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Making sense of the recent Internet Explorer announcement

Last week, Perficient’s Zach Handing wrote a post over on our Spark blog explaining what to make of the recent Internet Explorer announcement published on Microsoft’s Internet Explorer blog. In the article, Microsoft discussed their plans for supporting older versions of IE. internet-explorer-8-logoThere was quite a bit of racket across the web, as people interpreted the information in different ways, facts quickly turned into exaggerations, or straight fiction. As Zach wrote:

I have seen many eager Interneters making loud claims to the tune of, “IE8 is dead!  We no longer have to support older versions of IE!”  However, it’s very easy to get caught up in the pandemonium or start bandwagon-ing and miss the actual facts of what is and will be happening according to Microsoft.  I want to clarify some things and set the record straight before we all hang up our Windows XP virtual machines.

What did Microsoft write to cause this, you ask? From the article:

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.

Zach goes on to explain that there are two important things we can learn from this quote that are worth noting, one of which is the following:

The first is that Microsoft is only stating that they plan to stop providing technical support and security updates for all versions of IE except the most current available for each of their operating systems.  The table below shows exactly which versions they mean.

Windows Platform Internet Explorer Version
Windows Vista SP2 Internet Explorer 9
Windows Server 2008 SP2 Internet Explorer 9
Windows 7 SP1 Internet Explorer 11
Windows Server 2008 R2 SP1 Internet Explorer 11
Windows 8.1 Internet Explorer 11
Windows Server 2012 Internet Explorer 10
Windows Server 2012 R2 Internet Explorer 11

So where is Internet Explorer 8 in that table? What does the fact that it is missing mean?

…that doesn’t mean IE8 is going away.  All this means is that Microsoft is not going to provide updates or support for IE8 anymore; it does not mean that people are going to magically stop using it.  The article also mentions that “Microsoft recommends enabling automatic updates to ensure an up-to-date computing experience”, but recommending that it happens does not mean that everyone will do it.  Yes, this is a big leap towards a day when developers do not need to worry about IE8 specific styles, but that day is not here yet.

So what’s the second big part? Zach tells us to take a look at that date… January 12, 2016. That’s pretty far in the future… approximately a year and a half. So for the next eighteen months, Internet Explorer 8 will still be alive and kicking, as Microsoft will still be supporting and providing updates for the version. And after that, Internet Explorer will still be around.
You can read Zach’s full post here on our Spark blog. The Spark blog is Perficient’s perspective on all things innovative, and the crew that blogs over there has been posting some really interesting stuff around UX, UI and design. Check them out!

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Taylor Rhyne

I work closely with our content management practices and partners at Perficient to lead marketing efforts designed to increase awareness and impact pipeline. I have experience in a variety of industries and have spent the last decade creating multi-faceted campaigns, working to integrate various channels into the plan and maximize effectiveness.

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