Internet Explorer to get the Windows XP treatment

Get ready: End-of-life for some popular versions of Internet Explorer will soon arrive just as it did for Windows XP. While it’s an easier fix than the defunct operating system, it could bring some headaches. 

In a blog post, Microsoft announced that it’ll be doing away with updates to older versions of its Internet Explorer (IE) web browser. The post reads in part:

After January 12, 2016, only the most recent version of Internet Explorer available for a supported operating system will receive technical support and security updates. For example, 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.

While IE 9 will be supported on the woefully unpopular Windows Vista, most companies will have to upgrade to IE 11 to receive security updates at that time.

Internet Explorer woes

At five years old, IE 8 is still the most popular version of the browser. And that’s partly out of necessity.

And while a year and a half might seem like plenty of time to upgrade, many enterprises have struggled to find ways to get crucial apps to work with newer versions of the IE browser.

Windows 8.1 could help with some of that, however, as The Register notes:

Enterprise Mode, which Microsoft shipped with the Windows 8.1 Update and as a standalone patch in April, makes IE11 behave like IE8, even going as far as to announce the old version to websites and ActiveX controls that have been hard-coded for specific browser releases.

For the time being, however, you may want to help users get on the most recent version their systems will allow.

A good start: Advising them to turn on automatic updates for their home computers. This will help keep them up-to-date and spreads the word on the importance of upgrading to the latest versions available for security.