Internet Explorer Does Not Go Away Today
Sorry folks, Internet Explorer is not going away on January 12.
See, January 12 is the date that Microsoft will stop providing tech support and security updates for any version of Internet Explorer below IE 11. This doesn’t mean that the copy of IE8 on your client’s computer will suddenly uninstall itself, despite what tech headlines would have you believe:
- Internet Explorer 8, 9 and 10 die on Tuesday at The Next Web
- Microsoft readies kill switch for Internet Explorer 8, 9, and 10 at Ars Technica
- Microsoft to kill support for Internet Explorer 8, 9, 10 on Jan. 12 at CNET
- Microsoft Is Finally Killing Old Versions of Internet Explorer at Slate
- Microsoft is pulling the plug on Internet Explorer 8, 9, and 10 next week at The Verge
Let’s not forget that Internet Explorer version 11 also has Enterprise Mode. This means that end users can run IE11 as IE7, as well as document modes for emulation of the IE5, IE7, IE8, IE9, IE10, and IE11 rendering engines (which I wrote about a couple years ago).
You may find that some organizations don’t want to blow up their just-upgraded-to-IE8 desktops when they don’t plan to update all their internal systems. I’m not talking about some podunk outfit either, but a prime example like that top-23 multinational bank that employs more than a quarter million web surfers as of 2014.
Remember when Microsoft ended Windows XP support (April 8, 2014)? Remember how the industry generally agreed that running Windows XP after that was an automatic HIPAA/HITECH violation? Remember the last time you were at your doctor’s office and you looked at his/her screen?
In short, Microsoft might has declared it won’t support IE5 through IE10, but you as a developer probably cannot do that.
What You Should Probably (Start/Continue to) Do
- Check the browser stats for the sites you support (don’t rely on global stats).
- Grab all the free Internet Explorer virtual machines that Microsoft provides for testing. Don’t rely on IE11 Enterprise Mode as it is not accurate.
- Use those to support the browsers still coming to your site.
- Don’t be a web developer hipster.
By using the stats of our current sites, we ensure that we don’t support any but the latest browsers, because our sites are already badly broken in older browsers.
It’s a bit like “our mobile-unfriendly site has no mobile users, why look at global stats at all?”
You’ve reminded me that I should probably re-write my old post about browser stat selection bias, as it’s not as clear as it could be.
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