In case you weren't aware, Microsoft is officially leaving Internet Explorer 8, 9, and 10 in the dust on January, 12th. Parts of the world may be mourning, but we couldn't be more delighted! If you happen to adore Internet Explorer, not to fear, IE 11 is still here, but they are simply ceasing their support for the earlier versions of Internet Explorer. IE 8, 9 and 10 have unfortunately lagged behind in the race of developments for years, and we think it's wise of Windows to stop providing support for these browsers. Many great, helpful functions for new websites are often not supported by these older versions of IE. Here's a humorous illustration of how Internet Explorer typically compares to it's competitors:
While the image may be a bit crass, the design world definitely feels this way about Internet Explorer. Microsoft seems to be shifting away from this infamous line of browsers completely with their release of Microsoft Edge. Likely due to the bad rap Internet Explorer has received for quite some time, Microsoft is re-branding their browsers completely. This browser will automatically come with Windows 10, and it will also include compatibility with earlier IE browsers.
What to do
To be perfectly honest, this may be a good time to abandon Internet Explorer all together. There are many great browsers, including Google Chrome and Mozilla Firefox, that are often safer and provide better user experiences. Google Chrome also has impressive extensions that help with organization and other functionality. As an avid user of Google Drive and Google Calendar, it's nice to have everything tied into my Google browser. Furthermore, if you wish to view websites in the best light possible, Chrome or Firefox are good candidates for making that a reality.
What if you're stuck?
If you're still using older versions of Internet Explorer out of necessity, don't worry. As mentioned previously, Windows is providing options for their users to continue to use older versions of their browsers. With these new options, there is no reason for a user to keep an outdated version of IE on his or her computer. In fact, it is dangerous to run outdated versions of IE, since these versions will no longer have even the support of Microsoft. Instead, it is best to upgrade to IE 11 (or Microsoft Edge if you have Windows 10), and use their compatibility mode. While all browsers have compatibility mode, Microsoft has also launched Enterprise Mode, which allows users to set certain websites to display in older versions of Internet Explorer.
Let's take an example: Say that I have Internet Explorer 11, but I use a web platform for work that is only compatible with Internet Explorer 8. This is the only website that I need to view in IE 8, so I don't really want to view every website in IE 8. Instead, I can download Enterprise Mode and set that website to open in IE 8 at all times. Otherwise, my browser will open webpages in IE 11, giving the best view possible (for that browser). It's pretty simple and you can find more information here.
All in all, Microsoft is making changes and an apparent shift away from Internet Explorer, ceasing its support for browsers that are still widely used. Though this may be the end of an era, it's also a time for new opportunity. Make sure to update your browser to IE 11 by January 12th, or better yet, download Google Chrome instead! Happy browsing!