Microsoft Stops Supporting IE 8, 9 and 10
Written by MIke James   
Thursday, 07 January 2016

IE has always been the difficult one when it comes to creating web pages or apps that work in the same irrespective of browser. Microsoft has just announced that all versions except IE 11 will be unsupported as of January 12th, 2016. 

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What is more, Microsoft is planning to install a patch, presumably as the last update, which will nag users to upgrade. The nag can be disabled if you really need to stick with an earlier version, and there are likely to be quite a few business users who have no choice but to stay with what works.

To try to get these difficult cases to upgrade Microsoft is suggesting that they try Enterprise mode in IE 11 which offers backward compatibility with the strange behaviors of earlier versions of IE. Microsoft is also claiming that it will continue to develop Enterprise mode:

To help customers who have a business need for using Internet Explorer 11 with Enterprise Mode, Microsoft is committed to supporting Enterprise Mode as a feature of Internet Explorer 11. Microsoft will continue to invest in compatibility improvements, tools, and other resources to help customers upgrade and stay up-to-date on the latest browser.

This makes good sense as it is going to be far cheaper for Microsoft to maintain and extend Enterprise mode rather than support so many different versions of IE. 

If you are a home user and have automatic updates on then you probably have already been upgraded to IE 11. This also applies to most small businesses unless upgrade has been disabled. 

Perhaps Microsoft should simply auto-upgrade all earlier versions of IE - where technically possible. If you think that this is a good, or even a great, idea as everyone should be using the most up-to-date browser then be careful what you wish for. The same argument applies to Windows 10 and indeed it is this argument that Microsoft is using to change the Windows 10 upgrade to one that will happen automatically sometime this year.

If you think that wiping out IE 8, 9 and 10 in one go is a good idea, why not Windows 7, 8 and 8.1? 

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Another interesting point is that Microsoft now has only two browsers to maintain and soon it will be only one. It is committed to maintaining IE11 for the lifetime of Windows 7, 8 and 10.  In case you are wondering, Windows 7 mainstream support ended last year. Windows 10 mainstream support is currently scheduled to end in 2020.  When IE11 is discontinued gone will be VBScript and ActiveX in particular.

At this point all that will be left is Microsoft's new and currently under-developed Edge browser. 

More Information

Microsoft Browsers

Support for older versions of Internet Explorer ends on January 12, 2016

Related Articles

How Is Edge Doing? 

Edge on Windows 10 VMs 

Microsoft Dropping ActiveX And VBScript In Edge 

IE Developer Channel 

Microsoft Makes Clear Where IE Is Going 

Microsoft Open Sources Chakra JavaScript Engine 

Is Windows 10 Playing Fair - Mozilla Thinks Not 

 

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Last Updated ( Thursday, 07 January 2016 )