That’s all, folks: Starting Jan. 12, Microsoft no longer supports older versions of Internet Explorer, including IE 8, 9 and 10.
More precisely, this means Microsoft will no longer provide security updates or technical support for these versions of its browser. You can still use them, but if a new security hole is discovered in IE — and it eventually will be — your browser will remain unpatched and your system will be in danger.
The company strongly urges users to switch to Internet Explorer 11, which offers “improved security, increased performance, better backward compatibility” and better web standards support than the older variants of IE. Alternatively, you can start using Microsoft Edge, the company’s new browser which will automatically launch Internet Explorer 11 when backwards compatibility is needed.
While this might sound harsh to some — after all, Internet Explorer 10 is a mere three years old — Microsoft did announce this would happen back in August 2014.
It’s a pretty big deal. According to stats by Netmarketshare, 4.18% of users are still using IE 10 on the desktop; 6.67% are using IE 9, and 8.95% are using IE 8. This means that roughly 20% of all desktop users will become susceptible to spyware, viruses and hacks if they don’t upgrade. In order to mitigate the issue, Microsoft will alert users of old IE versions with a nagging notice, prompting them to upgrade their browser.