Microsoft has announced it will no longer provide security updates for older versions of Internet Explorer come January 12, 2016, giving users about 18 months to make the switch.

Internet Explorer Director, Roger Capriotti, said in a blog post, “Outdated browsers represent a major challenge in keeping the Web ecosystem safer and more secure.” The end-of-life will affect Internet Explorer users running versions 8-10.

Capriotti assured the switch would benefit both users and developers, stating, “Protection against malicious software increased from 60% on Internet Explorer 8 in 2009 to more than 99% on Internet Explorer 11.”

Beginning January 12, 2016, only the following operating systems and browser version combinations will receive technical support and security updates:

Windows Platform Internet Explorer Version
Windows Vista SP2 Internet Explorer 9
Windows Server 2008 SP2 Internet Explorer 9
Windows 7 SP1 Internet Explorer 11
Windows Server 2008 R2 SP1 Internet Explorer 11
Windows 8.1 Internet Explorer 11
Windows Server 2012 Internet Explorer 10
Windows Server 2012 R2 Internet Explorer 11

“In addition to modern Web standards, improved performance, increased security, and greater reliability, migrating to Internet Explorer 11 also helps unlock upgrades to Windows 8.1 Update, services like Office 365, and the latest Windows devices,” said Capriotti.

The Internet Explorer end-of-life notice comes only a few months after Microsoft also declared death to Windows XP back in April 2014, which sparked much debate from the infosec community.

Security Researcher and Member of Tripwire’s Vulnerability and Exposure Research Team (VERT) Tyler Reguly, commented, “Internet Explorer has long gotten the short end of the stick in the browser wars. While Firefox and Chrome auto-update their users, ensuring everyone is running the latest and greatest technology, Microsoft users are responsible for handling the upgrade process themselves.”

“Sure, there’s Windows Automatic Updates but that doesn’t compare to a browser that installs updates every time it’s closed. It’s nice to see Microsoft finally clean house with older versions of Internet Explorer. Anyone who’s ever looked at a Microsoft Security Bulletin for Internet Explorer should be able to easily see that there are too many supported editions of Windows XP.”

“The death of IE 7 and IE 8 should be welcomed by all.”

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Maritza Santillan

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