Here we are! It is almost time. Over 16 months ago, Microsoft announced that support for legacy versions of Internet Explorer would be ending on January 12th, 2016 (http://blogs.msdn.com/b/ie/archive/2014/08/07/stay-up-to-date-with-internet-explorer.aspx.) The hour is almost upon us. In addition to the announcement, technologies including Enterprise Mode, Compatibility View, and persistent emulation modes were added\enhanced to assist customers in bringing older sites and web applications over to remove deployment blockers to IE11 and ultimately, Windows 10. Most of our customers in the enterprise have already leveraged (or are currently in the process of leveraging) these technologies.
If you are still running on older versions, you will soon notice that there is a warning message that will start appearing. In December, Microsoft published an article (https://support.microsoft.com/en-us/kb/3123303) that lays out the details of a new "End of Life" upgrade notification for Internet Explorer, which will be shipped as an update next week on January 12th.
The update will apply to Windows 7 SP1 and Windows Server 2008 R2 for users who have not upgraded to Internet Explorer 11 (i.e. IE8, IE9, and IE10 users). The update includes a new “end of support” notification feature when the browser is launched. This will automatically open a new tab with the appropriate download page (http://windows.microsoft.com/en-us/internet-explorer/download-ie) for your particular operating system.
For those enterprise customers that are still in the process of deploying and migration to Internet Explorer 11 (or have arranged for a custom support agreement) the KB article mentioned above also lays out instructions for disabling the notifications.
For those customers that are still on Windows Vista and Windows 2008 (which are in extended support and do not support IE11) – those operating systems will not be affected by the update. IE9 is still the latest version of Internet Explorer supported by these operating systems. Windows 8 and Windows 8.1 are also unaffected (support for Windows 8 will end on January 12th and Windows 8.1 comes with IE11).
The notification tab will not appear on every launch of the browser. After the tab is closed it will be 72 hours before it is shown again and only when launching IE (i.e. not during a browsing session).
For more information about the end of support for old versions of Internet Explorer see the following links: https://www.microsoft.com/en-us/WindowsForBusiness/End-of-IE-support and https://support.microsoft.com/en-us/lifecycle#gp/Microsoft-Internet-Explorer page. For technical information about how to upgrade to Internet Explorer 11 and Microsoft Edge see the Browser TechCenter pages on TechNet (https://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/browser.)