In 2016, Microsoft announced (opens in new tab) that it will no longer support Internet Explorer 10 (IE10), and that only IE11 and Edge browsers will continue to receive updates. However, two notable exceptions to this were Windows Server 2012 and Windows 8 Embedded, which couldn’t support IE11 at the time. As Microsoft has promised to bring IE11 to these two operating systems later this year, it's also announced (opens in new tab)this week that IE10 will be deprecated on these enterprise-focused Windows editions in January 2020.
Switching to IE11
Enterprise customers using Windows Server 2012 and Windows 8 Embedded will be able to start testing IE11 for their operating systems as soon as this spring. They will be able to download IE11 through the Microsoft Update Catalog, but Microsoft will also push the update to all users of these two operating systems later this year.
The IE11 push through the Windows Update service means there’s no escaping from switching to IE11, so those companies that rely on IE10 quirks will have to transition their web apps to the newer IE. Windows Server 2012 and Windows 8 Embedded customers have until January 2020 to get ready for the switch.
Those who, for whatever reason, can’t make the full transition for their apps from IE10 to IE11 will be glad to know that IE11 will also have a IE10 compatibility mode for enterprise apps.
An Easier Migration Path to Windows 10
Microsoft noted that switching enterprise web apps to IE11 means that these companies and organizations will also be able to switch more easily to Windows 10 later on, as Microsoft’s most modern browser, Edge, supports fallback to IE11. Therefore, all IE11-optimized web apps should continue to work in Edge, too.
However, one big question remaining is what happens when Microsoft reveals its Chromium-based browser? It's not clear yet if Microsoft still intends to add any type of fallback to IE11. Chances are that by the time this browser gets a significant amount of users, Microsoft will be encouraging enterprise users to switch either to Edge (if the new Chromium-based browser will have fallback to Edge compatibility) or to the Chromium-based browser itself.