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Microsoft To Drop Support For Older Versions of Internet Explorer

samzenpus posted about 3 months ago | from the kicking-and-screaming dept.

Microsoft 138

An anonymous reader writes After January 12, 2016, only the most recent version of Internet Explorer available for a supported operating system will receive technical support and security updates. For example, customers using Internet Explorer 8, 9, or 10 on Windows 7 SP1 should migrate to Internet Explorer 11 to continue receiving security updates and technical support. From the blog post: "Microsoft recommends enabling automatic updates to ensure an up-to-date computing experience—including the latest version of Internet Explorer—and most consumers use automatic updates today. Commercial customers are encouraged to test and accept updates quickly, especially security updates. Regular updates provide significant benefits, such as decreased security risk and increased reliability, and Windows Update can automatically install updates for Internet Explorer and Windows."

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Only 17 months to go... (2)

CaptQuark (2706165) | about 3 months ago | (#47628065)

Are they really suggesting that IE 11 will still be the most recent version in 17 months.... ?

Re:Only 17 months to go... (5, Insightful)

kolbe (320366) | about 3 months ago | (#47628143)

The problem I have is that IE11+ is such a PITA and it is difficult to get working with various Enterprise Java applications without disabling Protected Mode and completely unsecuring it or setting custom registry keys/policies. EMC Unisphere, various Cisco apps like UCSM and Fabric Manager... Even several recent Oracle tools just gag on IE11+ without spending hours configuring it to work every time you launch it.

Well, all the more reason to dump it altogether.

Re:Only 17 months to go... (4, Insightful)

Z00L00K (682162) | about 3 months ago | (#47628243)

Not even some of Microsofts own services (Outlook web mail for example) works well with IE11 - they work with Opera or Firefox though, so something is broken in IE11.

Many major companies also rely heavily on older versions of IE and outright prohibits other than the approved version through scripts instead of making sure that they are conformant with web standards using HTML and CSS validators. Of course - if there's Javascript involved then it's necessary to test with more than one browser since there's no good Javascript validator around ensuring portable code.

Re:Only 17 months to go... (5, Interesting)

_merlin (160982) | about 3 months ago | (#47628305)

From my experience so far, IE11 with default settings renders far more like Firefox/Safari than any prior version of IE. A lot of the brokenness probably comes down to web apps detecting IE, then serving content designed for old, broken IE. When new, standards-compliant IE becomes more widespread, people can just remove the code for supporting bad old IE altogether.

Re:Only 17 months to go... (1)

mpe (36238) | about 3 months ago | (#47628525)

From my experience so far, IE11 with default settings renders far more like Firefox/Safari than any prior version of IE. A lot of the brokenness probably comes down to web apps detecting IE, then serving content designed for old, broken IE. When new, standards-compliant IE becomes more widespread, people can just remove the code for supporting bad old IE altogether.

Or they could fix the broken version detection code, so that it only does that with actually "broken" versions of IE.

Re:Only 17 months to go... (4, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47628559)

From my experience so far, IE11 with default settings renders far more like Firefox/Safari than any prior version of IE. A lot of the brokenness probably comes down to web apps detecting IE, then serving content designed for old, broken IE. When new, standards-compliant IE becomes more widespread, people can just remove the code for supporting bad old IE altogether.

Or they could fix the broken version detection code, so that it only does that with actually "broken" versions of IE.

You're describing the fundamental problem with browser detection -- when you write it, you don't know how it will work with future browser versions.

If you deploy browser detection code, you *must* take responsibility for contantly re-testing it against every new browser that gets released. That's not easy to do in practice, and nobody actually manages to do it (or remembers to do it, or even realises that the need to do it), and thus we still have sites that break whenever a new version of IE comes out, or whatever other browser that falls foul of their detection code.

And that is why browser detection is bad practice. It puts an additional burden on you for ongoing support.

Re: Only 17 months to go... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47629129)

You are conflating the word "must" with "should" or "could" or "might consider"!

Re:Only 17 months to go... (1, Insightful)

Hamsterdan (815291) | about 3 months ago | (#47629235)

"If you deploy browser detection code, you *must* take responsibility for contantly re-testing it against every new browser that gets released. "

So, every 2 days for Firefox?

Re:Only 17 months to go... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47629529)

Your grandpa called. He wants his joke back.

Re:Only 17 months to go... (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47629427)

Or they could fix the broken version detection code, so that it only does that with actually "broken" versions of IE.

Sorry, but ALL versions of IE have been broken.

IE has consistently been a terribly browser, which can't adhere to any standards.

IE is a steaming pile of shit, always has been.

Re:Only 17 months to go... (1)

Z00L00K (682162) | about 3 months ago | (#47628569)

And interestingly enough - setting IE11 to compatibility mode doesn't resolve the issues I have seen.

Re:Only 17 months to go... (2)

satuon (1822492) | about 3 months ago | (#47628817)

If that's so, then why not switch to Firefox or Chrome? Wasn't the whole reason to use IE that some sites will not render properly/refuse to work otherwise?

