Friday last week, Microsoft announced that a future update would permanently disable Internet Explorer 11 on some Windows 10 systems in February next year. Alongside the announcement, the Redmond company warned organizations to take action as the upcoming action could mean “risk business disruption at scale.”
“The change to use Microsoft Edge update to disable IE is intended to provide a better user experience and help organizations transition their last remaining IE11 users to Microsoft Edge,” explains Microsoft in its latest announcement on the Windows Message Center page. “As a reminder, IE11 has been out of support since June 15, 2022.”
The exact date will be on February 14, with the Redmond company stressing that the update will now be in the form of a Microsoft Edge update instead of the formerly communicated Windows Update. The company said that the rest of the devices that are not yet being redirected from IE11 to Edge would experience it once the update arrives on the said date.
Enterprises that have already resolved this by transitioning to Edge with IE mode earlier than the date won’t be affected, but enterprises still relying on the old browser are at risk of delays in their businesses. With this, admins are advised to start the move now and remove IE visual references on their systems.
“If you would like to remove the IE visual references such as on the taskbar or Start Menu, you will need to use the Disable IE policy before February 14, 2023,” says Microsoft. “If your organization still has dependencies on IE11, you must take steps now to complete your transition before February 14, 2023, or risk business disruption at scale when users lose access to IE11-dependent applications.”
Without admins taking action, nonetheless, Microsoft added that the visual references of IE11 icons on the Start Menu and taskbar will be removed automatically in mid-2023 via future updates.
“IE11 visual references, such as the IE11 icons on the Start Menu and taskbar, will be removed by the June 2023 Windows monthly security update release (‘B’ release) scheduled for June 13, 2023,” details Microsoft. “They will also be removed by the non-security preview release on certain Windows 10 versions scheduled for May 23, 2023.”
To recall, IE reached its end of support this year on June 15. Nonetheless, even before the date arrived, Microsoft had always been enthusiastic about encouraging customers to move to Edge. In its recent updates and tests, the new Chromium-based browser, the company introduced some new capabilities and features aimed in hopes of making the Edge experience more enjoyable and favorable. It includes the new Sidebar capabilities like mute/unmute menu, resizing, and push notifications.
Despite these continuous improvements, Edge remains an underdog in the desktop market, where Google Chrome has been reigning for years. Last month, Edge received an 11.17% market share in the desktop category of browser market share globally, which could be considered a considerable improvement from the 9.52% it got in November last year. With this new announcement, Edge’s market share might increase in number in the next months. However, it would probably be insignificant since IE11 will still be available on Windows 10 LTSC releases (including IoT), all Windows Server versions, Windows 10 China Government Edition, Windows 8.1, and Windows 7 with Extended Security Updates (ESUs).