Microsoft has announced that beginning January 12, 2016 it will no longer support versions of Internet Explorer prior to version 11. With Internet Explorer 11 currently available for Windows 7, 8, and 10, most businesses and home users should have no reason not to upgrade. Microsoft's end of life (EOL) site dedicated to this announcement lists resources to assist businesses in upgrading their networks to the latest version available, while home users can upgrade to Internet Explorer 11 by simply running Windows Update.
While Windows 10 users can upgrade to Internet Explorer 11, the Microsoft Edge browser is available as a replacement in Windows 10 devices. Edge brings a brand-new engine to Windows for improved compliance with web standards and also to shed the negative image that has amassed around the Internet Explorer brand over the past several years. Also, while not a savory feature with security professionals, both Internet Explorere 11 and Edge feature an auto-updating component similar to those found in Firefox and Chrome, wherein the latest updates are automatically downloaded and installed without user interaction.
From a web development specialist's perspective, this is a monumental announcement. Internet Explorer has long been in a thorn in side of many developers for Microsoft's lack of adherence to web standards, which required developers to spend additional time creating work-arounds and hacks to ensure their end product was fully functional.
Microsoft's announcement may be met with some grief from enterprise customers, but in the end the announcement promises a better web experience moving forward.