Microsoft sounds death knell for Internet Explorer 8

Microsoft will cease to support IE8 from 2016

Microsoft has announced a new support policy for Windows versions of Internet Explorer (IE), explaining that from next year it will only actively back the latest version of its browsers, meaning the end of support for IE 8.

Users will have grown used to extended periods of support from the firm, but that will end starting January 2016, it said as it explained the new rules.

Roger Capriotti, IE director, said in a blog post: “Developers benefit when users stay current on the latest web browser. Older browsers may not support modern web standards, so browser fragmentation is a problem for website developers.

“Web app developers, too, can work more efficiently and create better products and product roadmaps if their customers are using modern browsers. Upgrading benefits the developer ecosystem.”

Users too will benefit, he added, thanks to the latest versions having the most up-to-date security protection.

“Outdated browsers represent a major challenge in keeping the web ecosystem safer,” Capriotti explained.

“It should come as no surprise that the most recent, fully patched version of IE is more secure than older versions. [It is] faster, supports more modern web standards, and has better compatibility with existing web apps.”

The update makes no room for IE8, and aligns Microsoft’s chief products with other associated IE releases.

Customers are advised to start considering their in-house setup, and begin selecting and updating the version of IE that is most relevant to them. It has provided a list of options and their IE partners.

Windows Vista Service Pack 2 (SP2) and Windows Server 2008 SP2 are both married with IE9. Windows 7 SP1, Windows Server 2008 R2 SP1, Windows 8.1 and Windows Server 2012 R2 are aligned with IE11 and Windows Server 2012 is paired with IE10.

IE8 is rather blighted, and in March Microsoft announced that it would patch it against a zero-day exploit that it had been advised about 180 days previously.

“We are aware of a publicly disclosed issue involving IE8 and have not detected incidents affecting our customers. We build and thoroughly test every security fix as quickly as possible,” said a spokesperson then.

IE8 has a lot of users, however, and figures from NetApp show it leading the browser tables in terms of market share. As we have seen with Windows XP a legacy Microsoft habit is a hard one to drop, but the firm hopes that the security message will aid this.

“By offering better backward compatibility and resources to help customers upgrade, Microsoft is making it easier than ever before for commercial customers to stay current on the latest version of IE,” added Capriotti.

“In addition to modern web standards, improved performance, increased security, and greater reliability, migrating to IE11 also helps unlock upgrades to Windows 8.1 Update, services like Office 365, and the latest Windows devices.”

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8 August 2014 | 2:21 pm – Source: v3.co.uk

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