Internet Explorer fails to make the cut, banished from Microsoft Teams for good

Someone needs to make a 'Best viewed with anything but IE' badge for websites

As of today, the Microsoft Teams web app no longer supports Internet Explorer 11, as the Windows giant foretold in August.

Microsoft says that customers using IE 11 with Teams can expect either degraded capabilities or the inability to connect at all. Redmond noted earlier this year that Teams usage had surged with so many people working from home during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The end of Teams support for Internet Explorer is a prelude for a broader abandonment of Microsoft's legacy browser planned for August 17, 2021, when the other Microsoft 365 apps and services shut the door on the creaking software.

The Windows and Azure biz has been urging customers to switch to its more modern Edge browser, recently re-platformed atop the open source Chromium project.

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Internet Explorer 11 debuted in 2013 and has not kept up with modern web technology. To make that clear, Microsoft recently began automatically redirecting IE 11 users to Edge for websites that don't work in IE. There are about 1,200 of them on Microsoft's list.

Even so, some organizations still use IE because it's necessary for legacy applications. According to NetMarketShare, Internet Explorer accounted for about 4.53 per cent of desktop/laptop browsing sessions in October, 2020, compared to 9.71 per cent for Edge.

The Register asked Microsoft whether it could provide figures on the number of IE-based Teams users. We'll update this story if we hear back.

In its IE denial of service notice, Microsoft acknowledged its customers' desire to economize and stressed that even as it encourages people to switch to Edge, "we want to be clear that IE 11 isn’t going away and that our customers’ own legacy IE 11 apps and investments will continue to work."

The software maker has qualified "isn't going away" by noting that Internet Explorer 11 is a part of the Windows operating system and is governed by Windows version's Lifecycle Policy.

To make it easier to quit IE, Microsoft has implemented Internet Explorer mode in Edge, so Edge users can avail themselves of the Chromium engine for rendering recent websites and can fall back on the IE's Trident MSHTML engine for legacy websites coded to work with IE.

IE 11 will truly be dead and gone once Microsoft ships a version of Windows without its legacy browser and removes Internet Explorer mode from Edge. In other words, it's likely to linger on for years to come. ®


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