Re:Only 17 months to go... (4, Insightful)

_merlin (160982) | about 3 months ago | (#47628933)

Competition's never a bad thing. I'll take three viable web browsers over two. No-one wants to go back to the days of sites targeting specific browsers. "Best experienced with Netscape" - screw that.

Re:Only 17 months to go... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47629279)

What's your compelling reason to switch if IE11 is (more) standards compliant?

Re:Only 17 months to go... (1)

tepples (727027) | about 3 months ago | (#47629321)

To leave open the option of not having to buy a Windows license for machines that don't run much other than a browser and LibreOffice.

Re:Only 17 months to go... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47628905)

In other words, IE 11 bears a closer resemblance to browsers that don't suck than older versions of IE.

Re:Only 17 months to go... (4, Informative)

dannydawg5 (910769) | about 3 months ago | (#47629063)

The latest version of IE does not send "MSIE" in the user agent. Microsoft did this intentionally to encourage feature detection instead of browser detection. Most detection code relies on "MSIE" being present.

If you must, it is still easy to catch IE though. "Trident" is still present.

Re:Only 17 months to go... (1)

Deathlizard (115856) | about 3 months ago | (#47629285)

When new, standards-compliant IE becomes more widespread, people can just remove the code for supporting bad old IE altogether.

No they can't because they never Kill old IE. Even on their life cycle chart, they are supporting 3 Different Versions of IE, so devs have to code for the lowest common denominator (IE9) or force users away from IE altogether. Chances are it's going to get worse once Windows 7 goes into extended support and they quit updating IE for it as well.

They need to Support 1 IE Version across all supported mainstream and extended platforms. If they did that instead of using IE as some BS Excuse to get people to Upgrade Windows, maybe they wouldn't bleed so much browser market share.

Re:Only 17 months to go... (1)

znrt (2424692) | about 3 months ago | (#47628349)

Many major companies also rely heavily on older versions of IE

some people just don't learn.

Re:Only 17 months to go... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47628443)

Not even some of Microsofts own services (Outlook web mail for example) works well with IE11 - they work with Opera or Firefox though, so something is broken in IE11.

Many major companies also rely heavily on older versions of IE and outright prohibits other than the approved version through scripts instead of making sure that they are conformant with web standards using HTML and CSS validators. Of course - if there's Javascript involved then it's necessary to test with more than one browser since there's no good Javascript validator around ensuring portable code.

Is this a really old version of Outlook web mail? Because to me IE11 seems to not only run OWA just as good as Firefox, but it runs by far most sites just like FireFox (it even identifies as FF for this reason, on sites that do IE-sniffing you will get their FireFox-version in IE11).

Re:Only 17 months to go... (1)

Lonewolf666 (259450) | about 3 months ago | (#47628493)

I recently had a similar problem with Microsoft Test Manager. With IE11 the content of the administration web page was not visible. I could not find the reason in the security settings (and accessing the web page from the same system suggests that it should be a "trusted zone"). Firefox 31 did the job though.

So I suspect this was another case of IE11 being broken for a Microsoft service.

Re:Only 17 months to go... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47628629)

Had to add *.microsoft.com to the compatibility list (update.microsoft.com was not enough) to get the MS Update install page to work, otherwise it tells me to open the control panel to install updates which I already did and clicked the link to switch to MS-Update. (I couldn't even find this bug listed in all but few scattered forum posts after a few hours of searching)

Switching to MS Update has got to be the only thing left I ever use IE for and only when installing Windows 7, At least until they have a way to turn this on without visiting the page. (then I just might just remove it completely...)

Re:Only 17 months to go... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47628303)

Your problem is not IE, it's the fact you depend on Java. Java in the browser is broken beyond repair to the point where no browser vendor wants to enable it by default. And that's a smart thing to do.

Re:Only 17 months to go... (1)

grahamm (8844) | about 3 months ago | (#47628593)

Yes, if you want to run java, run it as a standalone app not in the browser.

Re:Only 17 months to go... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47628217)

Only 17 months to go

Only 13 years late to the party. Anyone with sense dropped support for Internet Explorer when IE6 was released.

Coincidentally, its birthday is a little over two weeks away, if anyone wants to wear black.

Re:Only 17 months to go... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47628287)

Yeah, anyone with sense dropped support for the browser that still seems to be the de facto standard for all the companies that I have worked for these last ten years. One the other hand, those without sense earn their living.

Re:Only 17 months to go... (3, Insightful)

cbhacking (979169) | about 3 months ago | (#47628261)

Since there's already a pre-release version of IE12, probably not! They've increased the release rate a good bit the last few years; Win7 shipped with IE8. Still nowhere near as fast as Firefox and Chrome bump their "major" version numbers these days, of course, but that's no surprise.

Re:Only 17 months to go... (1)

CaptnZilog (33073) | about 3 months ago | (#47628669)

Wait... MS is going to start actually supporting IE now?!? Will it actually properly implement the HTML standards now??
It's about time. :D

Re:Only 17 months to go... (1)

Bing Tsher E (943915) | about 3 months ago | (#47628991)

No browser properly implements the Markup Language. Further, too many people think they are 'developers' because they coded some little scripts inside the marked up document. Or some big ugly script, frighteningly.

