It’s good news for many web developers: Microsoft recently announced to stop supporting older versions of Internet Explorer (IE) by January 12, 2016. This means roughly, that support for IE8 will discontinue completely and for IE9 only Windows Vista users are slightly safer. For web development processes, this will mean significant improvement.
What does this mean for users?
Most current browsers (Chrome, Firefox, Safari, …) update themselves automatically. Business and private users who still use an older version than IE11 are advised to update to a current version or consider a change to another browser software. Otherwise their system might be exposed to attacks or exploits by malware because of the missing security patches.
For our projects where we test online reports for IE9 compatibility, we have the objective to reduce this effort and recommend our customers to focus on browser compatibility beginning from IE11 (besides current versions of Chrome, Firefox and Safari). Many problems with modern CSS not working properly on old browsers are also fortunately solved by this move.
The discontinued IE support could also influence the look and feel of future websites. Effects and features which improve the usability or freshen-up the whole concept of a website were often dismissed because of IE compatibility issues. State-of-the-art internet features, especially 3D effects, which were not supported by the old IE versions, are more likely to be implemented now as it means less effort.
Good news for web developers
Though in December 2015, IE8 and IE9 were still third and fourth most used browsers worldwide, the end of IE is near and statistics will show how fast IE8 and IE9 vanish. Not only our web developers are happy about this, because in the long run they don’t have to deal with browser compatibility issues for old IE versions anymore, which was always very time-consuming.