Software

ANN-IE-LATION: Microsoft to axe support for older Internet Explorer next week

Don't say we didn't warn ya ... because we did

By Shaun Nichols in San Francisco

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In less than one week, Microsoft will end support for several versions of its Internet Explorer web browser.

The Redmond giant is nearing the January 12 rollout date for a new policy on browser support. The new rules, unveiled last year, mean that many older versions of IE will no longer be supported on Windows machines.

Precisely which version of IE will be dropped depends on the version of Windows you are running. In every case, Microsoft said it will only be supporting the most recent compatible version of the browser.

Anything earlier will no longer receive updates, and given the constant flow of new security flaws in IE, running an unpatched copy of the browser is only slightly less dangerous than playing tag in a minefield.

Because newer builds of IE have dropped support for the older versions of Windows, Redmond will have to keep a few of the older versions alive.

For most non-server versions of Windows, IE 11 will be the only supported version of Internet Explorer going forward. The lone exception is those who for whatever reason are still running Windows Vista. Microsoft will maintain support for IE 9 on Windows Vista SP2. Meanwhile, Vista itself reaches end of extended support in April of 2017.

All versions of Windows from Windows 7 on will get updates only for IE 11, meaning desktop and notebook users need to move on from IE 10.

Things get a bit more complicated for Windows Server systems. For Server 2008 SP2, IE 9 will be supported, while Windows Server 2008 R2 SP1 will only support IE 11. Likewise, Windows Server 2012 will keep support for IE 10, but machines running Windows Server 2012 R2 should have their browsers updated to IE 11 in order to continue receiving updates.

There is still a bit of support being offered, for those who can afford it. Microsoft has been offering custom support agreements for those enterprises that absolutely must continue to use a dated version of IE. ®

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