Re:Only 17 months to go... (1)

Mondor (704672) | about 3 months ago | (#47629457)

No, they are saying, that the most recent version will be supported. If it will be MSIE 13, then 11 and 12 won't be supported anymore. Isn't it the same with, say, Chrome? Just asking.

they might as well (2, Insightful)

FudRucker (866063) | about 3 months ago | (#47628067)

since they have not been able to secure Internet Explorer at all for years when they did claim to maintain and have support for it

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/C... [wikipedia.org]

Re:they might as well (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47628097)

good, do what the other vendors do and only have one supported version

Re:they might as well (2, Informative)

LordLimecat (1103839) | about 3 months ago | (#47628125)

Wow, using a 15 day old build of firefox to assert that IE is terribly insecure (because it has an unpatched vuln).

Of course, you couldnt have made this post 15 days ago, because the score would have been "1 unpatched for IE11, 11 unpatched for mozilla [mozilla.org] "

IE isnt the greatest security-wise, but Id probably trust it over Firefox these days.

Re:they might as well (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47628215)

Fuck off $hill. Last time I checked, this was an open source-centric site. How much does eveil Micro$oft pay you?

Re:they might as well (1)

Z00L00K (682162) | about 3 months ago | (#47628249)

If you can make IE work that is - today it doesn't even work well with M$ services.

Re:they might as well (1)

mpe (36238) | about 3 months ago | (#47628515)

If you can make IE work that is - today it doesn't even work well with M$ services.

Using IE8 or IE9 often appears to be an effective workaround here. For some reason webmail appears especially troublesome with IE10 and IE11.

Re:they might as well (1)

Bing Tsher E (943915) | about 3 months ago | (#47629001)

Webmail?

pop.google.com works great for me. I never even see any ads.

Mail on a machine where you lack root (2)

tepples (727027) | about 3 months ago | (#47629349)

Webmail means not having to install software if you're borrowing someone else's computer to access your mail. Webmail means being able to access mail on a machine to which a proper MUA hasn't been petted, such as a video game console or something similarly locked down that happens to have a web browser.

Re:they might as well (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47628151)

I'm willing to forget the security aspect and would be happy if the bloody thing rendered properly! I spent yeeeears playing devils advocate and defending them, but was sick in my own mouth when I kept tripping over stupid bugs in 11

IE is dead to me.

Microsoft, just give it up and adopt WebKit like everyone else... seriously, you lot just don't have what it takes in the browser department

Re:they might as well (4, Informative)

Art3x (973401) | about 3 months ago | (#47628163)

"Unsupported" is the magic word to get huge companies like mine to at last move on. I can't tell you how happy that will make me, an intranet programmer, if my company's official browser is IE 11 or something.

Right now it's 8. It and 7 were wonderful improvements in CSS from IE 6, which our official browser until just a few years ago. I fought with IE 6 for years and it felt like it would it never quite go away. I know that there are some poor souls in the world still using IE 6, but since it's no longer our company's official browser, I don't have to think about it. The thing that made my company finally upgrade was because a vendor forced them to, saying that their web app would no longer work in IE 6.

While IE 7 and 8 brought real improvements in CSS support, JavaScript is quirky until at least 9. Microsoft's unpredictable implementation of JavaScript is part of the reason JavaScript has a shady reputation. If Chrome, Firefox, Opera, and Safari were the only browsers I had to write against, it would have been a different life.

Re:they might as well (1)

Bogtha (906264) | about 3 months ago | (#47628527)

Right now it's 8. It and 7 were wonderful improvements in CSS from IE 6

Not really. The only real difference between 6 and 7 from a CSS perspective was a few extra selectors and bug fixes. The real improvements came with version 8, which finally had full support for CSS 2.

Oh Boy! (1)

TWX (665546) | about 3 months ago | (#47628073)

Firefox will have some competition for version numbering again!

Re:Oh Boy! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47628105)

I don't have a problem with fast releases and big version numbers as long as they're automated or easy to deploy. 'Foobar 123' is no harder to remember and/or migrate to than 'Foobar v1.2.3'.

If your complaint was about changes to the UI, functionality, the number of security patches needed every week, or the shifting target for add-on development...

Re:Oh Boy! (1)

Teun (17872) | about 3 months ago | (#47628351)

Exactly, numbers are just that, numbers.

As long as the functionality is there I couldn't care less if they changed to an AA, AB, AC etc. scheme.

Re:Oh Boy! (1)

sound+vision (884283) | about 3 months ago | (#47628477)

If you can't see the benefit of sensible version number system, I must infer you haven't done any development or serious IT work. Although it shouldn't be very hard to see the benefits as a "power user" either, which is sort of my minimum expectation for Slashdot.

Re:Oh Boy! (1)

Teun (17872) | about 3 months ago | (#47628805)

Come on! As long as the numbering is sequential it makes no difference.

Incompatibilities aren't recognisable by their number.

