Microsoft officially retiring Internet Explorer next year

Microsoft is announcing that the future of Internet Explorer on Windows 10 is in Microsoft Edge. Not only is Microsoft Edge a faster, more secure and more modern browsing experience than Internet Explorer, but it is also able to address a key concern: compatibility for older, legacy websites and applications.

Microsoft Edge has Internet Explorer mode (“IE mode”) built in, so you can access those legacy Internet Explorer-based websites and applications straight from Microsoft Edge. With Microsoft Edge capable of assuming this responsibility and more, the Internet Explorer 11 desktop application will be retired and go out of support on June 15, 2022, for certain versions of Windows 10.

Reason #1 – Improved compatibility

With Microsoft Edge, you get a dual engine advantage that supports both legacy and modern websites. Internet Explorer mode gives you built-in legacy browser support for websites and applications that still require Internet Explorer. In fact, Microsoft Edge is the only browser with built-in compatibility for legacy Internet Explorer-based websites and applications, including support for functionality like ActiveX controls. Microsoft Edge is also built on the Chromium project – the technology that powers many of today’s browsers – which means it delivers world-class support for modern sites. With the dual engine advantage, you get the best of web, both past and future.

Reason #2 – Streamlined productivity

Having to use different browsers for different tasks can be frustrating. You may want to stay in a modern browser, but a public website or internal work app may only work in Internet Explorer. That’s where Microsoft Edge comes in. Its dual engine advantage streamlines your productivity. Instead of using “this browser for this site” and “that browser for that site,” now you can just use Microsoft Edge.

Microsoft Edge also offers new, modern features that you can’t find in Internet Explorer. Do dozens of tabs slow your computer down? Use Sleeping tabs to free up resources. Are those same tabs impossible to read along the top of your browser? Move them to the side and make them easier to read with Vertical tabs. Wish your Favorites were more than just links? It’s easier to collect and organize information you find across the web with Collections. Do you like using different browsers for work and personal use? Try setting up different profiles within Microsoft Edge and just use it instead.

And those are just the start.

Reason #3 – Better browser security

Roughly 579 password attacks are attempted every second—you need a browser that’s up to this challenge. Microsoft Edge offers the highest-rated protection against both phishing attacks and malware on Windows 10 with Microsoft Defender SmartScreen. It also offers Password Monitor, which scans the dark web to identify if your personal credentials have been compromised. And with tie-ins to the Microsoft 365 Security suite, Microsoft Edge is even better for organizations: Microsoft Edge is more secure than Chrome for businesses on Windows 10.

In today’s evolved security landscape, it’s also important that Microsoft Edge is more agile when responding to security vulnerabilities. While Internet Explorer 11 packaged security updates monthly, Microsoft Edge can issue security patches for immediate vulnerabilities within days, if not hours.

If Internet Explorer has been your go-to for years, Microsoft Edge can now be your trusted web companion for improved compatibility, streamlined productivity and better browser security.

How this impacts you

If you’re a consumer using Internet Explorer at home, we recommend you transition to Microsoft Edge before June 15, 2022, to start enjoying a faster, more secure and more modern browsing experience. The good news: you probably already have it on your device. Search for “Microsoft Edge” using the Windows 10 search box or look for the icon (see the top of this article). If you don’t have it, you can easily download it here. We’ve also aimed to make the upgrade to Microsoft Edge simple. Once you’ve opted in to moving to Microsoft Edge, it’s easy to bring over your passwords, favorites and other browsing data from Internet Explorer in a few clicks. And if you run into a site that needs Internet Explorer to open, Microsoft Edge has Internet Explorer mode built-in so you can still access it.

If you’re an organization using Internet Explorer, you may have a surprisingly large set of legacy Internet Explorer-based websites and apps, built up over many years. In fact, we found that enterprises have 1,678 legacy apps on average.1 By moving to Microsoft Edge, you get everything described above plus you’ll be able to extend the life of your legacy websites and apps well beyond the Internet Explorer 11 desktop application retirement date using IE mode. Internet Explorer mode in Microsoft Edge will be supported through at least 2029.

Duncan Newell

Duncan is a technology professional with over 20 years experience of working in various IT roles. He has a interest in cyber security, and has a wide range of other skills in radio, electronics and telecommunications.

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