Posted in Digital on 28 January 2016By Simon Harper, Head of Digital and Strategic Consultancy
Say goodbye to Internet Explorer – if you haven't already. As of January 12, 2016 - Microsoft has ended its support to all versions of the Internet Explorer browser except for the current version, 11.
A support document posted by the software Company described it as an "end of life" upgrade notification for Internet Explorer warning people still running IE 8, 9 and 10 that their time is up and urge them to upgrade to the latest version of the browser.
The alternatives include upgrading to IE 11, switching to a rival browser or installing the Windows 10 operating system to get the Edge browser.
So why the farewell?
Mainly to avoid security risks. Quite possibly to drive users towards Windows 10. The Edge browser is, at least, a definite improvement over Internet Explorer. The name new is also important…the Internet Explorer brand has been badly damaged over the years, so ‘Edge’ signifies a fresh start.
What it means for you
It means you should take action. Security updates help protect computers from malicious attacks, so upgrading and staying current is important. If you’re using an older version of Internet Explorer, it won’t be long before it stops getting security updates and bug fixes from Microsoft. This will leave you vulnerable to viruses, spyware, and other malicious software which can steal or damage your information and/or business data. On a day-to-day level, an outdated browser also means you will experience an inferior and less accessible internet as designers and developers take advantage of features that are standard on modern browsers, but missing from legacy platforms.
What it means for your site
Currently? Nothing at all. A browser renders a website and makes it accessible, but if you change the browser it doesn’t affect the underlying code. Some browsers render websites slightly differently, but the retirement of Internet Explorer doesn’t mean you will need to change anything on your current site. In fact, assuming your analytics show users suddenly moving away from Internet Explorer, it should make the cost of future wholesale or incremental changes to your website slightly cheaper. Internet Explorer has been the bane of developers and QA specialists for years so, in theory, their lives just got a little easier!