We’ve been reading about the demise of Microsoft’s Internet Explorer browser for years. Once Microsoft launched its new Edge browser in mid-2015, we knew the writing was on the wall for its underperforming and oft-maligned predecessor. Now, Microsoft is finally ready to sever ties with Internet Explorer 11, at least on some versions of Windows 10. And sadly, the breakup is happening on Valentine’s Day; what a pity.
“All remaining devices that have not already been redirected from IE11 to Microsoft Edge are scheduled to be redirected with the Microsoft Edge update scheduled for February 14, 2023,” wrote Microsoft in December 2022 (opens in new tab). “The change to use Microsoft Edge update to disable IE is intended to provide a better user experience and help organizations transition their last remaining IE11 users to Microsoft Edge. As a reminder, IE11 has been out of support since June 15, 2022.”
Microsoft officially retired and ended support for Internet Explorer 11 in June 2022. Today, Microsoft is taking the extra step of permanently disabling Internet Explorer 11 via an update to its Edge browser (opens in new tab). Curiously, Microsoft says that this long-expected death is only for “certain versions of Windows 10.” Versions of Windows 10 that are saying goodbye to Internet Explorer 11 include:
- Windows 10 client SKUs
- Windows 10 IoT
- Windows 10 Enterprise Multi-Session
The following operating systems using Internet Explorer 11 aren’t affected by the Valentine’s Day massacre:
- Windows 8.1
- Windows 7 Extended Security Updates
- Windows Server SAC
- Windows 10 IoT Long-Term Servicing Channel (LTSC)
- Windows Server LTSC
- Windows 10 client LTSC
- Windows 10 China Government Edition
Given the protracted, Monty Python-esque death of Windows 11, it’s likely that most Windows 10 users have already made the switch to Edge or some other competing browser like Google Chrome or Mozilla Firefox. And even for those clinging to the old browser for legacy applications, Edge still offers an Internet Explorer compatibility mode.
For customers and businesses that have made no effort to switch to Edge or Internet Explorer Mode in Edge, Microsoft gives this warning: “If your organization still has dependencies on IE11, you must take steps now to complete your transition before February 14, 2023, or risk business disruption at scale when users lose access to IE11-dependent applications.” Welcome to the brave, new IE-free internet.