Microsoft Corporation has announced that it will finally be pulling the plug on certain versions of the internet browser everyone has a love-hate relationship with: Internet Explorer. The Redmond-based tech entity recently publicized that it will no longer support versions 8, 9 and 10 of IE from the 12th of Jan. From then onward, the only version of the browser that be maintained by Microsoft will be Internet Explorer 11.
Microsoft favors latest IE
A “faster, more secure browsing experience” appears to be what Microsoft is aiming to provide. It is urging users with older browsers to upgrade to its latest. Without support, using older versions of IE will render PCs more vulnerable to viruses, malware and spyware.
“Internet Explorer is a component of the Windows operating system and the current version will continue to follow the specific support lifecycle policy for the operating system on which it is installed.” Microsoft wrote. “Internet Explorer will be supported for the life of Windows 7, Windows 8.1, and Windows 10.”
TheNextWeb assured that Microsoft will issue out a patch on Jan. 12th. Titled KB3123303, a “nag box” will notify users of the change and encourage them to make the upgrade. A large number of Windows users have their “Automatic Updates” turned on. Such users probably already use the latest IE. However, those who opt to have updates turned off can easily switch to Internet Explorer 11 by selecting “Check for Updates” in Control Panel.
The last few years have seen IE significantly lose its market share, more so due the rise of the fast-growing Google Chrome user base and those of other browsers. Though still dominant, IE fell from 58.91 percent in Jan 2014 to 48.57 percent in Dec. 2015. Meanwhile, Chrome soared from 16.35 percent to 32.33 percent in the same period.
The decision to drop earlier versions of IE was not a sudden one. A similar announcement was made by Microsoft nearly two years ago in August of 2014. Another post arose in March 2015 reminding users of the event.
Dropping versions 8, 9 and 10 not only best suits the interests of IE users, but simplifies things for Microsoft as well. For instance, the compatibility of all IE patches across every version will no longer be a factor for the company. Beyond this, the share of older version users appears to be on the lagging end of the IE user base too.
As of December, Internet Explorer 11 made up 25.57 percent of the desktop browser share. Its older versions accounted for a combined 19.8 percent. The latest edition of Chrome sits at 19.8.
Microsoft also has another browser. It is called Edge and swiftly followed the launch of the firm’s Windows 10. The new browser made up less that 3 percent of the browser market in December, which is fair considering the short period since its launch. However, Microsoft has reported that over 44.5 billion minutes were spent on the browser during that month.