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InfoQ Homepage News Microsoft Will Retire Internet Explorer 11 in June 2022 for Certain Versions of Windows 10

Microsoft Will Retire Internet Explorer 11 in June 2022 for Certain Versions of Windows 10

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Microsoft recently announced that the Internet Explorer 11 desktop application will be retired on June 15, 2022, for certain versions of Windows 10. Legacy Internet Explorer-based websites and applications will continue to work with Microsoft Edge’s built-in Internet Explorer mode.

Microsoft continues disinvesting from Internet Explorer 11 (IE11) and Microsoft Edge Legacy towards the new Microsoft Edge. Microsoft Edge with IE mode is officially replacing the Internet Explorer 11 desktop application on Windows 10. As a result, the Internet Explorer 11 desktop application will go out of support and be retired on June 15, 2022, for certain versions of Windows 10. Microsoft however concreted:

This retirement does not affect in-market Windows 10 LTSC or Server Internet Explorer 11 desktop applications. It also does not affect the MSHTML (Trident) engine. For a full list of what is in scope for this announcement, and for other technical questions, please see our FAQ.

At the time of the announcement, the Internet Explorer 11 desktop application remains unaffected on some Windows versions: Windows 8.1, Windows 7 Extended Security Updates, Windows 10 Server SAC, Windows 10 IoT Long-Term Servicing Channel (LTSC), Windows 10 Server LTSC, Windows 10 client LTSC. Windows 10 LSTC may be used in devices with a long life such as MRI machines and air traffic control systems. In August 2021, Microsoft 365 will end support for IE11.

Microsoft Edge’s IE mode provides built-in support for legacy websites and applications that still require Internet Explorer. Edge for instance uniquely supports ActiveX controls, a technology introduced in 1996. Legacy applications support is particularly important for enterprises, which Microsoft estimated having 1,678 legacy apps on average.

Beyond compatibility with legacy IE applications, Microsoft quotes two advantages of switching to the dual-engine Microsoft Edge. First, IE users will be able to enjoy the modern features regularly shipping with the Edge browsers. This includes productivity features such as Edge Collections — which allows organizing ideas, or browser tab management (vertical tabs, putting tabs to sleep to increase speed by saving system resources). Second, IE users will benefit from Microsoft Edge’s agility when responding to reported security issues. The announcement post explained:

Internet Explorer 11 packaged security updates monthly, Microsoft Edge can issue security patches for immediate vulnerabilities within days, if not hours.

Edge’s IE mode itself will be supported at least until the end of 2029, which provides additional time for IT departments to transition away from legacy applications.

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