Following the launch of Edge - Microsoft's brand new internet browser for Windows 10, the corporation has announced that as of 12th January 2016 (next Tuesday) it is discontinuing support on all versions of Internet Explorer, with the exception of their most current version - IE11.
Internet Explorer 11 is the last version of the platform, and as such it will continue to receive security updates, compatibility fixes and technical support on Windows 7, Windows 8.1 and Windows 10.
Microsoft is encouraging users to upgrade to IE11 and stay up-to-date on the latest browser for a faster, more secure browsing experience. Microsoft also states that "Internet Explorer 11 offers improved security, increased performance, better backward compatibility, and support for the web standards that power today's websites and services."
Without browser security updates, your computer may be vulnerable to spyware, malware and viruses that can compromise and steal your personal and business data.
In their update, Microsoft also state that: "businesses that are governed by regulatory obligations such as HIPAA should conduct due diligence to assess whether they are still able to satisfy compliance requirements using unsupported software."
What does this mean for me?
If you're an Internet Explorer user on version 10 or older, you should consider upgrading your software as a halt on security updates and technical support could expose you to vulnerabilities including malware. If you don't want to upgrade to Internet Explorer 11, it would be wise to look at other browsers such as Google Chrome or Mozilla Firefox to ensure you and your data is kept as secure as possible.
If you're an small to medium business there are a few options when considering a browser upgrade. For those with less than 500 employees and without web applications, you can update using Automatic Updates. Those with dependencies on existing web applications can locate a Microsoft Certified Partner to understand the best options for you.
Home PC users are likely to have Automatic Updates switched on, and have likely already upgraded without having to do anything. If you don't have Automatic Updates switched on, make sure you update your software before 12th January.