Microsoft announced on Wednesday that it is phasing out the older versions of the internet explorer. The company has decided to end support for Internet Explorer 8, 9 and 10 starting Jan. 12 next week.
The tech giant wrote on its website, explaining that older versions of Internet Explorer could be “exploited by malware” and attacked.
The software company also encouraged its users using older browsers to upgrade for a “faster, more secure browsing experience.”
The shift will basically mean the end of security updates and technical help for versions of Internet Explorer other than 11, the latest iteration. That could leave users clinging to the old versions more vulnerable to cyber-attacks against their computers because problems with the software that are discovered down the line won’t be fixed.
There are a few exceptions: For example, Microsoft will continue to provide support for Internet Explorer 9 on its older Windows Vista after the deadline because it’s the latest compatible version for that operating system. But for the most part, users of old browsers will be on their own.
“Internet Explorer is a component of the Windows operating system and the most current version will continue to follow the specific support lifecycle policy for the operating system on which it is installed. Internet Explorer 11 will be supported for the life of Windows 7, Windows 8.1, and Windows 10,” said Microsoft in the announcement.
“The latest version of Internet Explorer will continue to follow the component policy, which means that it follows the support lifecycle and is supported for as long as the Windows operating system on which it is installed.”
Though Microsoft had earlier also announced this shift, the move is going to affect nearly 340 million people. According to a website’s estimation nearly 340 million people are using older versions of Internet explorer and in December alone, 42.5% of all IE users ran the older versions of the browser.