What the end of Internet Explorer means for you


Image: Les Chatfield, Creative Commons

Microsoft is officially ending support for Internet Explorer 8, 9 and 10. If you’re still using one of these browsers,  you will receive the final bug fixes patch on 12 January. The update will also come with an “End of Life” notification, encouraging you to upgrade to Internet Explorer 11, or Microsoft Edge, Internet Explorer’s successor.

What does this mean for you?

Security updates are important. With new vulnerabilities exposed on a regular basis, regular updates keep you safe from exploits, which tend to be more widespread once it is found.

There aren’t many downsides to upgrading to the Internet Explorer. It is more secure, have more features and have better support for modern web standards. The reason some still stick to an older browser is that some enterprise software was coded to only work for these specific browsers.

If that is the case, you should check to see if the software in question would work on another browser such as Firefox or Chrome. This would also be the best course of action if you’re still on the venerable 15-year-old Windows XP, as Microsoft has already discontinued support for the OS in 2014. This may mitigate the risk of hackers exploiting a bug through the browser, but the OS itself has not been updated in more than a year.

What does this mean for your website?

Granted it takes time for users to upgrade, but web developers are generally excited about the news (and understandably so). In the foreseeable future, your CSS would get simpler – Internet Explorer 11 (and Edge) supports many more HTML5 and CSS3 standards.

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This means that there are significantly fewer things to target and write workarounds for in your HTML and CSS code. A welcome change indeed!