A few months ago, Microsoft announced plans to discontinue support for Internet Explorer versions 8, 9 and 10, effective January 12, 2015.
You may have heard a distant cheer — developers and designers rejoiced!
Older versions of IE have long been a thorn in the side of web professionals. The web browser hasn’t played well with Cascading Style Sheets (CSS), the mechanism that styles type and graphics in a website. A site’s design would appear correctly in Firefox, Chrome, Safari, but then fall apart when viewed in Internet Explorer. Frustrating hours would be spent trying to convince IE to do the right thing.
Internet Explorer has enjoyed widespread usage for many years since it is packaged with Windows machines as a native browser; Net Applications, an analytics company, released data in December reporting 42.5% of all IE clients are currently using versions that will soon be outdated. These are exclusively users of Windows machines, as Microsoft’s last IE release for Mac was back in December 2005.
But there are far better browsers than IE 11, or even Edge (packaged with Windows 10) — many are electing to make the switch to Firefox and Chrome. Microsoft Edge browser market shares have failed to perform well.
Here at UNC-CH, help is available; upgrading to Internet Explorer 11, which is mandatory for university computers. Not upgrading presents security risks.