It’s been a long and winding road for Internet Explorer, Microsoft’s default Internet browser, which turned 20 in August of 2015.
Unfortunately, there is sad news for Internet users who still browse using IE, particularly the older versions.
Microsoft has just announced that it will cease to provide support and updates to all of its IE browsers, except for one.
The company released a statement reminding users of Internet Explorer 8, 9, and 10 that the final update for those versions will take place on Jan. 12, and will also include a message urging them to upgrade to the latest version, Internet Explorer 11.
— Rappler (@rapplerdotcom) January 6, 2016
In addition, they also called for users to try out Microsoft’s newest browser, Edge, which comes with its Windows 10 OS.
The final patch for the older browsers will include code fixes and the notification, which will prompt the download of additional and alternative software.
For IE loyalists who seem surprised by this announcement, Microsoft had already made it clear as early as 2014 that it would soon cease to support the older versions of the browser. At that time, the company even began calling Internet Explorer a “legacy engine.”
Fortunately, IE fans can still enjoy their favorite browser through Internet Explorer 11, which is the browser’s final version. Microsoft reportedly retained 11 to cater the software needs of “big corporate customers.”
— Microsoft Business (@MSFTBusinessUK) January 6, 2016
According to a report, it is believed that there are still several hundred million people who still use Internet Explorer 8, 9, and 10, and Microsoft thinks that they can be a “security risk” if they continue to use the soon-to-be-obsolete versions.
The absence of new and regular updates will eventually leave security loopholes in the program, and threats for malware would rise.
The Redmond-based company announced the end of support for IE one week earlier to give these users more time to upgrade to Internet Explorer 11 or even switch to its newest Edge browser. However, there is also a possibility that some of these PC users will just opt for rival browsers like Google Chrome or Mozilla Firefox.
IE 11, which made its debut back in July, supports most Windows versions, and currently holds 25.6 percent market share in the desktop scene. Meanwhile, another 20 percent of the market pie comes from IE 8, 9, and 10 users.
Windows 10 user may have already discovered that Microsoft’s Edge browser is actually a great alternative to the more popular Chrome. Another report mentioned that it performs faster than Chrome in some areas, and it would soon support extensions, unlike Internet Explorer.
Microsoft Edge is the latest browsing alternative to Internet Explorer
In addition, for users who love Microsoft’s voice assistant Cortana, the new Edge browser works well with it. Edge also supports the Microsoft Pen, which allows users to write notes directly on the browser.
However, it is worth noting that in spite of Windows 10’s ten-percent adoption rate since its release last year, only three percent of the total desktop market use the Edge browser.
In relation to that, Microsoft hopes that the “End of Life” notification for users of older browsers will finally convince them to upgrade their dated Windows PCs to Windows 10 and try Edge at the same time.
Internet Explorer was first released by Microsoft in 1995, and became popular in the late ’90s until about the late 2000s. When other browsers like Google Chrome and Mozilla Firefox began entering the market, IE’s popularity began to decline.
— Luca teaXing (@Luca_teaXing) December 26, 2015
In 2014, Internet Explorer’s market share declined from 58.2 down to 48.6 percent in just 11 months. On the other hand, Chrome usage among PC owners surged from 16.4 to 32.3 percent within the same period.
[Image via Wikimedia Commons]