Re:Oh Boy! (1)

I'm New Around Here (1154723) | about 3 months ago | (#47629353)

It makes no difference to the end user. But it makes a big difference to corporations that decide what software to allow on computers. Or what software their product supports or works with.

Even the various Linux flavors keep a 'long-term' version of their os, just so businesses know they can count on that version for more than a month or half-year.

Re:Oh Boy! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47628153)

Written on Firefox version 736280482672103482.1

Re:Oh Boy! (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47628807)

Since Firefox nowadays removes and breaks existing features from version to version, it should actually decrement version on each release. So instead of FF 30, one should now be using -25.

Corp IT that can't seem to follow. (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47628077)

I for one welcome this. I work in a company that up till a few months ago was still on IE8. They upgraded to IE10 instead of going directly to IE11 which is totally insane in my mind and the reasoning by the folks doing the deployment was to use stable and tested.

This same company still uses to this day a version of Java that is both old and recommended by Oracle to update immediately because it has critical vulnerabilities which is even more insane to me when you factor in that they work with so much customer data breaches and the potential for lawsuits just seems extremely high.

Re:Corp IT that can't seem to follow. (4, Insightful)

mjwx (966435) | about 3 months ago | (#47628149)

I for one welcome this. I work in a company that up till a few months ago was still on IE8. They upgraded to IE10 instead of going directly to IE11 which is totally insane in my mind and the reasoning by the folks doing the deployment was to use stable and tested.

This same company still uses to this day a version of Java that is both old and recommended by Oracle to update immediately because it has critical vulnerabilities which is even more insane to me when you factor in that they work with so much customer data breaches and the potential for lawsuits just seems extremely high.

As a sysadmin, running the current version -1 is the safe bet for most businesses. The problem is that few businesses have an upgrade path, policy or methodology so you end up being current version -2 or -3 because no-one is willing to sign off on an upgrade.

Its not that we dont want to upgrade, its that management dont want any disruption to anything. So they refuse to allow upgrades until eventually the manufacturer forces the issue (and sometimes not even then). As for running out of date versions of Java (or anything else) it's always due to one legacy application that relies on that version and that version only. Its always a critical application that was written by some rock star developer a few years ago and since that developer left a few years ago no-one know how it works or how to upgrade it to function with a more current version of Java. Whenever I hear a developer say "oh, I can write a little application to do that" for an important process or requirement I want to beat them to death with a rusty pipe.

Re:Corp IT that can't seem to follow. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47628257)

I'm the AC of the other comment of the company that does install IE 11. We or at least I believe that our company employs mostly responsible persons. So we try to protect our users from things from which we think they don't want to do to their PCs. But we don't lock them down. So, we roll out Windows Updates. But: they're neither hindered nor encouraged to manually install all the Windows Updates they want. So, by the time we rolled out IE 11 for the entire company, we already did know it was in use by 5-10 % on our computers in all departments of our company.

Re:Corp IT that can't seem to follow. (1)

mpe (36238) | about 3 months ago | (#47628547)

As a sysadmin, running the current version -1 is the safe bet for most businesses. The problem is that few businesses have an upgrade path, policy or methodology so you end up being current version -2 or -3 because no-one is willing to sign off on an upgrade.
Its not that we dont want to upgrade, its that management dont want any disruption to anything.


Possibly also the managment does not want to spend the money on testing to ensure that any disruption is minimised. Especially when one "upgrade" can require all sorts of consequential changes. Be they upgrading something else or changing obscure settings to maintain the status quo.

So they refuse to allow upgrades until eventually the manufacturer forces the issue (and sometimes not even then). As for running out of date versions of Java (or anything else) it's always due to one legacy application that relies on that version and that version only. Its always a critical application that was written by some rock star developer a few years ago and since that developer left a few years ago no-one know how it works or how to upgrade it to function with a more current version of Java.

They may not even be an inhouse developer. Though if they are an external vendor you might be left to guess that that is the most likely possibility. Or they no longer "support" your version, but their latest version requires you to make a major migration, but is very different from the current version anyway.

Re:Corp IT that can't seem to follow. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47628173)

When I get around to deploy an update of Java in our company (I'd like to do it every time but sometimes I can't make it), I simply remove all older versions of Java and only install the latest version on our office PCs. The servers are a different matter. But if a Java Applet somewhere in the WWW doesn't work with the latest version of Java, it's simply broken and should be fixed.
It's the same with web applications. We install IE 11. They should get it to work with IE 11 or its compatibility mode.

And I have yet to find a website, that can't be used with IE 11, or a Java App that has to use an older version of Java and is critical for our business. But if all else would fail, I would downgrade IE or Java or install Firefox. Because the computers are there to get work done, not for me to have them running cutting edge versions of all software products.

We also install Microsoft Updates right away. Most of the time without previously testing them. The only time this really hurt were the one time the antivirus patterns for Microsoft Endpoint Protection knocked out Windows XP. But I don't think many people test antivirus patterns before they get rolled out.

don't you mean (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47628089)

Microsoft To Drop Support For Older Versions of Idiot Explorer

Re:don't you mean (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47628093)

So it's your favorite browser?

