Older versions of IE no longer supported by MSFT starting from 12.01.2016

Microsoft announced that it ends support for old versions of IE 12.01.2016, this means that:

– The only Microsoft supported browser starting from this date is IE11, and only it will continue to receive security updates, compatibility fixes, and technical support on Windows 7, Windows 8.1, and Windows 10.

– IE 8/9/10 are no longer supported, i.e. they will work but given the fact that there will be no security patches or other fixes will be provided using this in enterprise (or IMO at home also) doesn’t seem to be a good idea.

Microsoft communicated that this change will take place about an year ago, but as usual some companies will be unprepared for this, as it was the case for end of support for Windows XP, for example (US NAVY paid $9m to MSFT and still(!) continues to receive support for XP). See related article on techrepublic.com: Internet Explorer: How Microsoft scaling back support is leaving big orgs playing catchup.

The only problem here is that some older versions of Windows can’t upgrade to this browser but those versions of Windows itself reached end of support. Though there some intrepid enterprises who not going to do away with XP, I think it is inevitable as it really becomes not cost effective anymore how strongly you don’t want to pay for upgrade or avoid “pain” of migration.

I guess MSFT tries to focus more on quality and speed of their browser, as backward compatibility burden goes largely under-appreciated by general public which tends to criticize MSFT browser performance severely just not realizing that it is an iceberg with its largest part heavily shaped by backward compatibility burden is hidden under water and affect it agility. So MSFT kind of doing great job for their Enterprise customers but in the end everybody displeased by performance and other stuff doing their comparison with no backward-compatibility burden whatsoever which roll-out updates in high-frequency DevOps fashion.

In case you are using K2 smartforms it is also affect you as K2 compatibility matrix going to reflect that. It doesn’t mean that K2 smartforms suddenly stop working in old browsers, but it does mean that K2 also stop to release fixes or patches for these older versions of Internet Explorer. I.e. K2 support still going to assist you with troubleshooting issues you may face on older versions of IE and helping with finding possible workarounds to those, but no fixes or patches will be built for newly found bugs – in such cases you will be required to upgrade to IE11.

Those changes from K2 side are driven by Microsoft support policy change as K2 works on top of Microsoft technologies and tend to focus on quality and build components for supported/current versions of Microsoft technology stack components.

Please refer to official K2 Technical Bulletin communicating this change. You may see that compatibility matrix for K2 smartforms is also updated and both Design and Runtime Browser sections get new footnotes for IE 8/9/10:

End of support for old IE versions

P.S. But we may also see some backlash and corrections from MSFT side maybe. It seems that there was something similar with decisions like EoL for InfoPath or releasing SharePoint as cloud only product which were reconsidered… Though I think with IE it is more justified for MSFT to stick to this decision.

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