Microsoft recently announced another step that puts Internet Explorer that much closer to oblivion. Beginning next Tuesday, January 12, Microsoft will officially retire Internet Explorer versions 8, 9, and 10 for most Windows operating systems, according to aMicrosoft support page.
Internet Explorer 11 will be the only officially supported version of the browser for Windows 7, 8.1, and 10.
The only exception will be Windows Vista users, who will stick with Internet Explorer 9. Vista’s mainstream support ended more than a year before IE11 rolled out. The unpopular OS is almost up for retirement anyway. It reaches the end of its extended support phase in April 2017. After that, Vista will be unsupported just like Windows XP.
Anyone running a Windows 8.1 or Windows 10 system has nothing to worry about, as both of those systems came with IE11 preinstalled. Windows 7 users who don’t have automatic updates enabled, however, may not be running the latest version of IE.
During “Patch Tuesday” on January 12, Microsoft will roll out an update for Windows 7 that prompts non-IE11 users to upgrade their built-in browser. If you insist on sticking with an older version of IE, there’s a registry hack to disable notifications. You can find more information on Microsoft’s support pages.
Users still on Windows 8, meanwhile, won’t receive updates of any kind, as Microsoft only supports PCs that upgraded to Windows 8.1.
Why this matters: Internet Explorer is already living on borrowed time. Internet Explorer 11 rolled out in 2013 with Windows 8.1, and it is officially the last version of Microsoft’s famous browser. Microsoft is now focused on developing the Edge browser for Windows 10 instead. Retiring IE 8, 9 (not including Vista), and 10 is long overdue especially since the three major versions of Windows (7, 8.1, and 10) can all run IE11.
Besides, running older versions of a web browser is never a good idea. The biggest issue is the potential for malicious actors to capitalize on unpatched security holes. But older browsers can also hamper your online experience. As web technologies progress older browsers often cease to work well with modern websites and web apps.