Auto Update Older IE Versions
Force older versions of Internet Explorer to automatically update.
On December 15th of 2011 Microsoft made a big change that largely goes unnoticed by the vast majority of users; updates to Internet Explorer began to happen automatically.
Today, Microsoft continues to install the latest updates for Internet Explorer supported by the user’s operating system without getting in the way. With Internet Explorer 10 we also added a UI control to the “About Internet Explorer” window which gave the end-user easier control over this process.
Understandably there are some situations in which auto-updates are not desired. For instance, enterprise customers may (and do) choose to opt-out of these updates due to a reliance upon older versions of Internet Explorer internally.
Tasked with supporting legacy applications, while also supporting the advancing web, the Internet Explorer team developed Enterprise Mode for Internet Explorer 11. This feature is designed to grant the user all of the security and speed of a modern browser, while maintaining the integrity of legacy applications.
It is our expectation that Enterprise Mode will continue to liberate users from older versions of IE. This was yet another step towards our goal of bringing Windows users current. You can expect that we will continue to prioritize these efforts moving forward.
Roy Tinker commented
Could you please support Windows 8.1 in Edge? Currently Edge is not supported there. This is a primary reason why our front-end dev team still has to support IE11. Unfortunately some of our customers are not moving to Windows 10 yet.
example: new css selectors? great just update css.dll what kinda compatibility issue would that have! If you want to deprecate something or modify an existing result hold those till new browser version
Francis Weaver commented
I am just getting stared, my older version looked great.
> Which they are doing already.
Sending patches is not sufficient.
If they would frequently update all installed copies to the latest version, like eg Mozilla does with FF, the following stats would currently show nothing but IE 11. But there still are many IE 8 installations, and web apps need to deal with those old versions in one way or another, which wouldn't be required if the old copies get updated to the latest version.
IE 11: 24%
IE 8: 17%
IE 9: 9%
IE 10: 6%
IE 11: 11%
IE 8: 5%
IE 9: 3%
IE 10: 3%
Yuhong Bao commented
"Each of these installed copies of IE should get updated, if it is located on a supported version of Windows. Via automatic updates, unless the user/organization chooses to opt out."
Which they are doing already.
> Rather than to keep waiting for Microsoft to address the issue, force the issue of standards
> compliance (something that IE has always lagged in) by instructing old IE users to download a
> standards compliant (and more safe) browser like Firefox or Chrome to see the web
> page correctly.
I for example do that.
And in addition I'm asking Microsoft to ensure that all installed copies of IE get updated to the latest version.
(BTW, not all projects / web apps / client companies can simply flash an "upgrade to Firefox or Chrome" message instead of supporting IE8.)
Some of those older versions of Internet Explorer are due to piracy of Windows, which stops automatic updates from updating Windows components, including Internet Explorer. The large percentage of IE8 users are from XP, since that's the newest IE they can install.
I would suggest that web developers stop intentionally supporting older (<10) IE versions. If it works in Chrome, Firefox and Safari, ship it. Rather than to keep waiting for Microsoft to address the issue, force the issue of standards compliance (something that IE has always lagged in) by instructing old IE users to download a standards compliant (and more safe) browser like Firefox or Chrome to see the web page correctly.
IE8 is a very unsafe, slow, and incompatible web browser to use. These people simply need educated to install Firefox or Chrome until they upgrade their computers. Websites displaying an educational message to that effect and supplying a link to mozilla.org would be a great way to do this. I regularly update XP machines to Firefox, and the improvement in both looks and speed is obvious. Spread the word!
Thanks for your reply, and for the previous efforts you mentioned.
In order for us and other visitors to see what we're talking about, here are some stats:
IE 11: 24%
IE 8: 17%
IE 9: 9%
IE 10: 6%
IE 11: 11%
IE 8: 5%
IE 9: 3%
IE 10: 3%
There's way too much IE 9 and IE 8 usage. Each of these installed copies of IE should get updated, if it is located on a supported version of Windows. Via automatic updates, unless the user/organization chooses to opt out.
Supporting these older IEs in addition to the latest 1-2 IEs is a huge time, effort, and cost factor, mutiplied by all web sites / web apps which support those older versions.
I hope Microsoft will allocate much more time, money, and effort, with the goal of making sure that at any given time there is only the latest version of IE in use - as far as that's possible given that some users/organizations choose to opt out of some updates.
> Further work to extend support for IE 11 back to even earlier
> Operating Systems would prevent us from using that time/money/effort
> in making the browser itself more standards-compliant, and capable of
> handling the future web.
The effort described above should happen in addition, and should not take a single minute out of the work on implementing current and future web standards.
I recognize this requires a huge additional and continued effort, but the current situation where web app implementers have the burden of supporting IE 9 and IE 8 (browsers older than the current and previous version of IE) should be ended soon.
I hope you can at least make sure that the respective current and previous versions are in use (currently 11 and 10), and not the versions older than that (currently 9 and 8 etc).
Related: For testing, it would be handy if (the latest 1-2 versions of) IE could be installed on Mac OS (no remote service, no VM, real install). It seems IE is tied in with the OS / with Windows, but Firefox and Chrome show that it's feasible to ship a browser which can be installed on each of the major OSs.
