Microsoft Is Slowly Calling Curtains on Internet Explorer

Come January 2016, Microsoft will stop support on all previous versions of the storied and significant browser – the Internet Explorer. Only the latest and incidentally the last version of the browser – version 11 will be supported going forward.

Unless you’re on Windows 10, Internet Explorer is still the default browser bundled into the Windows operating system on every preceding version of the most widely used operating system in the world. With this in mind, a recent Microsoft announcement is a significant one.

Microsoft has publicly announced it will effectively shut down all support, updates and fixes for every version of Internet Explorer except the latest version – v11. The announcement comes into effect on January 12, 2016.

IEAccording to this global browser market share statistic, 2.07% of all web browsers still in use is Internet Explorer version 9, one of the soon-to-be legacy software versions of the once-popular browser. While the percentage may seem a low figure, the number of version 9 IE browsers are in the millions.

That’s millions of web browsers, soon to be vulnerable to security vulnerabilities, bugs and a lack of patches.

If you are an Internet Explorer user, it’s time to upgrade to Version 11, if you aren’t on it already.

Microsoft’s announcement stated:

Beginning January 12, 2016, only the most current version of Internet Explorer available for a supported operating system will receive technical supports and security updates.

Internet Explorer 11 is the last version of Internet Explorer, and will continue to receive security updates, compatibility fixes, and technical support on Windows 7, Windows 8.1, and Windows 10.

The decision to forego support for previous versions of Internet Explorer –a browser still depended upon by enterprise users and home users alike – is one to be expected by the software giant, even if it will serve as an inconvenience to many in the immediate future.

Internet Explorer Still has a Significant Enterprise User Base

In a blog post in November, Microsoft acknowledged the adoption of previous versions of Internet Explorer by third-party programs and services. At the time, Jatinder Mann, the Senior Program Manager Lead, and Fred Pullen, Product Marketing Director of the IE & Microsoft Edge team assured Internet Explorers that support solutions are currently being worked on.

We understand many customers have web apps and services designed specifically for older versions of Internet Explorer, so we’re continuing to improve our set of Enterprise Mode tools to help you run those applications in Internet Explorer 11.

Enterprise users are a big paying clientele for Microsoft, a company that sees its flagship operating system among the most pirated software in the world. It comes as little surprise then that Microsoft is introducing a new feature on Internet Explorer 11, called Enterprise Mode. The feature enables the implementation and use of legacy web applications from older versions of the browser with IE 11.

The PC software maker is now focusing most of its efforts in the browser space going into its latest web browser – Microsoft Edge. The software is packed in as the default web browser into Microsoft’s various platforms including Windows 10, the Xbox One, Windows Server 2016 and Windows 10 Mobile.

Featured image from Shutterstock. IE logo from Wikimedia.

Samburaj is the contributing editor at Hacked and keeps tabs on science, technology and cyber security.