Redmond's Internet Explorer (IE) web browser was first released in 1995, at a time when Netscape's Navigator was the dominant portal to the web and the TCP/IP protocol was still an optional add-on to the newly released Windows 95 operating system.
For over two decades this web browser has been the default browser on Microsoft operating systems. This changed with the release of Windows 10, which now sports a new default browser called Microsoft Edge. As part of Microsoft’s stated strategy, all further web browser development will be focused on this new browser for the new operating system. Historically, Microsoft has supported several concurrent versions of Internet Explorer on operating systems, but this is no longer the case.
Effective January 12 2016, Microsoft has ended support for all but the most current version of Internet Explorer an operating system can run. For nearly all users, this means that the only supported version of Redmond's 20 year old browser is Internet Explorer 11 (IE11).
For those users running the desktop operating system Windows 7 or newer, no further updates or security patches will be provided for Internet Explorer 9 (IE9) or Internet Explorer 10 (IE10). For users running Windows Vista, limited patches will be provided for IE9 until the OS reaches end of support in April 2017. For those holdouts who are over 600 days late in retiring Windows XP, there is no Internet Explorer at all for you.
Internet Explorer does not have a very favorable history with regards to security flaws, and its backward compatibility with previous versions has been a challenge for application and web developers alike. This legacy of vulnerabilities and frequently discovered exploits continues to this day, with all flavors of Internet Explorer receiving more than their share of attention every time Patch Tuesday comes around.
This is a threat to take seriously, as those users of Microsoft browsers other than IE11 and Edge are more at risk every day. Unfortunately, there are still legacy applications that may not have been upgraded to support newer versions of Internet Explorer and Edge, or other modern browsers such as Chrome and Firefox.
Mytech will be working with all of our managed customers to identify and plan an appropriate remediation strategy for those users and computers running now unsupported browser versions.
February 3, 2016