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Microsoft is dropping support for IE
Microsoft is taking another big step toward getting rid of Internet Explorer next year, but not every Windows variant still will be IE-free by 2022.
We’ve known seemingly forever that Microsoft someday intended to get rid of Internet Explorer. But it wasn’t until today, May 19, that we got an actual date. IE will be removed from many, but not all, versions of Windows 10 on June 15, 2022.
The June 15, 2022 date for retirement of the IE11 desktop application is for most versions of Windows 10, but not all. The retirement does not affect “in-market” Windows 10 Long Term Servicing Channel (LTSC) or Server Internet Explorer 11 desktop apps, Microsoft officials said. It also doesn’t affect the MSHTML (“Trident”) rendering engine.
The replacement for IE on Windows 10, obviously, is the new Microsoft Chromium-based Edge. Edge has Internet Explorer (IE) Mode, designed to provide compatibility for legacy IE-based sites and apps.
Here’s the fine print as to which versions of Windows are affected by this announcement: IE 11 will be retired for Windows 10 client SKUs (version 20H2 and later) and Windows 10 IoT (version 20H2 and later). Products not affected by this retirement include IE Mode in Edge; IE 11 desktop on Windows 8.1, Windows 7 (with Extended Security Updates), Windows 10 Server Semi-Annual Channel (all versions), Windows 10 IoT LTSC (all versions; Windows 10 Server LTSC (all versions) and Windows 10 client LTSC (all versions).
Microsoft’s Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) page on this says IE Mode will be supported on Windows Client, Server and IoT releases through at least 2029. Microsoft will give one year of notice before retiring the IE Mode experience, officials said.
Last year, Microsoft provided some guidance, but no definitive date, for IE11’s retirement. At that time, officials said that after November 30, 2020, Microsoft Teams would no longer support IE11. And August 17, 2021, is the date when Microsoft 365, all up, no longer will support IE11.
After March 9, 2021, Microsoft no longer provided any security updates for the legacy Edge desktop app, officials said. They are calling this the “end of life” date for legacy Edge.
WordPress Drops Support of Internet Explorer
The following information comes from WordPressress.org
Internet Explorer 11 (IE11) was released over 7 years ago and is currently used by less than 1% of all users on the Internet with usage rapidly declining. A large majority of popular websites have already stopped supporting IE11 (including Microsoft Teams in 2020), and even the Microsoft 365 apps and services will be dropping support later this year.
When WordPress 5.8 is released in July of this year, Internet Explorer 11 will no longer be supported.
If you are currently using IE11, it is strongly recommended that you switch to a more modern browser, such as Google Chrome, Mozilla Firefox, Safari, or Microsoft Edge. IE11 users have been shown a warning that IE11 is considered outdated in the WordPress dashboard for the last 17+ months.
If you are already using one of the more modern browsers above, you will only be positively impacted by this change, as there are performance benefits to dropping IE11 support. However, if any other users of your site are still using IE11, it’s possible they will be affected.
What does “dropping support” mean?
When support for a browser is removed from WordPress, new features are no longer tested on those browsers and are not guaranteed to function optimally.
Automated tools that generate parts of the WordPress Core source code are also updated to exclude unsupported browsers. This means that any feature relying on these generated files will likely have bugs or stop working for users of those browsers.
The block editor will be the area of WordPress most heavily impacted by this change because almost all of the files related to the block editor are compiled using these automated tools. Other areas of the WordPress dashboard also use CSS built with these tools and their appearance will potentially be impacted when using IE11.
All other areas of the code base that are IE11 specific will need to be identified, evaluated, and removed on a case-by-case basis as the rest are manually maintained. This process will begin in the WordPress 5.9 release, and will likely happen gradually over several major releases. Additionally, any bugs which are reported for IE11 will not be fixed.
How will this affect themes?
No changes will be made to any of the default bundled themes as a result of this plan. No code related to IE11 support (or any other browser that may have been supported when each theme was released) will be removed from default themes. However, any new features added going forward will not be tested in IE11.
If you are not using a default theme, it’s still unlikely that your theme will be affected by this change. Themes typically have their own browser support policies, and changes in WordPress Core do not affect those. It’s possible that your theme author may have removed support for IE11 already.
If IE11 support is important to you and you are unsure whether your theme supports IE11, it is recommended that you reach out to your theme’s developer to confirm.