You knew this day was coming; Microsoft has been warning about the impending doom for some of its legacy software for quite some time. But now that we’ve reached January 12th, 2016, it’s time to say goodbye to Internet Explorer 8, 9 and 10 in addition to the Windows 8 operating system.
Actually, let us clarify that statement; you can still use the above mentioned software, but it would be foolish to do so. After today, Microsoft will no longer provide technical assistance or security updates for legacy versions of Internet Explorer and Windows 8. So when users of Windows 8.1 or Windows 10 are given a speedy fix for a newly discovered security vulnerability, Windows 8 users will be sitting on the side of the road with an outstretched arm and raised thumb in the air.
Of course, there’s a simple solution for Microsoft customers running older version of Internet Explorer or Windows 8: just upgrade for free to newer versions of the respective software packages. In the case of Microsoft’s evergreen web browser, Internet Explorer 11 is still fully supported.
If you’re running Windows 8, you have two options, both of which are free. The first option is to go to the Windows Store and download Windows 8.1. Microsoft classifies Windows 8.1 as a service pack for Windows 8, and there’s really no reason for anyone to be running Windows 8 this late in the game in the first place. Likewise, extended support for Windows 8 will be around until January 2023.
The second option, and the one that Microsoft has been drilling into everyone’s brain for the past five months, is to upgrade to Windows 10. Windows 10 is Microsoft’s latest and greatest operating system and is available for free for Windows 7 and Windows 8.x users.
As of December 2015, 19.8 percent of PC users are running Internet Explorer 8, 9 or 10 according to NetMarketShare (Internet Explorer 11 is sitting at 25.57 percent). Windows 8, however, is installed on just 2.76 percent of PCs compared to 10.3 percent for Windows 8.1 and a whopping 55.68 percent for Windows 7. Windows 10 is inching its way towards total domination with 9.96 percent of the overall PC market after just five months on the market.