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Happy Valentine's Day: Here's the final nail in Internet Explorer's coffin

Browser finally gone, but its memory, engine, wails of user and dev torment live on until at least 2029

This Valentine's day, Microsoft is quietly giving users the final gift of no more Internet Explorer by rolling out an Edge patch to most versions of Windows 10, finally killing the browser in all but IE mode.

Yes, you may be thinking, we knew IE was dead in June 2022, when Microsoft announced its official end of life in favor of the newer Chromium-based Edge, yet IE 11 hung around in a few select places. Those places have now been exposed to the Edge, and IE has been lopped off thanks to today's update.

Microsoft's help page about the February 14 final call for IE mainly applies to Windows 10, where it remained in some select versions of the older OS, such as Windows 10 client editions, Win 10 IoT and Win 10 Enterprise Multi-Session. All three of those will have IE uprooted today.

Internet Explorer 11 will still be present on some versions of Windows, like 8.1, 7, long-term service channel versions of Win 10 Server and client, and Windows 10 China Government Edition.

Affected versions of Windows will have the Edge update delivered without the option to reverse the change, and users on those versions will get Edge redirects next time they try to open the browser.

If your business still has IE11 dependencies, it's too late to take steps to smooth the transition, unfortunately: The patch is out, and "business disruption at scale" could follow for those that didn't bother to take action earlier. 

Yammer is dead, long live Viva Engage

Speaking of dead Microsoft products, Redmond announced yesterday that it was killing its Yammer brand of enterprise social networking software, but not the app itself: It's simply getting a name change as part of its merger into Microsoft Viva under the name Microsoft Viva Engage. 

Viva is an employee engagement platform that Microsoft added to Teams in 2021 to boost quality-of-work-life for remote employees, and Viva Engage is seen as a sensible addition to Viva's features, Microsoft said. 

Beginning in March, the Communities app for Outlook and Yammer mobile for iOS and Android will be updated to change their branding, but Microsoft insisted there will be no loss in continuity for businesses using Yammer, as well as "no changes to the features, capabilities, and investments for Microsoft 365 customers." 

Instead, said Redmond, "this evolution makes way for new Viva capabilities powered by Viva Engage and will streamline features, resources, training, documentation, and support for customers."

IE is gone, but its platform isn't

Microsoft said that two elements of Internet Explorer were remaining in support after Valentine's Day: IE mode in Edge for backwards website compatibility, and the IE platform, in which Microsoft includes its proprietary Trident/MSHTML browser engine and WebOC and COM automation. 

IE's platform is still used to drive IE mode, Microsoft said, and that feature would remain in support until at least 2029, meaning a bit of IE will still live on, too. 

Internet Explorer began life in 1995 with the launch of Windows 95 Plus!, and has faded from prominence since then to the point where only around a single percent of desktops were using it the year prior to its end-of-life last June.

The introduction of Edge wasn't problem-free, of course, with Microsoft being accused of funneling users to Edge while blocking easy default browser changes, a move that was silently updated away last year

So sure, you won't be opening IE on Windows 10 any more, but it's still there in the background and will be for some time.

No flowers. ®

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