The Firestorm Team announced last Friday (2/13) that they will be blocking their viewer version 4.6.1. Versions 4.6.5, 4.6.7 and 4.6.9 will be the only versions that can log into Second Life. They strongly advise that you upgrade to and use version 4.6.9.
Official Firestorm Announcement is here.
An exception is being made for version 4.4.2 on the Mac side. The problems from Apple’s change to Cocoa have been the reason for this version being allowed to stay on the grid. The Linden position is the problems are from Apple’s upgrades and they are fixed in new Apple Operating System (OS) versions. I understand the updates are free, so there is little reason not to upgrade. But, old hardware can be a problem. But, some decent machines are going for US$200 on eBay.
Whatever the case or cause, the FS Team is saying they will block 4.4.2 before their next release. This will affect about 8,000 users. Since the 4.4.2 version does not support fitted mesh, it does not provide the experience most users have. I suspect the team is getting some pressure to block the viewer and get it off the grid. So, just as all versions of Windows XP and Vista SP1 will soon be blocked (…well, new viewer versions will refuse to install and eventually old version will be blocked), so too with FS 4.4.2.
Inara is alerting her readers to the change also. She is pointing out she suspects the next Firestorm release will be in late March or early April. Hers is a fairly educated guess. The Viewer Managed Marketplace (VMM) feature the Lab is putting out has us all guessing as to how it will affect the release date for Firestorm. I think Inara is betting the FS Team will not release until they can include VMM, which I think is a good bet. But, I’m not giving odds.
Whatever the case, people need to be upgrading their computers. XP and Vista machines along with older Apple machines are being left behind. With a free Windows 10 Coming the asking price for Windows 7 install disks and COA’s will likely start to climb as demand surpasses supply.