This year, Microsoft dropped support for any version of Internet Explorer that isn’t the most recent one for the operating systems it still supports. Essentially, this means that for consumer operating systems, Microsoft now only supports Internet Explorer 11 for Windows 7 SP1, Internet Explorer 11 for Windows 8.1, and Internet Explorer 9 for Windows Vista SP2.
If you’re still using any of those operating systems and a version of IE that’s older, you will no longer get bug fixes and security updates from Microsoft.
If you’re using versions of Windows that are even older than the ones above, you’re already living in the past. For example, Microsoft stopped supporting Windows XP as of April, 2014.
What that means for anyone running Windows 7 SP, Windows 8.1, or Windows Vista SP2 with any other version of IE than the most recent one, is that they’ll need to install the newest version of Internet Explorer using Windows Update.
In general, there’s no real excuse not to do so and not much to lose by complying. The latest versions of IE are overall much better than the older ones since they offer more stability, more security, more features and offer better support for current web standards. Basically, having an updated version of Internet Explorer makes for a more enjoyable web browsing experience.
Why it may be hard to upgrade
Unfortunately, there can be some complications when you upgrade to the newest version of IE. There are online services and websites that were specifically designed to only work with certain versions of Internet Explorer.
It’s for this reason that individuals or businesses may choose to stay with older versions of Windows and Internet Explorer, despite the lack of security: it’s not that easy to upgrade in these instances.
However, there are options for this issue. The easiest solution is to install Windows 7 or 8, then use something like Virtual Box to install Internet Explorer and Windows XP like they’re any other application.
Microsoft Edge is the new default
With the release of Windows 10, Microsoft unveiled their new browser, Microsoft Edge.
Ultimately, Edge will replace IE completely, but we’re still far from that. Windows 10 actually has both browsers, Internet Explorer 11 and Edge, installed since Edge is still vulnerable to compatibility issues.
Microsoft is sending a clear message: if you use an older version of Internet Explorer or a version of Windows that’s unsupported − you’re on your own, left open to attacks from online criminals looking for easy targets.
What browser are you using? Tell us in the comments below and learn how older versions of IE are already hackable.