Microsoft recently made the announcement that it will no longer offer support for Internet Explorer versions prior to Explorer 11. It is also only through Explorer 11 that users can receive updates for the following operating systems: Windows 7, Windows 8.1, and Windows 10. While this does not prevent users from continuing to turn to Internet Explorer for their browsing needs, it does serve as a call to action for optimum usability and security while surfing the web. Without up-to-date security patches, devices are at risk of malware and other forms of malicious attacks. In addition to such security risks, users who continue to use unsupported versions of Explorer may lose Independent Software Vendor (ISV) support or encounter compliance issues.
The company also outlined how Explorer users can update to the latest version, at no extra charge. People who use Internet Explorer (IE) can be roughly divided into three categories: Enterprise users, small to medium businesses, and home PC users. Each group has a slightly different means to upgrade to Explorer 11; however, their experience should be hassle free. Albeit, some small-to-medium business owners have expressed concerns about their line-of-business (LOB) application having a dependency on a particular Explorer version. Microsoft has addressed this concern by integrating an Enterprise Mode into Explorer 11 that allows backward compatibility with web applications specifically designed for previous versions of Explorer.
- For Enterprise-level users, Microsoft suggests they contact them or a Certified Microsoft Partner to upgrade to the latest version, or simply do it directly through their Microsoft subscription.
- Smaller businesses, whose software does not depend on previous IE versions, can upgrade through Automatic Updates or contact a Certified Microsoft Partner for assistance.
- Home PC users could see an automatic upgrade to Explorer 11 via Automatic Updates. Still, if the home PC upgrades are set to ‘off’, updates to Explorer 11 will have to be done manually through the Control Panel and the Check for Updates button under the Windows Update tab.