Last week, Microsoft formally announced that they will stop supporting their Internet Explorer 11 web browser in their Microsoft 365 applications in August 2021.

This announcement is Microsoft's way of dealing with the life cycle support conundrum they created for themselves when they decided that Windows 10 would be the final version of Windows. Because Microsoft locks web browser life cycles to operating systems and Windows 10 wasn't going away, it appeared that Microsoft had committed to supporting IE 11 forever—even as they attempted to transition to Edge. By no longer supporting IE 11 in their own apps, Microsoft hopes to more successfully transition remaining users from this now ancient (2013!) web browser.

As a general use web browser, IE 11 has virtually disappeared from Penn—a recent check of a public-facing University website showed IE 11 at less than 1% of desktop web browser share, behind Google Chrome (65%), Apple Safari (17%), Mozilla Firefox (10%), and Microsoft's own Edge (6%). Penn's remaining vulnerabilities in Internet Explorer-only apps are likely in applications used by just a few University constituents—some of whom are likely not aware of this constraint.

ISC intends to remove Internet Explorer 11 from the Current Supported Computing Products page for FY2022, and these contextual changes will be reflected in the October 2020 version of the Four-Year Technology Roadmap. A reminder that many previously existing dependencies on Internet Explorer in University applications no longer apply.