Microsoft imposes deadline to upgrade to Internet Explorer 11

Must update to continue receiving security patches

Business customers looking to continue using Internet Explorer instead of switching to Microsoft Edge on Windows 10 have until January 12, 2016 to upgrade. Upgrading to the latest Internet Explorer version 11 by the deadline will ensure that you continue to receive security updates and technical support, according to a Microsoft advisory.

"Internet Explorer 11 is the last major version of Internet Explorer, and will continue to be supported for the life of the operating system on which it is installed – including Windows 7, Windows 8.1, and Windows 10," Microsoft said in a statement.

Microsoft continues to support Internet Explorer, which recently turned 20 years old, stating that "Internet Explorer 11 will continue to receive security updates and backward compatibility improvements."

IE for business

Businesses that develop and maintain web applications can save time and development costs by using the new Web Application Compatibility Lab Kit.

Microsoft made product improvements to Internet Explorer to make it more business-friendly. Key product features include Enterprise Mode, Enterprise Site Discovery, HTTP Port numbers, Microsoft Edge and IE11 switching, and a simpler, scalable Enterprise Mode schema.

"For example, Enterprise Mode provides higher-fidelity emulation for older versions of Internet Explorer, and Enterprise Site Discovery can help assess your existing web environment," Microsoft said.

Users can specify port numbers in different document modes. Additionally, users can begin surfing the web in Edge and automatically switch to Internet Explorer 11 for pages that require backward compatibility based on specifications made by IT.

"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," Microsoft said in a blog post. "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."

IE11 versus Microsoft Edge

Microsoft advises business users to install Microsoft Edge by default when upgrading to Windows 10, but support for legacy technologies means that Internet Explorer will continue to be a relevant tool for businesses. For example, businesses that choose to use password managers, like LastPass, may choose to continue using Internet Explorer because plugins are supported. Microsoft Edge doesn't support the LastPass password extension.

Both browsers are supported on Windows 10. IE11 continues to support plugins, toolbars and ActiveX controls, while Microsoft Edge provides Cortana integration for smarter, contextual searches and allows you to note and annotate web pages.

"In addition to better support for modern web standards, improved performance, increased security, and greater reliability, migrating to Internet Explorer 11 also helps unlock upgrades to Windows 10, Office 365, and the latest Windows devices," Microsoft said.