Just uninstall it! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47628107)

Except you can't uninstall it. "Because Internet Explorer is a Windows feature, you can't uninstall it, but you can turn it off. Here's how:"
Gee, Thanks Microsoft!

Re:Just uninstall it! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47628383)

Even if you turn it off, some Microsoft Apps will still start it simply because they have the path to the .exe hard coded inside them.

Re:Just uninstall it! (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47628595)

Oh baby, your hard code feels so good inside me.

Cool (1)

the_Bionic_lemming (446569) | about 3 months ago | (#47628129)

Sounds like a great reason to not use Internet Explorer.

In the past 7 years I've only had to use it a relatively few times - For instance Illinois gubment can't be bothered to make their apps non IE friendly.

but hey, to each their own.

So latest only (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47628131)

Up to this point, many companies have waited till 'we see if its broken or working' before they adopt the latest. Now they will be pressed to use the latest, and chance broken software (and dysfunctional business processes). I'm sure many of them are thrilled about that.

This is sad (1, Interesting)

thieh (3654731) | about 3 months ago | (#47628179)

On one hand, most businesses are locked into using Windows, and on the other hand, Microsoft are phasing out everything every now and then in order to force you to pay them to upgrade. On top of that businesses usually have draconian versions of stuff that won't run without equally draconian versions of Windows/Office/IE. I wonder how do people get into that spiral

Re:This is sad (4, Insightful)

ron_ivi (607351) | about 3 months ago | (#47628337)

Sad? I'd say it's happy.

So many big companies locked themselves in to "microsoft IE-6 only solutions" - and open source advocates have long cautioned them against depending too much on a vendor that might yank support whenever management changes or quarterly profits dictate yanking support to encourage upgrades.

This will teach them a lesson they'll hopefully never forget; and look for cross platform solutions in the future.

Re:This is sad (1)

Mask (87752) | about 3 months ago | (#47628753)

"This will teach them a lesson they'll hopefully never forget".

Most individuals learn, not everybody. Some organizations learn, not all of them. Humanity almost always repeats past mistakes.

The same forces that made people use the "IE-6 only solutions" will always exist. New MBAs and engineers will keep only these forces in mind and will not even consider the impact of their decision on the "potential" distant future. It is not that they will not be aware of the dangers, it is just that feeling the pain in person is not the same as the theoretical knowledge about pain.

Support??? (5, Funny)

pitchpipe (708843) | about 3 months ago | (#47628181)

Microsoft supports Internet Explorer?! I wouldn't admit to it if I was them.

Wait, what, huh? (0)

jd (1658) | about 3 months ago | (#47628195)

IE is supported? When did this happen?

Last I heard, they reluctantly release updates when other parts of the OS beat them on bugs per kg of code. (They stopped measuring lines when someone googled the term.)

Re:Wait, what, huh? (2)

istartedi (132515) | about 3 months ago | (#47628471)

bugs per kg of code

That code is heavy, man /hippie.

Hell No (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47628203)

There is a reason why nobody should "automatically" update Windows. It's an identical reason toy why you shouldn't let Linux or MacOS X update automatically.

If the administrative account isn't used to confirm installing updates, then it will be compromised.

Here's one example:

After installing X product that shall remain nameless, suddenly Windows sees a need to push 20 updates or so. Ok whatevers. So those updates are installed, but now when I try to install Visual Studio and the SDK's they all fail. Now why is that? Maybe if I had installed Visual Studio and the SDK's first this wouldn't have happened. But nooo... Windows Update wants all the updates to be installed at that time. Some of the updates even fail, resulting in multiple reboots before they all install.

Linux is nearly as bad, if not worse. Because of huge obnoxious chains of dependency in response to OSS developers fond of reinventing the wheel to circumvent licenses they don't ideologically agree with, I have to put up with things like OpenSSL being replaced by LibreSSL, or MySQL being replaced with MariaDB for no damn reason.

MacOS X has the least obnoxious behavior, but the update window is much shorter. It does things right by confirming to install updates, but has to restart the OS for everything including iTunes, which shouldn't need an update if it's all user-space.

The problem with the Microsoft Platform, is that MSIE is "integrated" into Windows in a way that will always be more dangerous than simply using Firefox or Chrome.This goes back to Windows 98SE and MSIE 4. The entire monopoly problem. Had the law people not interfered we might have been looking at a world of websites that only work with ActiveX apps (believe me, certain CRM software did this even as late as 2004, and I'm talking about you Siebel)

Microsoft's screw up was integrating it. The only good that came out of that lawsuit was that Microsoft couldn't co-opt the XHTML or CSS standards with propietary extensions, and it likely drove off a lot more people from MSIE when other browsers ... oh wait I'm getting ahead of myself. There were no other browsers.

Netscape's last version was 4. Mozilla restarted from scratch, Opera was still a pay browser, and nobody else put anything else worth a damn. It took APPLE to take KHTML and make Webkit to create a third browser. Everyone thank Apple for that, because if they didn't, Google Chrome would not exist, and no smartphone would exist either.

