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Craig Barlow |

A crowd of people at a concert with colorful lights and confetti in the air.

We all remember starting out on Internet Explorer, that little blue icon meant opening up the world of the internet and changed the world when it launched in 1995, back when we still had to listen to the dial-up tone before getting online (yep we can hear it in our heads too). But all good things come to an end and Microsoft announced that the Internet Explorer (IE) 11 desktop app was going to be retired.

With this information there are a lot of questions – will this impact my business? What’s the replacement? Should I be uninstalling IE? We’ve pulled together some of the most important points so that you can stay informed and make sure the change doesn’t slow you down.

What is the future? 

According to Microsoft, the future of IE is Microsoft Edge, which has an Internet Explorer mode (the “IE mode”) which is the only browser that has been created with built-in compatibility for legacy IE-based sites and apps, which will be officially replacing IE11 on the 15th June 2022.

What happens once the Internet Explorer 11 desktop application is retired? 

If you try and use IE, the application will be redirected to Microsoft Edge in the coming months, before being eventually disabled. That’s why it’s a good idea to get your organisation used to the change sooner rather than later.

Who’s going to be affected by the desktop application being retired? 

Microsoft has confirmed that the following will be impacted on the 15th of June 2022.

  • Internet Explorer 11 desktop application delivered via the Semi-Annual Channel (SAC):
    • Windows 10 client SKUs (version 20H2 and later)
    • Windows 10 IoT (version 20H2 and later)

The following will be unaffected by the change at this time:

  • Internet Explorer mode in Microsoft Edge
  • Internet Explorer platform (MSHTML/Trident), including WebOC
  • Internet Explorer 11 desktop application on:
    • Windows 8.1
    • Windows 7 Extended Security Updates (ESU)
    • Windows Server SAC (all versions)
    • Windows 10 IoT Long-Term Servicing Channel (LTSC) (all versions)
    • Windows Server LTSC (all versions)
    • Windows 10 client LTSC (all versions)

So, should I uninstall Internet Explorer? 

Don’t be so hasty! While IE mode is going to be next, it relies on Internet Explorer 11 to function. So, uninstalling will mean you can’t use the internet – not ideal. Instead, you should be working with your employees to preemptively switch from IE before the 15th of June so they can get used to it, you can get tips on how to do this here.

Can I still get it on Windows 11? 

In short, no. Microsoft Edge will now be the default browser for Windows 11. Instead, you’ll have to use IE Mode in Microsoft Edge, make sure to do this before you upgrade to Windows 11 so that you don’t face any disruption to internet service.

How can I prepare my business? 

Microsoft has created a really handy Getting Started Guide which will help you start to configure IE mode in a way that the everyday person can understand. Make sure to check if your platform is impacted and keep up to date with changes to Microsoft products.

For more information, you can read Microsoft’s Q&A here.

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