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Children of the Internet, pay attention: Microsoft is putting its foot down. Your old, unpatched browser isn’t going to cut it anymore, and they want you to upgrade. And they’re going to cut off updates to make sure you do.
Not right away, mind you. You’ve got until January of 2016 to get your software up to date. After that, only the most current version of Internet Explorer that’s available for a supported Windows will receive patches.
So why the change? Microsoft has been pounding the open Web drum lately, saying that it should “just work for everyone.” But there’s more to it than missing out on cool website features because your browser doesn’t support them. Security is the biggest reason for the push.
We’ve repeatedly seen just how dangerous a place the web can be in recent years, and nothing opens surfers up to attack quite like an out-of-date browser. In their official blog post, Microsoft notes that malware resistance jumped from 69% in IE8 all the way to 99% in IE11.
There’s also no denying that Microsoft’s recent browser have been leaps and bounds better than their forebears. Things really started turning around in IE9. Support for emerging W3C standards and being able to score 100/100 on Acid tests finally started to matter. It also marked the beginning of Microsoft’s tighter IE release cycle — no more waiting three to five years for a new version to drop.