As we shared in May, Microsoft is prioritizing helping users stay up-to-date with the latest version of Internet Explorer. Today we would like to share important information on migration resources, upgrade guidance, and details on support timelines to help you plan for moving to the latest Internet Explorer browser for your operating system.
Microsoft offers innovative and transformational services for a mobile-first and cloud-first world, so you can do more and achieve more; Internet Explorer is core to this vision. In today’s digital world, billions of people use Internet-connected devices, powered by cloud service-based applications, spanning both work and life experiences. Running a modern browser is more important than ever for the fastest, most secure experience on the latest Web sites and services, connecting anytime, anywhere, on any device.
Developer and User Benefits
Developers benefit when users stay current on the latest Web browser. Older browsers may not support modern Web standards, so browser fragmentation is a problem for Web site developers. Web app developers, too, can work more efficiently and create better products and product roadmaps if their customers are using modern browsers. Upgrading benefits the developer ecosystem.
Users also benefit from a modern browser that enables the latest digital work and life experiences while decreasing online risks. Internet Explorer 11, our latest modern browser, delivers many benefits:
- Improved Security – Outdated browsers represent a major challenge in keeping the Web ecosystem safer and more secure, as modern Web browsers have better security protection. Internet Explorer 11 includes features like Enhanced Protected Mode to help keep customers safer. Microsoft proactively fixes many potential vulnerabilities in Internet Explorer, and our work to help protect customers is delivering results: According to NSS Labs, protection against malicious software increased from 69% on Internet Explorer 8 in 2009 to over 99% on Internet Explorer 11. It should come as no surprise that the most recent, fully-patched version of Internet Explorer is more secure than older versions.
- Productivity – The latest Internet Explorer is faster, supports more modern Web standards, and has better compatibility with existing Web apps. Users benefit by being able to run today’s Web sites and services, such as Office 365, alongside legacy Web apps.
- Unlock the future — Upgrading and staying current on the latest version of Internet Explorer can ease the migration to Windows 8.1 Update and the latest Windows tablets and other devices, unlocking the next generation of technology and productivity.
Browser Migration Guidance
Microsoft recommends enabling automatic updates to ensure an up-to-date computing experience—including the latest version of Internet Explorer—and most consumers use automatic updates today. Commercial customers are encouraged to test and accept updates quickly, especially security updates. Regular updates provide significant benefits, such as decreased security risk and increased reliability, and Windows Update can automatically install updates for Internet Explorer and Windows.
For customers not yet running the latest browser available for your operating system, we encourage you to upgrade and stay up-to-date for a faster, more secure browsing experience. Beginning January 12, 2016, the following operating systems and browser version combinations will be supported:
|Windows Platform||Internet Explorer Version|
|Windows Vista SP2||Internet Explorer 9|
|Windows Server 2008 SP2||Internet Explorer 9|
|Windows 7 SP1||Internet Explorer 11|
|Windows Server 2008 R2 SP1||Internet Explorer 11|
|Windows 8.1||Internet Explorer 11|
|Windows Server 2012||Internet Explorer 10|
|Windows Server 2012 R2||Internet Explorer 11|
After January 12, 2016, only the most recent version of Internet Explorer available for a supported operating system will receive technical support and security updates. For example, customers using Internet Explorer 8, Internet Explorer 9, or Internet Explorer 10 on Windows 7 SP1 should migrate to Internet Explorer 11 to continue receiving security updates and technical support. For more details regarding support timelines on Windows and Windows Embedded, see the Microsoft Support Lifecycle site.
As some commercial customers have standardized on earlier versions of Internet Explorer, Microsoft is introducing new features and resources to help customers upgrade and stay current on the latest browser. Customers should plan for upgrading to modern standards—to benefit from the additional performance, security, and productivity of modern Web apps—but in the short term, backward compatibility with legacy Web apps may be a cost-effective, if temporary, path. Enterprise Mode for Internet Explorer 11, released in April 2014, offers enhanced backward compatibility and enables you to run many legacy Web apps during your transition to modern Web standards.
Today we are announcing that Enterprise Mode will be supported through the duration of the operating system lifecycle, to help customers extend their existing Web app investments while staying current on the latest version of Internet Explorer. On Windows 7, Enterprise Mode will be supported through January 14, 2020. Microsoft will continue to improve Enterprise Mode backward compatibility, and to invest in tools and other resources to help customers upgrade and stay up-to-date on the latest version of Internet Explorer.
Browser Migration Resources
Microsoft offers numerous online support resources for customers and partners who wish to migrate to the latest version of Internet Explorer.
- Modern.IE – For developers updating sites to modern standards, Modern.IE provides a set of tools, best practices, and prescriptive guidance. An intranet scanner is available for download, for assessing Web apps within corporate networks.
- Internet Explorer TechCenter – The Internet Explorer TechNet site includes technical resources to deploy, maintain and support Internet Explorer. Enterprise Mode for Internet Explorer 11 is covered in detail, to help customers extend Web app investments by leveraging this new backward compatibility feature.
- Internet Explorer Developer Center – The MSDN developer site includes resources related to application development for Internet Explorer.
- Microsoft Assessment and Planning (MAP) Toolkit – This is an agentless inventory and planning tool that can assess your current browser install base.
For customers and partners who want hands-on guidance, Microsoft has a number of deployment and compatibility services available to assist with migrations. These services include:
- Microsoft Services Support – Gain the most benefit from your IT infrastructure by pairing your business with Microsoft Services Premier Support. Our dedicated support teams provide continuous hands-on assistance and immediate escalation for urgent issues, which speeds resolution and helps you keep your mission-critical systems up and running.
- Microsoft Consulting Services – Fast and effective deployment of your Microsoft technologies shortens the time it takes to see value from your investments; and when your people use those technologies to their fullest extent, they help grow their skills and your business. Microsoft Services consultants work with your organization to deploy and adopt Microsoft technologies efficiently and cost-effectively, and we can help you minimize risk in your most complex initiatives. Our expertise on the Microsoft platform and collaboration with our global network of partners and technical communities fuel our ability to help you consider just what else is possible through your innovation and Microsoft technologies and solutions.
- Internet Explorer Migration Workshop – The Microsoft Services Internet Explorer Migration Workshop helps customers understand the migration process to the latest version of Internet Explorer, using a structured workshop targeted towards IT professionals and developers. Your subject matter experts will quickly learn how to evaluate compatibility issues and remediation techniques. For more information, contact your Microsoft Services representative or visit www.microsoft.com/services.
- Find a Microsoft partner on Pinpoint – Connect with a certified IT specialist in your area who knows how to help you upgrade to the most current version of Internet Explorer [and the .NET Framework], with minimal disruption to your business and applications.
By offering better backward compatibility and resources to help customers upgrade, Microsoft is making it easier than ever before for commercial customers to stay current on the latest version of Internet Explorer. In addition to modern Web standards, improved performance, increased security, and greater reliability, migrating to Internet Explorer 11 also helps unlock upgrades to Windows 8.1 Update, services like Office 365, and the latest Windows devices.
— Roger Capriotti, Director, Internet Explorer