Internet Explorer’s death looms ever nearer

6 Jan 2016

Microsoft’s overdue decision to do away with Internet Explorer is reaching a key juncture, with Internet Explorer 8, 9 and 10 to be consigned to an insecure grave from Tuesday, 12 January.

The ugliest of all browsers, Internet Explorer (IE) has had a slow demise. Now Microsoft has confirmed the original end date for a bunch of its browsers, with 8, 9 and 10 receiving their final security patches next Tuesday.

This means that, from then, if you still use any of those three, you’re basically browsing an unsecure internet with an unsecure browser, so it’s best you jump ship.

The problem for Microsoft, though, is where its customers jump ship to. IE 11 will remain supported in ‘legacy’ mode, probably due to enterprise customers, but Microsoft really wants everybody to adopt its newer Edge browser.

An issue, though, is competition. According to a report by Net Applications, last month, Microsoft’s market share of the internet browser audience slumped significantly as customers took the warning and left IE.

Falling away

Actually, since Microsoft announced plans to end IE, it has reportedly lost almost 10pc of its browser share. This is probably down to the fact that it’s not merely an upgrade to Edge that is involved, rather a download of a whole new OS. Essentially, this puts Edge in direct competition with Safari, Chrome, Firefox or any other option out there.

The introduction and obvious popularity of Windows 10 has helped Microsoft justify its decision to get everyone off IE and onto its new Edge browser, but it needs to work out a way to funnel its customers within its own services, and soon, or the fall-off could continue.

Computer World estimated that almost 340m people were still using IE 6, 7, 8, 9 or 10 as of December, meaning any day now a huge school of browser fish will descend into the open market.

The browser market share for Q1 2016 should make for interesting reading.

Gordon Hunt was a journalist with Silicon Republic