Testing for operating system requirements?

How do you test supported operating system versions for your plugin? I assumed that everything made with JUCE would have shared requirements, but many manufacturers using it have somewhat different minimum operating system versions. Furthermore, there is nothing really on the web about this subject. I don’t want to be in a situation where I declare that my plugin works on Windows 7, for example, but then it doesn’t. Many manufacturers state Windows 8.1 as a minimum version, so what makes their plugins not work in Windows 7? Or is it more like a safety measure for the company to wash their hands, if you will, from cases where for some reason, the plugin doesn’t work on older operating systems? There is no way to test through all Windows and macOS versions. I would greatly appreciate any insights.

JUCE itself works back to XP (or at least it did a few year ago, I haven’t checked lately). But there are a few choices you can affect what versions of Windows you support.

If you are 64 bit only, you won’t support XP (There was a 64 bit version of XP, but it was hardly used since it was released about a year before Vista)

The version of Visual Studio you choose. If you are using VS2019 and the v142 toolset, you can’t support XP.

Windows 7 by default doesn’t support TLS 1.1 or TLS 1.2, so if your plugin needs to connect to your website to authorize you may run into issues.

Microsoft extended support for Windows 7 ended on January 14, 2020. If Microsoft won’t support it why should you?

You can support old OSes, but why? If they won’t buy a new computer every once and a while, will they buy your software?

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Thank you for your answer, Roland. I will stick with windows 8.1 and macOS 10.9 I initially thought would be good recommendations. The plugin will probably also work with earlier versions, though.

This is purely a matter of what support a plugin vendor will provide.

If I can’t reproduce the user setup then maybe I can’t reproduce an error they are experiencing. If I can’t reproduce their error then I can’t rule out operator mistake instead of software bug.

Maintaining a machine with anything prior to Windows 11 or macOS 12 becomes increasingly more difficult as time marches on.

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