Microsoft has announced the first stages of the Internet Explorer 11 shutdown in a phase-out process meant to give users and businesses ample time to find other solutions.
Simply removing Internet Explorer 11 from Windows is not an option, although that’s likely to happen sometime next year as well. Many online services and companies still use the IE infrastructure, and now they have to look for alternatives, although Microsoft is seriously pushing its new Chromium-based Edge browser to fill in the gap.
As it stands, starting November 30, 2020, the Microsoft Teams web app will no longer support IE 11. From August 17, 2021, the remaining Microsoft 365 apps and services will no longer support the browser. It’s not an on/off switch. Users will be able to use those services with IE, but they will have a degraded experience, with some features not working correctly.
“For degraded experiences, new Microsoft 365 features will not be available or certain features may cease to work when accessing the app or service via IE 11,” said Microsoft. “By the dates listed above, customers should no longer access Microsoft 365 apps and services using IE 11, but 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.”
Microsoft said nothing about the logistics, but it apparently won’t remove IE 11 from the Windows ecosystem, at least not yet. Unfortunately, this also means users and companies will have to deal with new vulnerabilities that Microsoft won’t patch after the official end-of-life passes.
Examples abound of people and companies using products, services and software long after their support ended. Windows XP and Windows 7 are perfect examples, as both operating systems are still in use today, even though Microsoft stopped support a long time ago. The same is likely to happen with Internet Explorer as well.