End of the Line for Old Versions of Internet Explorer
Microsoft are at last going to do something about the bane of the IT helpdesk: old versions of Internet Explorer. Come January 2016, only the most recent version of IE will be supported.
When the day comes, I'm sure it will be declared a national holiday among the tech community (like SysAdmin Day) – that’ s how good this news is. But what does it mean for you?
Roger Capriotti (Microsoft's Director of Internet Explorer) outlined in his blog post here their reasons behind the change and what it means to IE users. Largely, it is all part of Microsoft’s ‘Mobile First, Cloud First’ philosophy, allowing people to connect to the internet from anywhere, on any device, and get the same experience.
The benefits of being on the latest version are big. According to testing by NSS Labs, Internet Explorer 11 is immune to 99% of all current malware. This is a huge step up from IE8 which is only protected from about 69%.
There are also huge improvements in the page render speed of the browser (i.e, Facebook will load quicker), it’s more stable (fewer crashes when you’re just about to send that 10 page email from outlook.com) and more compatible with web standards, so your web pages display as the designer intended.
Judging from the progression from IE6 to IE11, things are only going to get better…
There are some issues with backwards compatibility, where older applications will not work in newer versions of IE.
To help with this, Microsoft have announced that it will now support Enterprise Mode For Internet Explorer 11 until 2020, and update it for each subsequent version of IE.
This provides a compatibility mode to allow support to be retained for older applications while you migrate off them, to newer, more standards based platforms.