If you’re reading this blog post on a device using Internet Explorer, raise your hand. It’s okay… don’t feel embarrassed or like you’re being called out for it. Own it. We each have a favorite browser, whether it’s Chrome, Firefox, Safari, or otherwise. At the same time, we must own the shortcomings of our favorite browsers. That said, we’d be wrong if we didn’t talk about the virtual elephant in the room – the slow eventual death that is facing the long-lived Internet Explorer. That means talking about both the why AND when that is leading to this point.
Internet Explorer first saw the official light of day way back in 1995 with Microsoft’s release of IE 1.0. Yup… IE is twenty-four years old this year. Considering the advancements that have come along since, that’s like a thousand in tech years. And that may be exactly where the problem lies. How many times over the years did you try using Internet Explorer to view different websites and run across those that just didn’t render quite like they should? Maybe spacing was off. Maybe text overlaid itself. Maybe images just didn’t show up properly.
Regardless of the issue itself, suffice to say the issues were (and let’s be honest, continue to be) many. Businesses have had to deal with IE issues over the years by serving up separate content for IE users whether through different site versions or through various coding techniques. This is far from ideal however as it has become more and more inefficient to do so from a time and talent perspective. That said, quite a few people and businesses have simply quit supporting Internet Explorer users when it comes to dealing with their UX (user experience). For proof of this, try looking at a bunch of different sites using both Chrome and IE. See which ones tend to render correctly in Chrome but fall short in Internet Explorer.
That’s how we get to the point where we are now – with Microsoft itself starting to beg users to stop using its own product. Recently the tech giant announced that support for Internet Explorer 10 will end in early 2020. Yup… next year. The final, and we do mean final, version of Internet Explorer, IE 11, will only be supported if the latest Windows version is supported. Wait. What? Yes… Once Windows 10 is shelved on the support level, Internet Explorer will be defunct. The trouble is, when will this happen? Well, we know that some versions of Windows can last a LONG time; however, with the rate of development being what it is we could be seeing the end IE coming within the next 3 years.
So, here’s the HUGE question… is your site so outdated that it caters to the IE crowd primarily? If so, you better get ready. You’ve almost missed the boat as far as compatibility goes. It’s worth looking under your hood and seeing just how much bulky coding you may have in place. This sort of coding could potentially be gutted in order to gain speed and lower load times for your users once you no longer need to worry about those one or two users left out there rocking it out on the old IE browser. There’s no day like the present to have a full web workup done to help see where your site could use some love. Especially when it comes to prepping for the slow and eventual death of Internet Explorer.