Microsoft has recently announced that as of January 12th 2016, they will no longer be providing support for any earlier versions of Internet Explorer, opting to only provide ongoing support for IE 11 and upwards.
What does this mean?
In short, it means you need to update your browser if you haven’t already. Having an out of date browser can cause a whole host of problems ranging from security risks to compatibility issues.
Microsoft provides updates for each browser currently, which allow them to adapt to the ever-changing World Wide Web. As new technologies become available, the browser must be updated to be compatible with these technologies. Without the ongoing updates, the older variants of Internet Explorer will begin to lose the functionality to be able to read many websites and features online.
There are also potential security risks to consider. As with other technologies, viruses and other malicious software are constantly evolving. As Microsoft provides an update that tackles a particular piece of malware, somebody starts working on another to get through the security systems in place. This ongoing back-and-forth ends as soon as Microsoft stops providing updates. As of 12th January, IE 10 and below will no longer protect you from any new malware.
What should I do?
Our first piece of advice is to update your browser. We’ve said it already, and we’ll say it again. Update your browser. If you’ve read the above and still feel sceptical about updating… Why? We just told you that your browser will no longer be able to view the most up to date websites, and will attract all kinds of malicious software.
Seriously though, if you’re using a piece of software or something else that is only compatible with one of the aforementioned offending browsers, Microsoft have provided a collection of useful information about how to upgrade here. They’re also on hand to support anyone through the transition.
The Death of Internet Explorer?
Well, not really. That was just a provocative title we came up with. Microsoft has stated that support for browsers follows the same lifecycle as support for their operating systems. Once the lifecycle ends for the operating system associated with that particular variant of IE, so too does the support for that version.
From this, we can assume that for as long as there is Windows, there will be Internet Explorer (although they are currently trying to gently persuade their patrons towards their new browser, Microsoft Edge.)
Once again, our advice is to just update your browser!