Re:Hell No (1)

jones_supa (887896) | about 3 months ago | (#47628397)

I agree. While Windows generally works better than Linux on desktop these days, the update system in Windows is fucking flaky.

Re:Hell No (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47628455)

Last year I would have agreed that Chrome is a good thing although I'm not sure I would thank Apple for it. Lately, Google's megalomania is having a more noticeable impact in Chrome. Also, the quality is going downhill. It's locking up hard, becoming less responsive. I've been thinking of going back to Firefox as the alternative. IE wouldn't be so bad except that so much ill will built up that web devs abandoned it as soon as they could. Result? You needed to abadon IE just to navigate the web. Chrome's fast scripting pulled me that way, since everything insists on scripts these days. I'm not sure what's happening with Chrome development now; but it's definitely having issues. Then again, maybe the Fox is worse. I haven't tried it for a while. The only thing that has remained constant about browsers over the years is... change.

Customers using internet explorer (1)

lusid1 (759898) | about 3 months ago | (#47628205)

should upgrade to an operating system.

Re:Customers using internet explorer (1)

Z00L00K (682162) | about 3 months ago | (#47628255)

I'd take a stable OS like OpenVMS then.

So are they going to fix the issues wtih IE ? (2)

Malfuros the Wizard (3429185) | about 3 months ago | (#47628219)

IE 10 and IE 11 are significantly buggy and seem to have broken compatibility with older sites whereas FireFox and Chrome still work on those sites perfectly well. Of course Microsoft would say fix the site but when you are dealing with sites that provide services to your business stability is king, as a result we have managed to stop IE10/11 being deployed on any of the Win 7/Win XP machines in use. Microsoft dropping support for older browsers means we will stop using IE, we had already started installing Chrome for compatibility reasons, looks like its going to be chrome all the way. If Google and Mozilla can maintain a decent level of backwards compatibility why cannot Microsoft. Ties in with the decision to stick on Win 7 because Win 8/8.1 breaks some of our applications, there is no upgrade option on those applications, they were written eight years ago and they HAVE to keep working. Microsoft needs to realise the business community wants stability, they don't want shiny new UI's and whistles and bells.

Re:So are they going to fix the issues wtih IE ? (1)

Z00L00K (682162) | about 3 months ago | (#47628269)

Microsoft IE11 isn't even backwards compatible with older versions of Outlook web mail, and by older I mean pretty recent versions... I had to resort to Opera to be able to access the web mail at work from home.

Not that I use IE for anything else so I can't tell...

Re:So are they going to fix the issues wtih IE ? (1)

cyber-vandal (148830) | about 3 months ago | (#47628573)

IE11 breaks loads of third-party apps and doesn't play nicely with some of Microsoft's own software like older versions of Sharepoint and Dynamics. I'm always tripping over IE11 issues at work and having to use Chrome instead because somehow the other browser makers seem to be able to not royally screw things up every time there's an upgrade. I'm not looking forward to IE12. At least the developer tools finally allow you to choose which Javascript file you want to look at rather than having to move through all the entries of a very unfriendly drop-down.

Re:So are they going to fix the issues wtih IE ? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47628469)

IE 10 and IE 11 are significantly buggy and seem to have broken compatibility with older sites whereas FireFox and Chrome still work on those sites perfectly well.

Of course Microsoft would say fix the site but when you are dealing with sites that provide services to your business stability is king, as a result we have managed to stop IE10/11 being deployed on any of the Win 7/Win XP machines in use.

Microsoft dropping support for older browsers means we will stop using IE, we had already started installing Chrome for compatibility reasons, looks like its going to be chrome all the way. If Google and Mozilla can maintain a decent level of backwards compatibility why cannot Microsoft.

Ties in with the decision to stick on Win 7 because Win 8/8.1 breaks some of our applications, there is no upgrade option on those applications, they were written eight years ago and they HAVE to keep working.

Microsoft needs to realise the business community wants stability, they don't want shiny new UI's and whistles and bells.

If this was a face to face discussion I would be willing to bet you a nice bottle of something you like to drink that most of the sites that have issues with IE11 and not with FF and Chrome have issues because they browser sniff IE and send old IE code. With IE11 Microsoft has done what we asked all the time, to leave behind IE quirks and be more standards compatible. Serve it the same code as FF and Chrome, not your old IE code. As a web developer I'm as critical of old IE antics as anyone, but this is a good thing.

Re:So are they going to fix the issues wtih IE ? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47628647)

With IE11 Microsoft has done what we asked all the time, to leave behind IE quirks and be more standards compatible.

I seem to recall MS/Others making very similar if not the same claims about IE 7, then IE 8, oh and again with IE 9, oh yeah we 'finally' did it in IE 10, And now IE 11 and will probably promise 100% compliance with IE 12, then 13, 14, etc.....

Yeah I' "Believe" it this time, riiiight...

Re:So are they going to fix the issues wtih IE ? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47628699)

With IE11 Microsoft has done what we asked all the time, to leave behind IE quirks and be more standards compatible.

