Internet Explorer has been a Microsoft staple for over two decades, but the time has come to say goodbye. On 15 June 2022, Microsoft will officially put Internet Explorer 11 (IE11) to rest. This means IE will no longer receive technical updates and support, posing a security risk for users who continue to rely on the legacy web browser.
Fortunately, IE11 lives on in the form of Microsoft Edge. Edge is a faster, more secure browser built for the modern web. With IE11 being put out to pasture, we’ll likely see more users switching over to Edge in the coming months.
Here’s everything you need to know about IE11’s retirement:
What happens on 15 June?
On IE11’s retirement date, Microsoft will move IE users to Edge. Whenever users try to access the IE desktop app; it will directly go to the Edge browser instead. This transition will roll out gradually over several months, but companies can set their dates for when IE will be completely disabled. When IE11 is disabled, the app icon will disappear from the Start menu and the taskbar.
Why is Microsoft shifting to Edge?
There are a few reasons why Microsoft is shifting to Edge. The company wants to provide users with a more modern web browser that can keep up with the latest web standards. Edge runs off the open-sourced Chromium codebase, allowing the web browser to be compatible with modern websites and applications.
Additionally, Microsoft is looking to move away from its past reputation of browser insecurity. IE is notorious for being easy to exploit, which has led to many users shunning the browser favouring less risky alternatives. With Edge, Microsoft provides a more secure browsing experience with the following features:
- Microsoft Defender Smart Screen – This tool checks site reputation in real-time to protect users from phishing and malware attacks.
- Application Guard – This feature isolates untrusted sites in a separate virtual container, preventing them from accessing your data or infecting your device.
- Conditional access – allows admins to control which users have access to specific sites, ensuring only authorised users can view sensitive information.
- Windows information protection helps prevent data leaks by stopping unsanctioned apps from accessing corporate data. It also encrypts files on download and prevents file uploads to unauthorised network locations.
Do you need to run Internet Explorer mode?
If your company needs time to transition away from IE, Microsoft Edge comes with an Internet Explorer mode. This mode will give users backwards compatibility for sites and web applications that are still optimised for IE11, giving you time to make the switch without disrupting your workflow. IE mode will receive support and updates up to 2029.
How can businesses seamlessly switch to Edge?
Most Windows 10 and 11 devices will already have Microsoft Edge installed, so the transition for users should be relatively seamless. For businesses, however, there are a few things to keep in mind when making the switch to Edge:
- Check with your software vendors – Some business applications may only work with IE, so it’s essential to check with your software vendors to see if they offer Edge compatibility.
- Update your group policies – If your company uses specific policy settings on IE, such as autofill, password management, and site lists, you’ll need to update them for Edge. To do this, you’ll need to use the Group Policy Editor.
- Test your web applications – It’s always a good idea to test your web applications in Edge before switching. This will minimise compatibility issues that may disrupt your business.
- Train users – Adopting a new web browser may be disruptive for your users. To avoid this, carve out some time to get them used to Edge’s interface and features. Microsoft has provided an adoption kit, complete with flyers and infographics, to make the process much smoother.
If your company needs help deploying Microsoft Edge, you can ask Empower IT for professional support. As a leading managed IT services provider, we can help you modernise your web browsing experience and future-proof your business. Contact us today to get started.