Internet Explorer 8, first released 5 years ago, is still one of the most frequently used web browsers, installed on more than 20% of PCs. It also still accounts for around 6% of all web traffic. (I specifically avoided the word popular in the opening sentence, because in most cases, it’s probably just that that was once the default browser installation for Windows, and most people just never upgraded it.)
If you are still using it, or if your work PC is chained, then that’s about to change. According to a recent announcement by Microsoft, they will cease all support for the long since obsolete browser, including desktop and server-side updates, as of January 2016.
Subsequent versions, (IE 9 & 10) will only be supported on Vista, Windows Server 2008 and Windows Server 2012, and that support will be ended in 2017.
If you’re a fan of IE, or if you just can’t be bothered to install a modern browser, your only option is going to be to upgrade to IE11, if you want a web browser that will be supported.
Internal App Support
If you’re running an internal application or intranet or similar that relies on IE8, it will be possible to carry on using it. However, this is obviously not recommended due to the forthcoming lack of security updates, etc.
Instead, Microsoft recommends updating to IE11 and using their “Enterprise Mode” which allegedly has enhanced backward compatibility, enabling you to run “legacy” web apps.
In keeping with our policy of taking into account only supported browsers, this means that we will no longer be testing for IE8 compatibility on websites that we design.
If you’re concerned about your own browser, you can update it to IE11 if you must, or you can install a better browser (in my opinion) from one of these sources: