The Extinction of Internet Explorer

Microsoft’s Internet Explorer 1 made its debut in Windows 95 and was part of the Internet Jumpstart Kit in Microsoft Plus for the operating system. What’s interesting is that Internet Explorer 1 was the creation of a team with only six workers, but which rapidly expanded in the following years.

Now at version 11, Internet Explorer is no longer Microsoft’s top priority, as the company has introduced a new browser called Edge that’s offered as the default option on its new Windows operating systems.

Internet Explorer’s Scheduled Extinction 

The development of Microsoft Edge was necessary mostly because the software giant needed a fresh start to compete against the other browsers on the market, including here Chrome and Firefox, which made Internet Explorer obsolete over the years.

A new engine powering Edge and a wider array of features, which include support for extensions, are all supposed to make Microsoft’s new browser a stronger rival to both Chrome and Firefox, although its adoption is still impacted by the limited availability in Windows 10 – Microsoft has already said that it has no plans to bring Edge on previous Windows versions or on non-Windows operating systems.

Internet Explorer will no longer receive new versions, features, and improvements, but Microsoft will continue to patch it should new vulnerabilities and security issues be discovered. This way, users who are still running Internet Explorer, be they consumers or enterprises, can remain fully protected before migrating to Edge or a different browser.

As a result of Microsoft move with Edge the market share of Internet Explorer is quickly declining, and statistics have shown that Google Chrome has become the clear leader of the browser world with a share that exceeds 50 percent. Time will tell if Microsoft Edge is the eagerly anticipated Google Chrome and Firefox killer, but for the moment, Google continues to be the browser of choice for more than 50 percent of PC users out there.

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Microsoft’s Internet Explorer Falls to 2nd Place

Microsoft’s Internet Explorer (IE) last month lost the No. 1 spot to Google’s Chrome, marking a major milestone not only in IE’s 21-year lifespan, but a dramatic changing of the desktop browser guard.

According to U.S. analytics vendor Net Applications, IE and Edge which the firm tossed into a single bucket labeled “IE” fell 2 percentage points in April, the fifth straight month of a loss greater than a point, and the 16th of any size to end at 41.4% of the total global browser user share.

Meanwhile, Chrome climbed 2.6 percentage points to take a narrow lead with 41.7%.

If you just ask around the office you will quickly find the majority of computer users tend to rely on Chrome much more so then Microsoft IE. This fall to second place for Microsoft’s IE is also partially their own doing as their new browser, “Edge” is being heavily promoted with Windows 10 as IE starts the long walk to retirement.

Firefox and Safari browsers are also struggling to find and keep users as Chrome continues to dominate. Microsoft is hoping that their new browser, “Edge” will change things up a bit in the near future however their new browser still needs some development before anyone really takes it very seriously.

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Can Edge Save Microsoft?

Microsoft Edge and Internet Explorer are losing market share at a rapid clip.

Internet Explorer market share has reportedly dropped 2.1 percentage points since last month, which is the largest one-month decline IE has seen in 11 years.

Microsoft_edge_Windows_10

Microsoft’s worldwide browser market share stood at 44.8 percent last month down from 57.4 percent a year earlier.

Meanwhile, Google Chrome’s browser market share is surging, snatching 36.6 percent of the worldwide browser market in February, up from about 25 percent in February 2015. Mozilla’s Firefox and Apple’s Safari are still trailing the two leaders with 11.7 percent and 4.9 percent market share last month, respectively.

The news, while good for Google is proving troubling to Microsoft. There was a time, after all, when nearly every computer around the world relied upon a Microsoft browser. However the growing popularity of Chrome, coupled with years of disappointment from Internet Explorer, is finally catching up to Microsoft.

Realizing that, Microsoft last year launched the Edge browser with Windows 10. I have found Edge to be “a fast, lightweight browser with good standards support and a few unique tools, but with no extension or syncing capabilities, it’s not yet ready for prime time.

But whether that’s too little, too late remains to be seen. Chrome is largely gaining its users from those Microsoft is losing. And although Microsoft has stopped supporting Internet Explorer versions 10 and under, Chrome has still been able to nab market share from Internet Explorer 11, which Microsoft still supports.

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The Time Has Arrived To Update Your Browser

This week Microsoft withheld security updates from users of older versions of the company’s Internet Explorer (IE) browser.

All Windows users still running IE7 or IE8, and those running IE9 on any other edition of Windows but Vista, as well as those using IE10 on anything but Windows Server 2012, did not receive the patches Microsoft distributed this past Tuesday to systems equipped with the newer IE11 or Edge browsers.

