End of an Era – Microsoft’s Internet Explorer 8, 9, and 10 is Over

Microsoft is no longer supporting Internet Explorer 8, 9, and 10. That’s right, no more security updates or patches for the long standing IE as of January 12th 2016. Continuing to use these older versions of Explorer is now a cause for concern. Perhaps this is for the best, but with this news, users of IE may either want to switch to a new browser or will want to update to IE 11.

Microsoft will be issuing a warning to those continuing to use Internet Explorer 8 through 10, stating they will no longer be issuing patches and security updates for these three browsers, forcing users to switch to IE 11 or a competing browser. If users are still working with these versions of Internet Explorer, they’re also likely still using an antiquated operating system as well. Upgrading to Windows 10, if eligible, may be an option and this action would give them access to more recent versions of IE, as well as Microsoft’s latest web browser, Edge. Internet Explorer will not completely disappear from user PCs with the end of support. What it does mean, however, is that these versions of IE will be more susceptible to exploits and threat risks.

Why would you want to use a different browser when Internet Explorer is such a quality piece of software? Consider recent trends. While IE had a great run, in recent years it has been losing appeal. CNet reports this:

IE’s worldwide browser market share on desktops dropped from 58.2 percent at the start of 2014 to 48.6 percent in December, according to tracking company NetMarketShare. During the same period, Google-owned Chrome’s share rose from 16.4 percent to 32.3 percent.

Again, we cannot over-emphasize just how important it is that you use supported software and operating systems with your workstations. There is considerable business risk in failing to do so. Your business’ sensitive information can become vulnerable to all varieties of hackers. Hackers look to take advantage of any weak points they can find in your network. They will quickly act at the opportunity to do so without a second thought. This is why it’s so important to stay up to date with your technology management program.

Keep in mind, some business-critical software depends on certain parts of outdated versions of Internet Explorer, but these cases are increasingly rare. If a core application has prevented your company from upgrading a workstation in the past, it’s probably related to this scenario. Are you equipped to compare the important risks and costs of updating your operating system versus not?

It is challenging and borderline impossible for many businesses to keep technology in proper alignment due to heavy workloads, not enough technical expertise, and lack of planning process. This is why SMBs benefit greatly from partnering with dedicated professionals possessing these specific skills. Technology management can be the key to fully leveraging your business’ technology.