Thursday, 7 January 2016

Microsoft Internet Explorer 8, 9 And 10 To Lose Support On January 12

Internet Explorer Logo / Image Credit: Microsoft

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Microsoft has announced that it is ending support for Internet Explorer 8, 9 and 10 on January 12, 2016. Going forward, the only version of Internet Explorer that will receive technical support and security updates on Windows 7, Windows 8.1 and Windows 10 is Internet Explorer 11.

“Internet Explorer is a component of the Windows operating system and the most current version will continue to follow the specific support lifecycle policy for the operating system on which it is installed. Internet Explorer 11 will be supported for the life of Windows 7, Windows 8.1, and Windows 10,” said Microsoft in the announcement. “The latest version of Internet Explorer will continue to follow the component policy, which means that it follows the support lifecycle and is supported for as long as the Windows operating system on which it is installed.”

Microsoft is encouraging users that have older browsers to upgrade for a “faster, more secure browsing experience.” And Microsoft warned that using older browsers makes PCs vulnerable to viruses, malware and spyware. By shutting down support for previous versions of Internet Explorer, website developers would also no longer have to spend hours ensuring that designs are compatible with older Microsoft browsers.

According to TheNextWeb, Microsoft is issuing a patch on January 12th known as KB3123303 — which will have a “nag box” asking Windows 7 and Windows Server 2008 R2 users that are running old browsers to upgrade. Many home PC users have “Automatic Updates” already turned on so they most likely upgraded to Internet Explorer 11 already. However, users with older browsers can turn on “Automatic Updates” by clicking on “Check for Updates” in the “Windows Update” section of the Control Panel.

The drop in support for Internet Explorer 8, 9 and 10 did not happen out of the blue. The Internet Explorer team published a blog post on August 7, 2014 saying “After January 12, 2016, only the most recent version of Internet Explorer available for a supported operating system will receive technical support and security updates.” In March 2015, the Internet Explorer team published another blog post about how it was maintaining Internet Explorer 11 for “legacy scenarios and enterprise customers.”

In terms of desktop browser market share, Internet Explorer has been decreasing as Google Chrome increases. According to Net Applications, Internet Explorer went from 58.21% in January 2014 to 48.57% in December 2015 while Google Chrome surged from 16.35% in January 2014 to 32.33% in December 2015. 

As of December 2015, Internet Explorer 11 accounted for 25.57% in desktop browser market share while Chrome 47.0 was at 15.68%. As a comparison, Internet Explorer 8, 9 and 10 had a combined desktop browser market share of 19.8% in December 2015.

When Microsoft launched Windows 10, it rolled out a new web browser called Microsoft Edge. Microsoft Edge accounted for under 3% of the desktop browser market share in December 2015, but the Redmond giant said over 44.5 billion minutes were spent in the browser across Windows 10 devices during that month.

What are your thoughts about Microsoft ending supporting for Internet Explorer 8, 9 and 10? Please leave a comment!

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