Internet Explorer 11 retiring: what you need to know

May 9, 2022

On 15th June 2022, Microsoft will retire the Internet Explorer 11 desktop application for certain version of Windows 10. Legacy Internet Explorer-based websites and applications will continue to work with Microsoft Edge’s built-in Internet Explorer mode.

This has been a long time coming. After all, Microsoft already ended support for Internet Explorer 11 for Microsoft Teams in 2021. The plan is to cut it off from accessing Microsoft 365 services later this year including Office 365, OneDrive and Outlook.

If your business uses these applications, read on to understand how this will affect you and how to plan for a smooth transition without compromising business continuity, security and efficiency.

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Which platforms will be affected when Internet Explorer 11 retires?

Several platforms remain unaffected at this stage however if you’re using either of the IE11 desktop applications below then now is the time to move to Microsoft Edge:

  • Windows 10 client SKUs (version 20H2 and later)
  • Windows 10 IoT (version 20H2 and later)

If you’re unsure whether you’re going to be affected, Quintech will be able to clarify so please get in touch. 

Moving to Microsoft Edge

Microsoft Edge with IE mode is officially replacing the Internet Explorer 11 desktop application on Windows 10.  Built on the Chromium project – the technology that powers many of today’s browsers – Microsoft Edge delivers world-class support for modern sites. It offers improved compatibility, streamlined productivity and better browser security. It offers a faster and more modern browsing experience than Internet Explorer.

Compatibility

If you’re concerned about compatibility for older, legacy websites and applications, there’s no need: Microsoft Edge has a built in “IE Mode”, meaning you can access legacy IE-based websites and applications, including support for functionality like ActiveX controls, directly from Edge. This is the only browser with this capability. It also brings additional benefits such as:

Streamlined productivity

You probably find different websites and apps work on different browsers and moving from one to another can be time consuming and annoying. Microsoft Edge’s dual engine advantage means you can use the same browser for all tasks.

Microsoft Edge also offers new, modern features that you can’t find in Internet Explorer. For example:

  • Sleep tabs: you can open as many tabs as you need, keep them open while you multi-task, without losing performance.
  • Vertical tabs: use these in conjunction with the tabs along the top of your browser for easier reading.
  • Collections: organise information you find and use across the Internet in a more sophisticated way than just links.
  • Profiles: create and use different settings for different purposes, for instant work or personal, all within one browser.

Better browser security

With cybercrime constantly on the increase, you need a robust browser. Microsoft Edge offers the highest-rated protection against both phishing attacks and malware on Windows 10 with Microsoft Defender SmartScreen built in. 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 offers additional, powerful security capabilities and features that help protect against data loss.

Microsoft Edge is also more agile when responding to security vulnerabilities. Internet Explorer 11 packaged security updates on a monthly basis. In contrast, Microsoft Edge can issue security patches for immediate vulnerabilities within days, if not hours.

What happens if you stay on IE 11?

The biggest issue will be security because IE 11 will lose support from Microsoft. This means any vulnerabilities that occur after June 2022 will not be fixed, making your business at risk to hackers.

Non-security critical updates, such as software/hardware conflicts, where business critical apps won’t work properly with IE 11 (especially any browser-based app) could be another issue resulting in significant business downtime.

There’s also the issue of user experience. Users can become easily frustrated using slow, out-of-date browsers. This can lead to decreased morale and productivity. 

What should you do next?

You may have a surprisingly large set of legacy Internet Explorer-based websites and apps being used within your business. By moving to Microsoft Edge, you will benefit in the ways 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, because Internet Explorer mode in Microsoft Edge will be supported until at least 2029.

 

There are a number of steps you may need to take to transition from old to new and it’s best to be prepared well before June to avoid any unnecessary issues occurring. Quintech can advise you on how to plan for a smooth transition and ensure you have the right set up for your business needs.  Get in touch today on 01684 887200 or email advice@quintech.co.uk