Microsoft has pulled another block from the Internet Explorer Jenga, with the end of support for IE11 in Microsoft 365.
The move has been a while coming, and despite the ongoing pandemic the company has stuck doggedly to the roadmap it published last year and, as of yesterday, even its own products would prefer to look the other way when it comes to the venerable browser.
The move comes mere months after Microsoft cut off support for "Legacy" Edge in favour of a Chromium-based future and more than a quarter of a century since Internet Explorer made its debut. Memorably, a former employee painted a distressing picture of life developing version 3.0 of the browser over the weekend. Microsoft Partner Program Manager Scott Hanselman pointed out the obvious.
I’m sorry but this isn’t healthy software culture. https://t.co/dZA8t10OsX— Scott Hanselman (@shanselman) August 15, 2021
It was all for naught in the long term as the final iteration of Internet Explorer is very much headed to the boneyard.
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There will, however, be no sudden pulling of the plug. Instead, Microsoft is to simply stop updating its Microsoft 365 product line for the ageing platform, and delicately told users they "should expect no new features and that your daily usage experience could get progressively worse over time until the apps and services are disconnected."
Support for Teams had already been pulled last year, and customers still clinging to the browser that Microsoft is trying to forget will find the Microsoft 365 world getting that bit worse. Even using Internet Explorer mode in the new Edge browser won't work around the problem – it really is time to move on if Microsoft 365 is your thing.
That said, Internet Explorer 11 itself will continue to linger. The backward-compatibility mode (for that one weird corporate web app) will carry on "at least until 2029," according to Microsoft, and despite the promise that support for standalone IE11 in some operating systems will end in June 2022, "Internet Explorer 11 will continue receiving security updates and technical support for the lifecycle of the Windows version on which it is installed."
Still, today is a good day. Another nail has been hammered into the Internet Explorer coffin. ®