Google has been accused of intentionally displaying old versions of its site in order to convince web users to install the latest browser software
The BBC reports that users took to Google’s online support forum to complain about seeing outdated versions of the site. Expecting an apology and a fix for the issue, they were surprised when a Google employee appeared and told them that it “isn’t a bug” and in fact “working as intended.”
One user posted screenshots that show Google displaying an old version of the site from 2013 because his web browser hadn’t been upgraded to the latest version.
Many commenters using older versions of the Opera and Safari web browsers reported similar issues, with Google displaying versions of the site that were often years out of date.
This version of Google Image Search dates from before the site’s 2010 redesign.
In 2013, users of Internet Explorer 9 were stopped from accessing Gmail after the browser was added to Google’s list of unsupported browsers, in favour of Internet Explorer 11.
Google regularly ends support for the third-oldest generation of each major web browser. A 2011 post from the company explained that “Older browsers just don’t have the chops to provide you with the same high-quality experience.”