Microsoft this past Tuesday issued a single, cumulative update for IE on Feb. 9. The update, labeled MS16-009, included fixes for 13 vulnerabilities.

While Microsoft did not spell out which fixes were not given to older copies of IE, it is not difficult to pinpoint those unsent.

It is apparent that more than two-thirds of the vulnerabilities patched by Microsoft on Tuesday probably continue to exist in the retired IE versions.

Why Should You Update Your (IE) Browser If You Are On A Version Prior To IE 11

The danger with known, but unpatched vulnerabilities is significant. Cyber criminals regularly parse updates and compare “before” and “after” code to determine what was changed. They then use that information to investigate further in an attempt to reverse-engineer the patch to find the underlying vulnerability. Once the bug has been identified, they craft an exploit to successfully hack unpatched software, knowing that not everyone updates immediately.

Microsoft declared the early retirement of IE7 and IE8, and partial retirement of IE9 and IE10, back in August 2014, when it told customers they must upgrade to the latest browser available for their OS by Jan. 12, 2016. For most users, the latest version is IE11.

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The Time to Update Your IE Has Arrived

I have mentioned this before. If you are using an Internet Explorer (IE) version prior to 11 you will need to update it very – very shortly.

A support document posted by the software giant describes an“end of life” upgrade notification for Internet Explorer that will pop up starting today. The notification will warn people still running IE 8, 9 and 10 that their time is up and urge them to upgrade to the latest version of the browser.

The move doesn’t mean older versions of IE will disappear from your PC. It does mean no more bug fixes, updates or other patches will be released, leaving those editions vulnerable to malware and other security threats.

Ending support for the older versions of Internet Explorer is a way to move people to newer versions of Microsoft’s operating system that support IE 11, especially Windows 10, which debuted in late July. That said, Microsoft must be hoping that people will also try its new Edge browser, which is available only on Windows 10. Edge is considered a more streamlined and modern browser than Internet Explorer, which is still bundled with Windows 10 mostly for compatibility reasons to support plug-ins, extensions and other third-party software.

Internet Explorer 11 has a 25.6 percent share of the desktop browser market, according to the latest Web traffic stats from NetMarketShare. Collectively, IE 8, 9 and 10 account for another 20 percent of all browser Web traffic, which means a large number of people still need to upgrade if they want a secure browser. Microsoft’s new Edge browser has less than 3 percent market share despite being the default in Windows 10.

The “end of life” notification will pop up for computers running Windows 7 or Windows Server 2008 R2, according to Microsoft. The company first announced the end of support back in August 2014.

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Microsoft’s Upcoming Nag Message

As I reported earlier next week Microsoft will stop supporting IE versions prior to 11. So of course Microsoft will begin displaying nag notices to users who have not upgraded to the latest available for their operating system.

Before I explain how you can disable this nag message you must understand I do recommend that everyone upgrade to the latest IE version (11) unless there is a technical reason you need to stay on a previous version.


 

So for users who need to stay on a previous version of IE you can disable those notices and continue running retired editions without the disruption of the in-browser warnings.

On January 12, Microsoft will deliver the final security updates for IE8, IE9 and IE10 on Windows 7 Service Pack 1 (SP1) to make good on an August 2014 announcement that it would shut off patches and other support for those browsers on the OS. Other versions of Windows will also show the nags to users still running older editions of IE: Those running Windows Vista, for example, will see the alert if they are still on IE7, the browser that was originally bundled with the 2006 operating system, or on IE8, the 2009 follow-up.

The code to display the notifications will be bundled with the cumulative security updates slated to release Tuesday for the affected browsers.

According to Microsoft employee Steve Thomas, the nag will appear in a new tab when an out-of-date IE is launched. The tab will open to the appropriate page on Microsoft’s website where the user can download the latest version of the browser; in most cases, that will be this page for downloading IE11.

The tab will reappear 72 hours later if the user ignores the recommendation to upgrade and closes the tab.

Last month, Microsoft published a support document that outlined how enterprises could disable the notification, presumably because they were still in the midst of their upgrade to IE11 on Windows 7, or had paid Microsoft for a custom support plan that will give them security patches for the retired browsers after the public expiration date of Jan. 12.
Anyone who wants to continue running an outdated edition can use the same instructions to switch off the in-IE nags.

To disable the notices, users must edit the Windows registry, a chore best left to advanced users and only after backing up the device; an error in the registry can cripple the computer.

For Windows 7, this can be accomplished by adding the new registry key:

FEATURE_DISABLE_IE11_SECURITY_EOL_NOTIFICATION

to the registry subkey:

HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\MICROSOFT\INTERNET EXPLORER\MAIN\FEATURECONTROL

and then under the new key, this entry:

iexplore.exe = 1

The soon-to-retired browsers will continue to work after January 12, although no further security updates will be provided for them.