I seem to recall MS/Others making very similar if not the same claims about IE 7, then IE 8, oh and again with IE 9, oh yeah we 'finally' did it in IE 10, And now IE 11 and will probably promise 100% compliance with IE 12, then 13, 14, etc.....

Yeah I' "Believe" it this time, riiiight...

If you are a web developer you don't have to "believe" anything, you can extremely easily verify yourself. Myself I've never heard Microsoft claim that you can server their browser same code as FF and Chrome before IE11.

Buck feta. (-1, Offtopic)

buckfeta2014 (3700011) | about 3 months ago | (#47628225)

Buck feta.

Re:Fuck beta. (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47628663)

Ah you finally caught on. Let me fix it for the 'machine'.

How is this going to play with ASP NET (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47628233)

Quite recent versions of IIS running .NET4 ASP NET don't recognise IE11 and mess up the controls when they sniff the browser. You have to change the User-Agent string for them to work properly.

This is MS shooting themselves in the foot. ASP NET should not do different things with different browsers period. Now unless some admin changes the IIS NET installation they won't work at all.

Re:How is this going to play with ASP NET (1)

bumba2014 (3564161) | about 3 months ago | (#47628883)

I stopped using ASP.NET Forms after the firsttime I used it on a project, I said never again, that has been many years ago. I suggest you do the same...

Re:How is this going to play with ASP NET (2)

Mondor (704672) | about 3 months ago | (#47629441)

Sorry, I had no problems with ASP.NET (both WebForms and MVC) and MSIE 11. Could it be something in your code?

Support (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47628281)

Bitch, bitch, bitch. You people all sound like a bunch of old hags. I guess I am super lucky that I have never had an issue with IE. Or maybe I just could care less as I will not use programs that sued MSFT and had courts force MSFT to share codec, while Google and Apple continue on their merry way. Or even Linux distros with their closed systems.

Makes you wonder (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47628295)

how MS ever got along before axing the dead wood. How did Steve Ballmer get the $ to offer to buy a NBA team before-the-axin-time? To whom was MS beholden then? Lean and mean? Or just mean?

Yet, better than... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47628359)

...Firefox's recent desire to break the UI regularly with "improvements" that I don't want. IE is worth looking at (esp. since I just spent a few hours thinking I had a bug in my code, but it turned out IE, Chrome, Opera, et al handled it fine - FF didn't). At least MS is providing support for something other than the latest version from yesterday which included major UI changes. This is where FOSS fails in comparison to a company that is paid to support its users and understands that people want to get their task done and are relatively uninterested in worrying about if they are using yesterday's software or last week's software.

Re:Yet, better than... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47628787)

At least MS is providing support for something other than the latest version from yesterday which included major UI changes. This is where FOSS fails in comparison

Yes, someone should tell Mozilla that having an extended support release of Firefox [mozilla.org] "for use by organizations including schools, universities, businesses and others who need extended support for mass deployments", would be a great idea!

Please also stop supporting newer versions. (3, Insightful)

Jesus_666 (702802) | about 3 months ago | (#47628599)

Seriously; I'd be happy if Microsoft stopped supporting newer versions of IE as well. It's not that IE is a terrible browser per se, it's that Microsoft's policy of only releasing new versions of IE for versions of Windows they still support means that many people out there are stuck using ancient IE versions. This means that web designers often still need to care for things like IE 8 on Windows XP (which, to make things even better, behaves unlike IE 8 on other Windows versions) because that's what some customers use to see if their shiny new website works.

No, those customers aren't going to replace their still-working XP boxes with brand-new computers running Windows 8.1 Upgrade 1 Patch 1 Service Pack 1, especially not to get a browser update. As long as those computers don't physically break down they're going to keep running Windows XP; after all, replacing a working tool is unneccessary cost and businesses don't like unneccessary costs. So IE 8 compatibility remains important, at least for those customers who still use it to look at their websites.

All of that would change if Microsoft wrote IE to support the same platforms Firefox and Chrome do. Firefox 31 runs on XP SP2, as does Chrome 36. So should IE 11. Then we could finally move on from the days of horrible IE-specific hacks and dozens of kilobytes of compatibility code and actually get some work done. As it is, the only recourse we have is to keep telling people to never run IE under any circumstance except to download a better browser; hopefully at some point we will have drilled "IE is always the wrong choice" into people's head hard enough that they will reflexively use a browser with a sane update policy and IE will be marginalized enough to be irrelevant.

Which would be sad; more competition in the browser market would be good. But not through an obsolescence factory like IE.

Re:Please also stop supporting newer versions. (1)

danielzip53 (1717992) | about 3 months ago | (#47628655)

Seriously?

This is such an antiquated IT Industry philosophy! (if it ain't broke don't fix it).

Thanks to this idea, Microsoft has to spend most of it's resources patching old systems, (which they no longer receive revenue for), making upgrading more expensive.
Granted Microsoft needs to rethink how upgrades can be more efficient and provide a better model, but we could all benefit from a smoother and cheaper upgrade model especially if Microsoft didn't have to keep plugging today's security holes for yesterdays OS/Apps.

