According to a recent report, starting next month Microsoft discontinues updates for older versions of Internet Explorer. The decision, which was first made public in 2014, does not mean that Internet Explorer may rest in peace. Some versions will still receive patches and security updates regularly.
This month, it is the last time versions 7 and 8 of Internet Explorer will receive support. Microsoft announced that only IE 9 for Vista and IE 11 for Windows 7 and Windows 8.1 will be supported.
In the meantime, the company also plans to discontinue support for Windows 8 just like it did with Windows XP on April 8, 2014. Instead, users who wish to have access to technical assistance, will be able to update their OS to the 8.1 and 10 versions for free. The upgrade to 8.1 is free of charge because MS decided to view the update as a Service Pack.
This is why, Windows 8 users will have access to support for 24 more months until the transition to the new version is complete.
Since versions 7, 8 and 10 of Internet explorer will be left out of support, one may assume that Microsoft’s job to keep the versions updated would be much simpler. Well, this is only in theory. For the Server editions of the operating system updates will continue to run until the end of their lifecycle which are around 10 years.
For instance, Windows Server 2012 which was released a month prior to Windows 8 does not have a free upgrade like embedded operating systems have. People who plan to upgrade to Windows Server 2012 R2 need to pay big money to do it. This is why, Microsoft couldn’t tell server owners to treat the update as a service pack, or deprive them of much-needed security updates if they didn’t upgrade.
Plus, IE 11 does not run on Windows Server 2012, which only has now access to IE 10. As a result, technical support for IE 10 on Windows Server 2012 will not be phased out. But for other versions of Windows including Windows XP, Vista, 7, 8, 8.1 security updates will no longer be performed for IE 7-10.
While the move may have some benefits for the company including compelling user to upgrade to newer versions of the operating system, business owners and some private users may complain. Many people still use older versions of IE for compatibility issues. This is why, Microsoft recommends these users to use an operating system that supports IE 11 instead.
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