Microsoft to Ditch Security Updates for Internet Explorer

John Lister's picture

Microsoft is to ditch support for all but the latest edition of Internet Explorer. The news coincides with reports that Microsoft's new Edge browser is rapidly falling from favor.

The discontinued support Internet Explorer affects versions 8, 9 and 10 and will end on Tuesday, January 12, 2016. That will mark the final update for those systems, which will simply consist of an on-screen notification urging user to upgrade to Internet Explorer 11 or Edge. Officially, only Windows 7, 8, and 10 can run Internet Explorer 11, while Edge runs on Windows 10.

Unlike some browsers such as Firefox and Chrome, older versions of Internet Explorer do not automatically update to the latest version. They will continue to operate, but won't get any more feature updates, bug fixes, and most importantly, security fixes. The latter is a very big deal, considering how many online threats take advantage of browser flaws. (Source:

Windows Vista a Minor Exception

It's clear Microsoft is making a concerted effort to get people onto the latest edition, which then reduces the number of fixes it has to issue for previous editions. Normally Microsoft withdraws support for software on a fixed timetables, so it's very unusual to have a series of editions of the same application all go out of support on the same date.

There's one minor exception to the timetable: Internet Explorer 9 will still be supported on Windows Vista. However, Vista itself is already in extended support, meaning the only updates Microsoft issues are security fixes. Even so, support for Vista will end in the spring of 2017.

For most users, upgrading Internet Explorer should be a simple task. However, Microsoft says it will offer specialist help for firms with more than 500 employees who might face logistical challenges in a system-wide update.

Microsoft Edge Failing to Catch On

Meanwhile, it seems that Microsoft's new Edge browser (which effectively replaces Internet Explorer) is struggling to win over users. Net Applications, which measures browser use among visitors to thousands of websites, says that between September and December the proportion of Windows 10 computers using Edge to visit sites slumped from 36 percent to 23 percent.

Several other monitoring firms say that Edge has in fact been relatively steady over that period. However, they all have the figure at or below the Net Applications estimate, with one putting it as low as 13 percent. (Source:

What's Your Opinion?

Is there any reason not to get the latest edition of Internet Explorer if you still use Microsoft's browser? Should Microsoft forcibly update Internet Explorer in the interests of security? Do you think Edge will ever help Microsoft regain its browser market share?

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Dennis Faas's picture

I'm sure all of this has to do with Microsoft's continuing push to get users to upgrade to Windows 10. Only Windows 7, 8 and 10 can run Internet Explorer 11; even so, if you are running Windows 7 or 8, you will be taunted to upgrade to Windows 10.

dan_2160's picture

That's Tuesday, Jan 12, not 14. Might want to fix the typo to avoid confusing readers. (Hey, typos happen; no big deal.)

Dennis Faas's picture

Thanks for catching that. :)

RButts_5424's picture

Edge, itself, is an OK browser! BUT, I seldom use it because extensions and add-ins are not supported. No Roboform, no Grammarly (I do a lot of on-line proofing), and the list goes on. I had read that MS was going to allow 3rd party support. And one software indicated that they had been led to believe their software would be allowed October-November timeframe. Alas! So we go with the browsers that do allow add-ins and extensions.

nate04pa's picture

I have a Del 4700 with a P4 processor that cannot run Win 10. It is running Win 7 but using the generic video driver - no driver available for Win 7.

I also have an HP P6714Y with an Nvidia GPU which Win 10 reports as "not compatible" but the system is running Win 8.1. This system is of 2011 vintage. I am going to try to install Win 10 later this year and see what happens.

dan400man's picture

Who knew?

lobrien3477_4683's picture

I see a path here by Microsoft. Are they planning to update Edge so that the points disliked by users will be resolved? Besides polls concerning use of Edge, is Microsoft engaged in trying to find likes/dislikes of Edge and resolve the dislikes?Somewhere in the future do you see Internet Explorer updates being ENTIRELY ditched in order to force more usage of Edge? What other browsers would you recommend over Edge?How would you like Edge to be improved?