Last week, Microsoft announced they will end support for the IE7 and IE 8 versions of their Internet Explorer browser after January 12th 2016 and will dramatically limit the Windows versions they support for the other old versions of Internet Explorer.
After that date, they will only support IE9 on Windows Vista and IE10 only on Windows Server 2012. IE11 will only be supported Windows 7 and Windows 8.1. The unsupported browser versions will continue to work, of course, but they will no longer receive security updates. This will make them increasingly vulnerable to hackers over time.
Internet Explorer comes installed on all versions of Microsoft Windows, which collectively is the operating system for approximately 90% of all desktop computers. Last April, Microsoft discontinued security updates for Windows XP and has campaigned aggressively to get XP users to upgrade to Windows 8. From Microsoft’s perspective, the results have been disappointing because XP, first introduced in 2001, is still running 25% of all desktops.
In a related announcement, Microsoft said that they will support the new Windows 8.1 Enterprise Mode until January 14, 2020. Enterprise Mode allows developer to see how to test against older web browsers or run legacy Web apps that might not render well with IE11. Enterprise Mode for Internet Explorer 11, which displays a page as if IE 8, but with all the protections installed within IE 11.
Alternatives to Internet Explorer
If the dropping of support for old versions of IE is a concern, there is no shortage of alternatives to Internet Explorer. Comodo offers 2 free high performance browsers that are designed with privacy and security features not found in other browsers:
Both Comodo browsers are supported for Windows 8 , Windows 7, Vista and .XP