Users of Internet Explorer 8, 9 or 10 are in for some bad news, as these versions will no longer be supported come next week.
Starting on Tuesday, Jan. 12, all Internet Explorer versions under IE11 reach their "end of life," which means that they will no longer receive any updates or security fixes.
This doesn't come as a big surprise however, as official news of Microsoft killing older versions of Internet Explorer surfaced back in November. We reported back then that Internet Explorer 8, 9 and 10 will reach end of life status in January, and the Jan. 12 deadline is now just around the corner.
What Does This Mean?
"It means you should take action," Microsoft notes. "After Jan. 12, 2016, Microsoft will no longer provide security updates or technical support for older versions of Internet Explorer. Security updates patch vulnerabilities that may be exploited by malware, helping to keep users and their data safer. Regular security updates help protect computers from malicious attacks, so upgrading and staying current is important."
On Jan. 12, Microsoft will release a new patch designed to encourage users to upgrade either to Internet Explorer 11, which will keep receiving support for a while longer, or to the new Microsoft Edge browser.
Roughly 340 million people are still using an older version of Internet Explorer, ComputerWorld estimates. If these users do not change their browser or upgrade to the current IE11, they might be at risk of malware or hacking.
Some users might see this move as Microsoft's way to force their hand into switching to the new Edge browser, which made its debut alongside Windows 10 in the summer of 2015. Truth be told, Edge offers an arguably better experience compared to the infamous Internet Explorer.
Nevertheless, die-hard IE fans will still be able to use Internet Explorer if they so prefer, as IE11 will continue to receive support on Windows 7, Windows 8.1 and the latest Windows 10.
Upgrading to a new browser version should be pretty easy and straightforward for most users, but it's also worth pointing out that enterprise users might have more of a hassle with this process. Businesses with apps based on older Internet Explorer versions will be the most affected, but Microsoft promised to make things easier with Enterprise Mode in IE11.
The company said it will continue to make investments to improve compatibility, as well as provide tools and other resources to help users upgrade easily and get the best experience with the latest browser.
Such improvements include support for HTTP tools and ports that enable IE11 to emulate how legacy Web apps run on older versions of the browser. Moreover, Microsoft is also allowing enterprise users on Windows 10 to set IE11 as their default browser.
Meanwhile, Web developers worldwide will likely throw a party when Internet Explorer 8, 9 and 10 finally reach their end of life next week. Developers have long been struggling with these older versions, as it's quite a hassle to ensure modern standards work well on old browsers.