Goodbye Internet Explorer – What This Means for Testing

By | March 17, 2015

Microsoft just announced that Internet Explorer is progressively being phased out as of January 12th 2016.

From Microsoft’s memo:

Beginning January 12, 2016, only the most current version of Internet Explorer available for a supported operating system will receive technical support and security updates, as shown in the table below:

Windows Desktop Operating Systems Internet Explorer Version
Windows Vista SP2 Internet Explorer 9
Windows 7 SP1 Internet Explorer 11
Windows 8.1 Update Internet Explorer 11

Customers have until January 12, 2016, to upgrade their browser after which time the previous versions of Internet Explorer will reach end of support. End of support means there will be no more security updates, non-security updates, free or paid assisted support options, or online technical content updates.

 How does this impact website operators?

The obvious objective of this change is to force users to update from their antiquated versions of IE to the most recent one available, and potentially switch over completely from Internet Explorer to Microsoft’s new browser, code name Project Spartan.

In theory, this means that you should be seeing less and less visitors from Internet Explorer 8 and 10 to your site, to a point where it becomes insignificant in 2016.

How that actually plays out is an interesting question – especially considering that various sources estimate Internet Explorer usage to be as high as 55% – 60% in recent months. (Sources here, here and here.) This is something that you will have to keep track of in your site’s analytics.

In the meantime, you should probably start taking a look at Project Spartan, which Microsoft has just announced will be available in the Windows 10 preview release this month. With a completely new rendering engine, there probably will be a few bugs that pop up!