Microsoft to cease support for all older versions of IE by 2016

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Support for Internet Explorer 8 will end in early 2016, Microsoft has confirmed. The company will also scale back support to the bare minimum for other older versions of the browser.

According to a blog posting, from 12 January 2016, "only the most recent version of Internet Explorer available for a supported operating system will receive technical support and security updates".

Support for IE8 for Windows desktop and server products will be completely dropped. Microsoft will end security updates after the first Patch Tuesday of 2016. It added that customers using Internet Explorer 8, Internet Explorer 9, or Internet Explorer 10 on Windows 7 SP1 "should migrate to Internet Explorer 11 to continue receiving security updates and technical support".

Users of IE9 and IE10 will also see diminished support with IE9 only supported on Vista and Windows Server 2008 and IE10 supported on Windows Server 2012 only. Both platforms cannot install IE11. Given Vista's very small proportion of the market, this should affect very few users.

Microsoft has advised businesses with internal applications that rely on older IE browsers to use Enterprise Mode for Internet Explorer 11. This allows IE11 to pretend to be IE8, even going as far as to announce it is the older browser to applications hard-coded to look for specific versions.

"By offering better backward compatibility and resources to help customers upgrade, Microsoft is making it easier than ever before for commercial customers to stay current on the latest version of Internet Explorer, " said Roger Capriotti, director of Internet Explorer at Microsoft.

"In addition to modern Web standards, improved performance, increased security, and greater reliability, migrating to Internet Explorer 11 also helps unlock upgrades to Windows 8.1 Update, services like Office 365, and the latest Windows devices."

Rene Millman

Rene Millman is a freelance writer and broadcaster who covers cybersecurity, AI, IoT, and the cloud. He also works as a contributing analyst at GigaOm and has previously worked as an analyst for Gartner covering the infrastructure market. He has made numerous television appearances to give his views and expertise on technology trends and companies that affect and shape our lives. You can follow Rene Millman on Twitter.