IE 8 will go the way of Windows XP in 2016

One of the reasons why Microsoft has done so well in the enterprise space is the long support cycles for its software. Windows XP, which was finally put to rest earlier this year, was supported by the company for over a decade. And every so often, Microsoft updates the world on when it will end support for some products; the company has recently announced that IE 8 will no longer be supported after the first Patch Tuesday in 2016.

This means that starting January 13th, 2016, Microsoft will no longer issue patches for the browser and based on usage statistics, the impact will be quite large as Ed Bott notes that over 20% of browsing on the web is done with IE 8 for desktop users. That's a large percentage of the IE user base that will soon have to migrate from the aging platform to a more modern browser.

Supported Browsers in 2016

On Windows 7, starting in 2016, you will have to be running IE 11 to still receive updates from Microsoft. For those on Vista, IE 9 will still be supported and while Microsoft doesn't explicitly say, IE 9 will likely be the last supported browser on the platform as it will hit EOL in a few short years.

Microsoft always wants to push users to use their updated software as it is more secure and offers enhancements that improve the browsing experience. The company knows that this is not always possible, mostly in the enterprise space, as new software can render older software incompatible and force the company to either stay with an old browser (the cheaper option) or upgrade the incompatible platforms.

Consider this announcement your first warning that IE 8 for older platforms will be going away in the near future and it's time to start making preparations to upgrade rather than waiting until the last minute and begging Microsoft to extend the deadline.

Source: Microsoft | Thanks for the tip Zlip792

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30 Comments

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Though I'm not a fan of IE, IE11 is vastly superior to IE8, people have no real excuse to still be using it outside of businesses that don't want to upgrade their apps.

The business world needs to adapt to the IT world in general though, rapid release cycles for browsers are here to stay thanks to how fast web technology is evolving.

I work in a big international company and we just migrated to Windows7 last year, when i started working there last year I still came across PC's with XP & IE6, and during the transition period some systems required "XP Mode" VM's.
It takes time for a large corporation to upgrade to a new version because usually there is so much money invested on the software platforms. I think i will be stuck with Win7+IE8 for quite some long time now, at least at work.

So to all those that thinks its just about to upgrade to a newer version, no its not.
I made a terrible mistake once by upgrading a PC from IE8 to IE10 (or was it 11? I don't remember but it was either 10 or 11), hell break loose and all compatibility with the companys CITIRX systems and other intranet systems broke.

Yes I agree that IE8 is old piece of ###### but its a reality you have to live with if you work for a large corporation, at least its better than IE6.

If they are going to force corporations to upgrade by 2016, if i still work at the same place by then, its going to be a headache....
I mean even having a different version of Java can break compatibility...

When my customers asks me about browser install i usually tell them this: Use IE8 for corporate websites & intra-nets and google chrome or firefox for personal browsing, that usually works fine :)

At home i only use Chrome, and IE11 in emergencies (on the desktop), on the phone im forced to use IE (Windows Phone8).

Starman2200 said,
Just use Firefox or Chrome :)

That has nothing to do with the article, did you actually read it or skip right to posting your comment?

Can't believe it took that many comments before somebody suggested that ridiculousness! ;)

I can't believe IE 8&9 are still that widely used!

IE8 is still more used than IE 9 and IE 10 combined (excluding IE 11).
That's very depressing from a web developer POV.
2016 seem so far away....

Dot Catrix said,
IE8 is still more used than IE 9 and IE 10 combined (excluding IE 11).
That's very depressing from a web developer POV.
2016 seem so far away....

Depends how you look at it - the more developers that refuse to continue supporting IE8, the quicker IE8 will die and people will be forced to update/change their browser to something more modern - simple!

With IE11's widespread problems getting successfully installed, I can see a long future for IE10 and some earlier versions. (If MS update is smart enough that it can recognize "a missing or corrupt file," then when it comes across it, either supply the "missing" file or overwrite the "corrupt" file. A message telling the user what MS plans to do would be most helpful.)

GreatMarkO said,

Depends how you look at it - the more developers that refuse to continue supporting IE8, the quicker IE8 will die and people will be forced to update/change their browser to something more modern - simple!

That is a plus for PHB managers. It means workers can get more stuff done which was an excuse to keep IE 6 until the very end.

