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Microsoft To Pull The Plug On Internet Explorer Next Week

Tom Jowitt is a leading British tech freelance and long standing contributor to TechWeek Europe

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So long IE. Microsoft confirms older versions of Internet Explorer will not longer be supported from January 12

Microsoft has confirmed that older versions of its web browser, Internet Explorer (IE), will cease to be supported from Tuesday, January 12 2016.

From next week, IE 8, 9 and 10 will no longer receive security updates and other technical support.

Goodbye IE

Microsoft announced that from January 12 “only the most current version of Internet Explorer available for a supported operating system will receive technical supports and security updates.”

This means for users of Windows 7 and 8.1, Internet Explorer 11 will continue to receive security updates, compatibility fixes, and technical support until an unspecified cut-off date in the future.

Internet ExplorerHowever, for users of the Vista operating system, the latest Microsoft web browser Internet Explorer 9.

Microsoft has been warning customers for a while now that support for older versions of Internet Explorer would be phased out.

“Internet Explorer 11 offers improved security, increased performance, better backward compatibility, and support for the web standards that power today’s websites and services,” said Redmond. “Microsoft encourages customers to upgrade and stay up-to-date on the latest browser for a faster, more secure browsing experience.”

Despite the IE 11 encouragement, it is clear that Microsoft’s long-term strategy is for users to jump ship to the newer Microsoft Edge web browser (formerly Project Spartan). Indeed, it has been signalling since early last year that the Internet Explorer brand is being phased out in favour of Edge.

Support Cut-off

Of course, Microsoft’s support cut-off for older versions of Internet Explorer does potentially increase the security risk for people still using old IE browsers.

Microsoft’s decision comes despite the fact that there remains a sizeable portion of users still using legacy products from Redmond, such as Windows XP. Indeed, Windows XP is still in use by many governments agencies and businesses around the world, despite the fact that it was first launched in 2001.

Microsoft officially ended support for Windows XP on April 8 2014, leaving many consumers and businesses facing a stark choice. Upgrade to a newer PC with a newer operating system, or face increased risks.

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