Microsoft is ending support for Internet Explorer earlier than IE 11, leaving older editions vulnerable.
Back in 2014, Microsoft announced an end to support for all Internet Explorer versions, except the most recent edition. But there is a troubling reality; many users are still operating older versions of Windows loaded with these now outdated browsers (many with automatic updates & reminders turned off), which means that these users are now susceptible to security breaches on these unsupported browsers. Without support, bug fixes, and security patches from Microsoft, these older browsers are a target for malicious activity, which is worrying, with a myriad of users still running them. However, there are certain exemptions, such as systems that aren't capable of updating to the newest version of IE or Edge (such as browsers running on Windows Vista, Windows Server 2008, and Windows Server 2012). For now, support for these exemptions will remain active.
Microsoft is, generally speaking, ahead of the competition when it comes to browsers, but continuing to support so many operating systems and browsers takes a tremendous toll on the company's resources. Therefore, Microsoft put a lot of announcements over the past year, hoping to free up some of their resources by cutting support for outdated systems (while also responsibly protecting their users). "Upgrading and staying current is important," explained Microsoft on a support page, "Microsoft will no longer provide security updates or technical support for older versions of Internet Explorer. Security updates patch vulnerabilities that may be exploited by malware, helping to keep users and their data safer."
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