Saturday, September 23, 2023

Microsoft starts automatically redirecting Internet Explorer users to Edge

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Microsoft will start automatically redirecting Internet Explorer users to the Edge browser in the coming months. Internet Explorer is being retired today, and consumers or businesses still using the browser will soon see a prompt that will redirect them to Microsoft Edge instead.

The prompt and redirect is the first step in completely removing Internet Explorer from existing PCs, and Microsoft plans to release an update that will disable the outdated browser in the future. “Eventually, Internet Explorer will be permanently disabled as part of a future Windows Update, after which the Internet Explorer icons on their devices will be removed,” explains Sean Lyndersay, general manager of Microsoft Edge Enterprise.

The new Internet Explorer redirect.
Image: Microsoft

The redirection process to Edge transfers data such as passwords, favorites, and settings from Internet Explorer, and a “reload in IE mode” option appears in the toolbar to make it easy to access the special mode Microsoft has in Edge built-in. IE mode supports older ActiveX controls that many older sites still use.

All currently supported versions of Windows 10 Home, Pro, Enterprise, Education, and IoT will be affected by the retirement of Internet Explorer today. Windows 11 already ships without Internet Explorer. “Internet Explorer will not be immediately removed from all of these versions today, but will gradually be rerouted to Microsoft Edge on all of these devices over the coming months,” Lyndersay said.

However, there will be one important exception. “For certain versions of Windows that are currently supported and used in critical environments, we will continue to support Internet Explorer on those versions until they are no longer supported,” Lyndersay revealed. “These include all Windows 10 LTSC releases currently supported (including IoT) and all Windows Server versions, as well as Windows 10 China Government Edition, Windows 8.1, and Windows 7 with Extended Security Updates (ESUs).”

Future versions of these editions of Windows will not include Internet Explorer and the underlying MSHTML (Trident) platform and COM controls in Windows will continue to be supported on all Windows platforms. Microsoft also plans to support IE mode in Microsoft Edge “until at least 2029”.

Internet Explorer may technically live on for a while, but Microsoft’s message is very clear: “The future of Internet Explorer lies in Microsoft Edge.”

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