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As of Tuesday 12th Jan Microsoft has announced that it will cease to support Internet Explorer 8,9 and 10. These are older versions of the IE browser and is a move to encourage users to upgrade to IE 11 or Edge.

Don’t panic, this does not affect your Windows application, this only applies to your web browser which is how we surf the internet.

What will happen?

Nothing major will happen immediately, users with older versions of IE will receive an ‘end of life’ notification, advising users to upgrade. A patch will deliver the last few bug fixes to the older browsers, as of the 12th Jan 2016 there will be no support for IE 10 and below.  For Microsoft’s consumer operating systems:

  • Windows 8.1: Internet Explorer 11
  • Windows 7 SP1: Internet Explorer 11
  • Windows Vista SP2: Internet Explorer 9

If you are using one of the above operating systems with an older version of IE, you will stop receiving updates, support and bug fixes from Microsoft. You may even have an older version of the above still running, which means it is definitely time to upgrade!

What does this mean?

Ending support means that older versions of the browser will no longer receive security updates or technical support, therefore being more susceptible to hackers and will be unstable.

What should you do?

You will receive a prompt to upgrade or go to: http://windows.microsoft.com/en-gb/internet-explorer/download-ie to get the latest compatible browser. Really there are not catches and no downside to upgrading, upgrading doesn’t cost anything and the newer versions of IE are more stable and more secure. In addition, newer browsers have more features and browsing online will become more enjoyable.

Why is it important to upgrade to a newer browser?

With 340 million potential users that will still have IE 8,9 or 10, there will still be usage of older browsers, but Microsoft are hoping that the ‘end of life’ message will prompt users to upgrade.

There are many reasons why you should heed Microsoft’s warning and upgrade to a newer browser as continuing to use an older version will mean that your security will be lax without regular updates and you may be in breach of certain security agreements.

What problems could not upgrading cause?

It is estimated that around 20% of desktop systems are running Internet Explorer 8. Not upgrading will become an issue to organisations that continue to use IE after support has lapsed and could face major security issues leading to compliance and liability such as:

  • Problems with security
  • Potential data breach
  • Issues with PCI compliancy
  • Denial of insurance coverage
  • End of life software has become a target

Organisations using internal applications requiring older versions of IE:

For organisations that still use internal applications which require older versions of IE, use Enterprise Mode for IE 11. Enterprise allows businesses to stay up to date with modern web standards, and benefits from better performance and security of the latest browser, while extending investment in legacy web apps.

For more information on this visit: http://blogs.msdn.com/b/ie/archive/2014/04/02/stay-up-to-date-with-enterprise-mode-for-internet-explorer-11.aspx.

Still using Windows XP?

If you are using Windows XP you may be aware that it is not supported by IE 11. Using this operating system and continuing to use an outdate browser pose serious security issues. Microsoft cut Windows XP off from support in April 2014, it has long since received security updates or patches.

There are still some options if you are staying with Windows XP, every cloud and all that…

  • Opera supports XP
  • Download the latest version of Firefox which still supports XP
  • Google Chrome is also an option, however from April 2016 there will be no more updates