For any Web developer who ever rolled their eyes and groaned at the prospect of using Internet Explorer, your moment of schadenfreude has arrived: on January 12, Microsoft plans on ending support for all older versions of IE.
Without continuing updates, older IE versions will quickly become riddled with security, compliance, and vendor-support issues. Microsoft has pledged that Internet Explorer 11, the current version, will stay supported for the lifetime of Windows 7, Windows 8.1, and Windows 10. But the company really wants people to move to Microsoft Edge, the new Web browser included in Windows 10.
Previously codenamed “Spartan,” presumably after the super-soldiers in the “Halo” franchise of video games for Xbox (which Microsoft owns), Edge does not support some legacy technologies such as ActiveX, which is why Microsoft has continued support for Internet Explorer 11. Edge is meant to compete against Chrome and other cutting-edge browsers, particularly with regard to speed.
Early criticism has focused on Edge’s relative lack of features, although the browser will presumably add more as time goes on.
So if you’re a Web developer who never really liked working with Internet Explorer, it seems that the browser’s time is coming to an end. And if you maintain software that will only run in Internet Explorer (and there are still a few of those sites and apps out there), it’s time to consider rebuilding for a new browser.