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Almost half of Windows 10 users urged to upgrade before Internet Explorer end of life

Businesses have till 15 June to setup IE Mode in the newer Edge browser to avoid "disruption"

The Internet Explorer icon as seen on a smartphone in behind a screen with lines of code

Almost half of Windows 10 machines will be affected by Microsoft killing off Internet Explorer 11. 

An audit of more than nine million devices from 33,000 organisations by IT asset management firm Lansweeper found that 47% of PCs will need to upgrade to Microsoft Edge before the cut-off date, 15 June.

After the cut-off date, Internet Explorer 11 for the desktop will automatically redirect users to Microsoft Edge, which will have an 'Internet Explorer (IE) mode' which will be supported until 2029.

If users do not set up IE mode before it's retired, however, they will lose access to those legacy sites and experience "business disruption", Microsoft has warned. There will be an in-product banner notifying users of the end-of-life date, which has already been shown in the Windows 10 Jan 2022 C "preview".

Just 21% of the PC scanned are running the most up-to-date version of Windows 10 (version 21H2 - November 2021 update), according to the report. For corporate devices, version 2004 appears to be the most popular instalment of Windows 10, according to the report, despite there being three further releases since May 2020.

"From our perspective, it's not a complete surprise that only a fifth of the Windows 10 devices are on the latest version, or that Internet Explorer EOL will affect so many," said Roel Decneut, chief strategy officer at Lansweeper.

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"There could be many reasons for organisations to delay upgrading, including being more conservative, having more pressing issues to deal with, or simply having no visibility into the version of operating systems they're running. Organisations will need an overview of each device they own when Internet Explorer 11 support finally ends. Without this data, they'll remain vulnerable."

Microsoft did note that it will only phase out Internet Explorer on Windows 10 20H2 and later, and that the end-of-life notice doesn't apply to users of Windows 8.1.

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