Microsoft terminates support for Internet Explorer, but with certain exceptions

By Staff Writer

Jan 17, 2016 04:34 AM EST

Microsoft is pulling the plug on old friend, the Internet Explorer. The announcement doesn't really come as a surprise as the company had announced this move way back in 2014. Now, on January 12, 2016, the versions 8, 9 and 10 will have reached their end-of-life when the aging browser is said to receive its last security updates.

According to Forbes, Microsoft said in the announcement "Internet Explorer is a component of the Windows operating system and the most current version will continue to follow the specific support lifecycle policy for the operating system on which it is installed. Internet Explorer 11 will be supported for the life of Windows 7, Windows 8.1, and Windows 10. The latest version of Internet Explorer will continue to follow the component policy, which means that it follows the support lifecycle and is supported for as long as the Windows operating system on which it is installed."

In other words, according to CBC News, if Internet Explorer 8 is not upgraded to 8.1 and other versions to 11, the users will no longer reap the benefits of Microsoft patches and updates to secure their systems. However, this does not mean that Internet Explorer will stop functioning suddenly, but NetMarketShare predicts that about 20% of the browsers would be affected.

InfoWorld shows that the exceptions to this include: Windows Vista SP2 (IE9), Windows Server 2008 SP2 (IE9), Windows Server 2008 IA64 Itanium (IE9), and Windows Server 2012 (IE10). However, the exceptions cover quite a small base in totality.

Hence the software giant urges its users for a faster upgrade to version 11, as these transitions make the browsers highly susceptible to viruses and malware. Apparently, to act as a catalyst, Microsoft is introducing the 'nag box' that will be activated to 'nag' people about upgrading.

This could very well be the company's strategy to move its users to Edge, which comes with Windows 10. Edge is supposed to be a more improved version of the Explorer. The improved user-friendly browser is designed for better speed and overall functionability, which definitely gives it an 'edge' over its old browser.

However, on the flip side, while Microsoft hopes that their "End of Life" warning makes people switch quickly, at the same time, it also cannot rule out the possibility of a switch to a different browser altogether, like Chrome and Firefox.  The IT organizations are the ones to be impacted greatly, and to a large extent, the outcome depends on their decision to whether stick to the upgrades or switch to a different browser. 

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