Jonathan Sampson [MSFT] commented
Internet Explorer 11 originally shipped on Windows 8.1, we then worked to extend support back to Windows 7, but that required some effort since big things happened between Windows 7 and 8 (the touch-revolution) that presented some challenges to extend a touch-enabled modern browser into an older ecosystem. Further work to extend support for IE 11 back to even earlier Operating Systems would prevent us from using that time/money/effort in making the browser itself more standards-compliant, and capable of handling the future web.
Windows Vista currently has an estimated 2.8% of the market, while Windows 7 has over 50% alone. Windows 8/8.1 have a rapidly growing share as well. These numbers alone help convey the reasoning behind supporting Windows 8 and Windows 7 in recent builds of IE. Other Operating Systems are losing share, and many instances exist in environments that would prevent updates from landing anyway.
We certainly want to make sure the situation is as best as it can be, which is why we pushed out updates to bring everybody current, as far as their Operating System is concerned. This was a successful effort, and we look forward to seeing more traffic find its way onto more modern versions of Windows, and newer builds of Internet Explorer.
> Tobi, I think you're mistaken about IE11 requiring Windows 8.1
Then Microsoft is mistaken:
"Internet Explorer system requirements": "A Windows 8.1 or Windows RT 8.1 PC."
If it runs on Windows 7 that's great. But does it run on Vista? (Currently the oldest supported Windows.)
> I wish it was available on older OSes, but it's understandable since Windows XP is EOL
Please make [IE 11] complete enough to run on Vista and later, so that every user on a *currently supported* version of Windows automatically gets the latest IE which is IE 11.
Thus XP is not included in my above wish list. It's not a currently supported version of Windows.
Brian Clifton commented
Tobi, I think you're mistaken about IE11 requiring Windows 8.1... because I am running it and I'm on Windows 7 :/ It was either pushed down from my org or included in Windows Update
As a web developer, I wish it was available on older OSes, but it's understandable since Windows XP is EOL
You wrote "Today, Microsoft continues to install the latest updates for Internet Explorer supported by the user’s operating system without getting in the way."
Web development involves a lot of time spent on supporting older versions of IE. In order to remove that burden, it is not enough to "install the latest updates for Internet Explorer supported by the user’s operating system".
Instead please make sure all installed copies of IE (except if the user opted out) on all supported Windows versions (currently Vista and later) get automatically updated to the very latest stable version of IE (currently IE 11). Only then can we forget about older IEs.
IE 11 currently requires Windows 8.1. Please make it complete enough to run on Vista and later, so that every user on a currently supported version of Windows automatically gets the latest IE which is IE 11.
Pushing minor updates to older versions of IE on eg Vista doesn't make the difference, thus currently web developers still have the huge burden of dealing with older versions of IE. The cost of the work required is huge, and is not required for Firefox etc.
Joseph Halter commented
This ticket is only useful if it covers all these entreprises which still uses IE 8 on Windows XP.
Andrea Passaglia commented
I think by update they really meant update to Chrome or Firefox or Safari or Opera.
Stop development of IE.
I don't think it's THAT hard to do it, because all other developers somehow manage to support older systems and their browsers aren't huge downloads at all. It's not magic, it's not Mission: Impossible, it's just silly excuses. I think it would actually improve IE development time, because the team would just support 1-2 versions for all platforms, and not 6, like it has to do now.
This is exactly why the dreaded Chrome (which I hate, btw) is the dominant browser today according to every stats page (except Net Applications). If MS doesn't release new versions for its own products, users just choose a dev which does.
I've been reading some of the comments on this and it's clear that the majority of you have no idea how Internet Explorer works.
It's not as simple as get the engine and put it on an old OS. The new engine makes use of features on the OS rather than coding them again just to do the same thing but on really old operating systems.
SPDY support in IE11 is an example of this. Trident in IE11 uses system APIs which handle network communication, and only Windows 8.1 added support for making the SPDY protocol possible on the OS.
If Microsoft made Internet Explorer separate from the OS, you should expect massive downloads for new versions (half a GB... maybe more). Because they would have to copy over system code into the engine and then use that rather than system resources already available on modern operating systems. You should also expect significantly slower development of new IE versions if they did this.
Also, this suggestion that's been voted seems to be misunderstood for some. This suggestion is requesting to add the auto-update feature from IE10+ into older versions of the browser - NOT requesting for them to develop for really old versions of Windows - some that are not even supported anymore and are ancient like XP.
Salvatore Garbesi commented
Any new version of IE should work on all Microsoft OS's going back to Windows XP.
Stop with the: upgrade your OS to upgrade your browser.
If you can't get them to upgrade their OS, let them upgrade the browser.
You're forcing the internet to maintain an ancient state because you're not allowing people to upgrade a browser which should have nothing to do with the OS! Learn from your mistakes and fix them!
Alexei Jordan Humeniy Jacobs commented
The reason why Microsoft can't force you to use a new version of IE is enterprises. They generally have software made to work with IE6 with specific fixes to make them work which would generate incompatibilities with modern browsers. That's why some enterprises won't let you use Chrome or Firefox