This probably won’t impact most readers of this site, but Microsoft will be ending support for Internet Explorer 8 and 9, and 10 next Tuesday. That means that IE 11 will (basically) be the only supported version going forward.
“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,” Microsoft explains. “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.”
While there doesn’t seem to be much nuance to that statement, there is a bit of undercurrent there: That “supported operating system” phrase is a reference to Windows XP, which exited support almost two years ago and yet is still in use on almost 20 percent of all PCs worldwide. That’s 300 million of ’em, by the way, or well over double the usage of all versions of Mac OS X combined.
And that’s really how this change should be viewed, as part of a broader move at Microsoft to more aggressively cut off XP’s viability while trying to get an ever-bigger chunk of the Windows user base on the most recent version.
Tuesday is of course Patch Tuesday, so it’s possible we’ll see a big swath of final fixes for these older IE versions as well. On Windows 7, users will start seeing a new “End of Life” upgrade notification for Internet Explorer if they’re still using an older IE version.
Moving forward, IE 11 will be supported as long as the OS in which it is installed. So you’re welcome to continue using IE 11 until your OS is no longer supported.
(There is one exception to this support expiration. Windows Vista users will have to keep using Internet Explorer 9, and that IE version will be supported on Vista only until Vista support ends.)
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