Five reasons the death of Internet Explorer matters

Version 8 of Internet Explorer was released in March 2009. At the time iPhones were still in nappies and Barack Obama had just taken office. Considering Obama was expected to bring change to the United States of America in four years, you can see how us web types must have felt waiting half that time just to get a glimpse of IE version 9 in March 2011.

The world, the web, and web standards have come a long way since then. And that’s why, on 12 January 2016, Microsoft ended support for older versions of IE. The last version of the browser will be IE11, as Microsoft moves to Microsoft Edge on Windows 10. So what does this mean for those that manage websites?

Your security is at risk if you don’t upgrade.

The biggest risk of not upgrading your browser to a newer version is security, because there will be no security updates made to the old, retired versions of IE. This will mean you could become vulnerable to malicious software if you continue to use these older versions. I expect to see big companies drop support for them very quickly.

There will no longer be a support network for older versions.

Microsoft themselves take advantage of HTML 5 in their office 365 product and state it works best with modern browsers. If you stick with an old version of IE, you may find yourself gradually excluded from the tools and services you use online.

Websites will need to be tested in IE11 and Edge.

Most home users will have automatic updates and antivirus set up on their PC. If they don’t have automatic updates their antivirus will warn them that they are using an unsecure, unsupported browser. If your website audience is home PC users they will mostly quickly update. This means you’ll need to test in IE11 and Edge if you aren’t now.

Organisations can provide better online experiences.

YouTube, one of the world’s most-visited websites, doesn’t work in IE8. The increase in mobile use has pushed modern browsers like Google Chrome and Mozilla Firefox to set higher expectations for web users. This upgrade will allow web owners to embrace modern web technologies – such as HTML 5 and CSS 3 – and give their users richer experiences without the cost of having to support older, less capable browsers.

Microsoft can focus on improving their new products.

Edge is faster and will be updated more often. Microsoft is also now supporting developers with free and open tools and you can run WordPress and Drupal on Microsoft operating systems and ion the Microsoft cloud.

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posted by
Tim