How often do you (or the general populous) update you smartphone or tablet, just because there is a new version? or even install a beta/preview version? is it broken, does it need the update?

Don't get me wrong I'm in Tech support, and I know the grind of change in both the App and OS development side is tough. But even for the apps I support, it makes me angry when someone requests a fix for an old version even though there's a new version. It takes time away from the development resource to fix a non-issue.

Anyway rant over!

Re:Please also stop supporting newer versions. (1)

Jesus_666 (702802) | about 3 months ago | (#47628737)

Well, to my knowledge this attitude is mostly found in non-IT companies. For them their computers are no different from, say, their plumbing. As long as the plumbing works (and there are no other pressing factors like legal requirements) there is no need to replace the pipes with new ones that may be in some way better. IT professionals understand that outdated software can (and often does) pose a security risk but most other people don't.

Of course it would be nice if we could get people educated about that sort of thing. Then the only ones we'd have to worry about would be those who just plain can't upgrade - either because they have custom software or because their job-specific hardware has no drivers for modern Windows versions.

Re:Please also stop supporting newer versions. (1)

Bing Tsher E (943915) | about 3 months ago | (#47629023)

They have really shiney file cabinets at the company that produces file cabinets. Their file clerks rate very high on the jobs satisfaction scores, too.

It would be nice if we could get everybody else educated about the importance of file clerks and data custodians. And that nice gray crackle finish on the filing cabinets.

Re:Please also stop supporting newer versions. (1)

danielzip53 (1717992) | about 3 months ago | (#47629067)

Of course it would be nice if we could get people educated about that sort of thing. Then the only ones we'd have to worry about would be those who just plain can't upgrade - either because they have custom software or because their job-specific hardware has no drivers for modern Windows versions.

So true, education is the key, move forward or don't complain about redundant old functionality with security holes everywhere. It gets to the point where silicon just won't fix your leaky pipe.

Though;
Custom software should always be being redeveloped etc, if it hasn't changed in a long time, then it's probably time to rethink it's purpose and efficiency. Plus specific to IE, IE "should be able to" handle all web comms since the dawn of time. (maybe if Microsoft had more resources this might be better)
Backwards compatibility for hardware this is a tough one. Maybe it can only be solved by Microsoft providing some type of redundant API's for the ancient gear (maybe as like a non-standard package update).
Basically like a hardware "sandbox" for the gear. Keeping the bloatware off the core OS.

Re:Please also stop supporting newer versions. (1)

cyber-vandal (148830) | about 3 months ago | (#47629565)

Upgrading software isn't free, especially something like IE where each successive version breaks stuff that worked in the previous one.

Re:Please also stop supporting newer versions. (1)

drinkypoo (153816) | about 3 months ago | (#47629491)

All of that would change if Microsoft wrote IE to support the same platforms Firefox and Chrome do.

IE's only advantage is being closely coupled to the OS. Remove that advantage and there is absolutely no benefit to it. And Microsoft wants you to be locked in, they don't care if it's good for you.

Don't forget #11 (1)

bumba2014 (3564161) | about 3 months ago | (#47628881)

I suggest they stop supported version 11 also, that way a lot of problems in the internet will be solved.... Making a website will become much easier, less frustration and we could get payed a little better at the hour, not having to stay awake for nights getting it working on some version of MSIE...

IE 9 will still be around for some time after that (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47628985)

Vista, and hence IE 9, will be in Extended Support until April 11, 2017. Although it doesn't have near the same market penetration as XP.

Also, can we assume by their explicitly listing IE 11 as the supported browser for most platforms after that date, that IE 12 won't be coming before 2016?

As I said yesterday. . . (1)

smooth wombat (796938) | about 3 months ago | (#47629119)

in the discussion about Skype being made to stop working with older versions of OS X and comparing it, Skype, to phone usage, when you can get Microsoft or Apple to have its software work for thirty or forty years like one can with a telephone, you let me know.

Microsoft can stop support all it wants but that doesn't mean people aren't gong to stop using these older versions. People, particularly corporations, will tell them they're sick of constantly being forced to "upgrade" when there is nothing wrong physically or security wise with the browser they have, and have every new iteration be worse than the last as far as functionality is concerned.

If you can't make security updates for a product which is more simple than the current version, you shouldn't be in the business of making software.

Wait for it... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47629173)

There will be an post along the lines of "IE exploits triple" when this happens.

And I am reading this in IE 8 (1)

jfdavis668 (1414919) | about 3 months ago | (#47629247)

We are so far behind. Still using IE 8 because our systems were developed for even older versions of the browser.

MSIE11 can't into Windows Server 2012 (1)

Mondor (704672) | about 3 months ago | (#47629431)

Ok, but MSIE 11 can't be installed on Windows Server 2012, only on Windows Server 2012 R2. Unlike the Windows 8.1, the R2 wasn't the free upgrade. So, if MSIE 10 won't be supported, can we still say that Microsoft is supporting the Windows Server 2012?

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