Once again, if you have no special need for older versions of IE I suggest upgrading to IE 11.

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Microsoft’s Mandatory IE Update Arrives

Nearly 340 million people who run Microsoft’s Internet Explorer have just a week to upgrade or switch browsers, or face the problem of no longer receiving security updates.

On Jan. 12, Microsoft will serve up the final security updates for all instances of Internet Explorer 7 (IE7) and IE8 and for most of the copies of IE9 and IE10 now on customers’ PCs.

That’s the deadline Microsoft set a year and a half ago, when it announced that most users would have to be running IE11 by that date. After January 12, Microsoft will support IE9 only on the rarely used Windows Vista and Windows Server 2008, and IE10 only on Windows Server 2012. Everyone else must be running IE11 or Edge in order to continue to receive security updates and technical support.

You can upgrade to IE11 by simply running Windows Update on your Windows device.

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It’s Time to Update Your IE Browser

Nearly 370 million Internet Explorer users have just six weeks to upgrade their browsers or switch to another one such as Chrome or Firefox. However even for those uses that choose Chrome or Firefox it is time to upgrade Microsoft browser.

In August 2014, Microsoft took Internet Explorer (IE) users by surprise when it announced that most had to be running IE11 by January 2016, six weeks from today. After that date, Microsoft will support IE9 only on the barely used Windows Vista and Windows Server 2008, and IE10 only on Windows Server 2012. All others, including those with devices powered by Windows 7, Windows 8, Windows 8.1 and Windows 10, must run IE11 or Edge after January 2016.

 The retired browsers will continue working however Microsoft will no longer provide technical support and will stop providing security updates for the versions prior to IE11.

The biggest amount of affected IE users, an estimated 172 million, are those still running IE8, the six-year-old browser originally bundled with Windows 7 but which also ran on the now-retired Windows XP.

IE9 was also a favorite of those who had not yet upgraded. Approximately 108 million users ran IE9 in November, but because Windows Vista, the only edition that will be allowed to fire up IE9 and still receive browser security patches after Jan. 12, was on about 26 million machines last month, at least 82 million people must upgrade in the next six weeks.

You can update you browser by using the update windows feature. One fast way to get to this is opening Internet Explorer. selecting tools on the top menu and choosing “Windows Update”.

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Microsoft Releases Emergency IE Patch

Microsoft just released MS15-093, an emergency out-of-band patch for Internet Explorer (IE) that affects all versions of Windows. The security update fixes a memory corruption vulnerability, known as CVE-2015-2502, in IE versions 7 to 11.

How bad is it? According to Microsoft, pretty bad, hence the critical out-of-band patch.

“The vulnerability could allow remote code execution if a user views a specially crafted Web page using Internet Explorer,” according to a Microsoft security bulletin. “An attacker who successfully exploited this vulnerability could gain the same user rights as the current user. Customers whose accounts are configured to have fewer user rights on the system could be less impacted than those who operate with administrative user rights.”

mond has just released MS15-093, an emergency out-of-band patch for Internet Explorer (IE) that affects all versions of Windows. The security update fixes a memory corruption vulnerability, known as CVE-2015-2502, in IE versions 7 to 11.

How bad is it? According to Microsoft, pretty bad, hence the critical out-of-band patch.

This particular vulnerability takes advantage of an issue involving object storage in memory, resulting in a corruption that could allow remote code execution. Some of the attack  vectors include Web sites and HTML e-mails and worse, it’s being actively exploited in the wild.

Beyond its critical rating for IE, the vulnerability is also rated moderate for Windows Server platforms including Windows Server 2008, Windows Server 2008 R2, Windows Server 2012, and Windows Server 2012 R2, It should be noted that the new Edge browser is not affected by this emergency security bulletin. With that in mind, you may want to download the new browser and ditch IE for good.

Just a thought.

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Spartan Arrives

Spartan has arrived on my Surface Pro 3!

Microsoft has been talking about the capabilities of Project Spartan for months, but very few have actually seen it, until today. Yesterday, Microsoft finally rolled out a brand new Windows 10 build to Fast Ring Windows Insiders, build 10049. I received this build last night and quickly installed it.

spartan1

There are also some fixes for known issues and more improvements, but the primary reason for this new build is so that Windows Insiders can finally get a chance to test the new browser (Known as Project Spartan) Microsoft is pinning as the future of web browsing.

Build 10049 is propagating now and should be available everywhere within the next hour or so. I have mine and will be checking out Spartan over the next couple of days.

Stay tuned.

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