chrome on XP for pragmatic reasons, due to the large number of users who are still on the deprecated software.
Chrome on XP has now been given another lease of life, until April next year, despite the risks of viruses and malware.
Google director of engineering Marc Pawliger nevertheless urged users to update to a new operating system for security reasons.
"If you are still on one of these unsupported platforms, we encourage you to move to a newer operating system to ensure that you continue to receive the latest Chrome versions and features," Pawliger wrote.
Google said it would also support Chrome on Vista until April next year.
Chrome on Mac OS X 10.6, 10.7 and 10.8 - all of which are unsupported by Apple - will also continue to get updates and security fixes until April next year, Pawliger said.