Microsoft Is Finally Killing Old Versions of Internet Explorer

Some old skool Internet Explorer 5 on Windows 98.

Screencap from Wikipedia

In August 2014 Microsoft set a date to end support for old versions of Internet Explorer. It was a good step, but the cutoff the company chose was 17 months away. I wrote that it was “quite a leisurely timeline.” But we have to give Microsoft some credit, because the date it chose, Jan. 12, 2016, is next week, and everything appears to be running on schedule. 

On Tuesday, Microsoft will send an “End of Life” upgrade notification to users running Internet Explorer 8, 9, and 10. Hopefully it will motivate people to make some changes in their browser lives, because as of Jan. 6, NetMarketShare shows that these old versions of IE combined make up 19.8 percent of total browser use.

“You should take action. After January 12, 2016, Microsoft will no longer provide security updates or technical support for older versions of Internet Explorer,” the company said in a statement.

It’s nice to see Microsoft bring the ax down swiftly, because the company wasn’t so decisive about cutting off Windows XP. Since support ended for the operating system in April 2014, times have been tough for users who were deeply invested in it. These are mainly large, bureaucratic institutions—like banks and the United States Navy—that had deployed XP on an enormous scale. Now we have to brace for similar problems cropping up with Internet Explorer 8, 9, and 10.

Shakespeare might as well have been thinking about Microsoft when he wrote, “So shines a good deed in a weary world.”