Bad news for those who use older versions of Microsoft Windows, good news for just about everyone else on the planet: Internet Explorer 8, 9, and 10 are finally being killed off next Tuesday. January 12th is the browsers’ official “end of life” date, or when Microsoft will no longer support them with updates and security fixes. On that date, the company will be releasing a patch to encourage current users to upgrade to IE 11, which will be supported for a bit longer, or Microsoft’s new Edge browser.
As ComputerWorld notes, it is estimated that some 340 million people are still using one of these versions of IE that are about to be retired. If these people don’t upgrade or change browsers after next week, they will be using software that Microsoft will no longer be providing security updates for, putting them at great risk of hackers or malware.
This isn’t just a way to force Windows users into switching to Edge, which debuted earlier this year alongside Windows 10, as Microsoft first announced the end of life date back in mid-2014. For those who still insist on sticking with the comforts of Internet Explorer, IE 11 will continue to be supported on Windows 7, Windows 8.1, and Windows 10.
The news that IE 8/9/10 are being killed off will be celebrated the most by web developers around the globe, who have long suffered to make sure their modern standards remain compatible with the ancient browsers. While individual Windows users are on their own to upgrade or switch browsers, Microsoft says it will be offering some assistance to larger companies that need to update.