Microsoft Ends Support for Internet Explorer 8, 9 And 10 on 12 January 2016

Internet Explorer End of Support

Microsoft has recently announced the ending of support on the 12 January 2016 for older versions of Internet Explorer, namely 8, 9 and 10.  This means that after that date, only the most recent version of Internet Explorer available for each supported operating system will receive technical support and security updates.

Internet Explorer 11 is now the latest and the only version that will receive security updates, compatibility fixes and other support on Windows 7, 8.1 and Windows 10.

The announcement commented:

Internet Explorer 11 offers improved security, increased performance, better backward compatibility, and support for the web standards that power today’s websites and services. Microsoft encourages customers to upgrade and stay up-to-date on the latest browser for a faster, more secure browsing experience.

Benefits of Upgrading to Internet Explorer 11

According to Microsoft, there are some significant benefits of upgrading to the latest version of Internet Explorer:

  • Internet Explorer 11 has the best backward compatibility of any web browser – IE 11 is one of the most backward compatible browsers, with the only browser with high-fidelity emulation for the older version of Internet Explorer.
  • Modern web technologies – This ensures that all the latest technologies used in modern websites display flawlessly in your browser.
  • IE11 is more secure – Security firm NSS Labs found in 2010 that Internet Explorer 8 blocked 85% of socially-engineered malware.  They found that IE 11 blocked 99%.  A significant increase.
  • IE11 is faster – Microsoft has made improvements in JavaScript performance, network optimization, and fully hardware-accelerated text and JPEG rendering.
  • Easier Windows migration – IE 11 is the only browser that works on both Windows 8.1 and Windows 10.  By using it now on older Windows versions, it will ease the transition when you upgrade Windows at a later date.

Internet Explorer “End of Life” Notification

Microsoft will be issuing a patch on the 12th January 2016, known as KB3123303, which will have a user prompt on older versions of Windows, including Windows 7, that will suggest that users upgrade to the latest version.  The notification will be issued in the following versions:

  • On Windows 7 Service Pack 1 and Windows 7 Service Pack 1 x64 Edition
    • Internet Explorer 10
    • Internet Explorer 9
    • Internet Explorer 8
  • On Windows Server 2008 R2 Service Pack 1 and Windows Server 2008 R2 Service Pack 1 x64 Edition
    • Internet Explorer 10
    • Internet Explorer 9
    • Internet Explorer 8

Of course, as you will see below, for most users the update to Internet Explorer will be automatic.

How to Upgrade Internet Explorer

The advice differs depending on whether you are a personal or business user:

Home PC Users:

If you have Automatic Updates turned on (most likely), then you will already have been upgraded to Internet Explorer 11 without needing to take any action. If you do not have Automatic Updates turned on, you can do so by clicking the Check for Updates button on the Windows Update portion of the Control Panel.

Small to Medium Business:

Microsoft suggests that small or mid-size organizations without specialist web applications can update automatically using Automatic Updates.  Those with dependencies on existing web applications may with to discuss the best way forward with a Microsoft Certified Partner.

Enterprise Customers:

Microsoft offers large organizations (500+ employees) in-depth technical resources, tools, and expert guidance to ease the deployment and management of Windows, Office and Internet Explorer products, and technologies.  They recommend contacting their Microsoft sales representative, Microsoft Services or Certified Microsoft Partner to discuss the best way forward.

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