These users just went to IE 8 last year after millions! You want them to upgrade again??!

IntelliMoo said,
If IE 6 is still managing to be used, so will 8 for a LONG time. lol

Mostly because China's government and banks are still based on it... And all the win XP piracy

Why wouldn't they kill it now? XP is dead and the rest support higher versions.

The sooner they kill it and reduce web developers' misery, the better.

I might even say get rid of vista too and let them focus on IE10 and 11; but of course vista is supported until april 2017. :(

eddman said,
Why wouldn't they kill it now? XP is dead and the rest support higher versions.

The sooner they kill it and reduce web developers' misery, the better.

I might even say get rid of vista too and let them focus on IE10 and 11; but of course vista is supported until april 2017. :(

Windows 7 ships with IE8.

Dot Matrix said,

Windows 7 ships with IE8.

I don't see how that is a factor. 7's mainstream support ended January 2015 and the extended support ends in January 2020.

eddman said,

I don't see how that is a factor. 7's mainstream support ended January 2015 and the extended support ends in January 2020.

Huh? It's 2014... Windows 7 has a few months of mainstream support left.

Dot Matrix said,

Huh? It's 2014... Windows 7 has a few months of mainstream support left.

Guess my brain is tired. I meant "ends".

My point is, none of those dates correspond with the january 2016 date that MS is aiming at, so they don't seem to be a factor.

Dot Matrix said,

Huh? It's 2014... Windows 7 has a few months of mainstream support left.


He's from the future!

eddman said,
Why wouldn't they kill it now? XP is dead and the rest support higher versions.

The sooner they kill it and reduce web developers' misery, the better.

I might even say get rid of vista too and let them focus on IE10 and 11; but of course vista is supported until april 2017. :(

Because enterprise. Because contracts.

eddman said,
Why wouldn't they kill it now? XP is dead and the rest support higher versions.

Windows Server 2003 isn't dead - and that doesn't support anything higher than IE8! :p

eddman said,
Why wouldn't they kill it now? XP is dead and the rest support higher versions.

The sooner they kill it and reduce web developers' misery, the better.

I might even say get rid of vista too and let them focus on IE10 and 11; but of course vista is supported until april 2017. :(

Because IE 8 is a defacto standard in enterprise computing. Not W3C and what everything is certified to run in. Also too many users at home use it with XP and not supporting it means losing these users to a competitor

GreatMarkO said,

Windows Server 2003 isn't dead - and that doesn't support anything higher than IE8! :p

How many people use Windows Server 2003 as a desktop OS? Exactly, and you wouldn't be browsing the internet from a server unless you needed to anyway.

sinetheo said,

Because IE 8 is a defacto standard in enterprise computing. Not W3C and what everything is certified to run in. Also too many users at home use it with XP and not supporting it means losing these users to a competitor

Windows XP isn't supported. At all.

Doesn't matter if it is supported or not. You can't tell a client you plan to willfully ignore 10% of your customers! Html 5 and webgl get the backseat

sinetheo said,
Doesn't matter if it is supported or not. You can't tell a client you plan to willfully ignore 10% of your customers! Html 5 and webgl get the backseat

Corporate mode in IE11 begs to differ. That way you can have HTML5, WebGL AND IE8 compatibility with business IE6 based intranet sites.

ie 8 doesnt even work on some sites anymore.

even microsoft own download site crashes ie 8.

preparation should of started earlier.

for software that depends for 8.

is a year really long enough to convert software to run 9 and higher?

Edited by dsbig, Aug 8 2014, 3:41pm :

dsbig said,
ie 8 doesnt even work on some sites anymore.

even microsoft own download site crashes ie 8.

preparation should of started earlier.

for software that depends for 8.

is a year really long enough to convert software to run 9 and higher?


Microsoft's Download Center website does not crash Internet Explorer 8...

dsbig said,
ie 8 doesnt even work on some sites anymore.

even microsoft own download site crashes ie 8.

preparation should of started earlier.

for software that depends for 8.

is a year really long enough to convert software to run 9 and higher?

Hey Boss!

I want to throw out our $500,000 Oracle financials system that we live or die by to stay in business so I can upgrade the browser to work on sites for users to goof off more on the clock and force IT to work overtime for no reason for the next 2 months recertifying everything so we can use what the cool kids use?