Google has announced that starting February 8, 2017, Chrome 53 and earlier will not be supported for Gmail. Starting then, a banner will be displayed indicating that an update is recommended for a safer experience. The current version of Chrome is build 56 for desktops.
The impact is most likely going to be felt by those who are still on Windows XP or Windows Vista. Chrome 49 was the last supported version for these Operating Systems and Google, as Microsoft themselves have done, are no longer supporting them. In Google’s announcement, users on XP and Vista are strongly encouraged to update to a new version of Windows.
To be clear, users on XP and Vista will still be able to get to Gmail with these older browsers. Google points out that if you do, you are more vulnerable to security
If you continue to use older versions of Chrome Browser now that support has ended, Gmail will be more vulnerable to security risks and users will not have access to new features and bugfixes.
Gmail will continue to function on Chrome Browser v53 and below through the end of the year. Users who remain on Chrome v53 and below could be redirected to the basic HTML version of Gmail as early as Dec 2017.
If you are still on these older versions of Windows, it is another reason to get updated to Windows 7, 8 or 10… or consider a Chromebook?