Internet Explorer 11 is the latest version of the popular web browser by Microsoft that was released in late 2013. With a rich history and great success within businesses, previous versions of the browser dominated the market for a couple of decades. However, the introduction of Edge, the growing popularity of other web browsers like Google Chrome and Firefox and advancements of web standards made Microsoft consider different ways to push businesses to improve their web applications and migrate to Microsoft Edge.
In this blog post, we will discuss the reasons that made eXo Platform stop supporting Internet Explorer 11 and what we recommend as an alternative.
This should be of interest to you if you are:
- An eXo client still reliant on Internet Explorer.
- A potential client looking to have a glance at our different supported environments.
Microsoft is Giving up Internet Explorer
Internet Explorer is no longer a reliable browser for businesses and developers. That is according to Chris Jackson, a cybersecurity expert at Microsoft. Microsoft has stopped supporting new web standards for Internet Explorer, with Jackson stating “Internet Explorer is a compatibility solution, we’re not supporting new web standards for it and, while many sites work fine, developers by and large just aren’t testing for Internet Explorer these days. They’re testing on modern browsers.”
The tech giant’s policy for Internet Explorer (and any other components) consists of following the lifecycle for the operating system it is installed on. A minimum of five years of mainstream and extended support for business and developer products and Windows operating systems is provided.
The Microsoft Lifecycle policy continues to provide a minimum of five years of Mainstream Support and a minimum of five years of Extended Support for Business and Developer products and the Windows operating system.
In the case of Internet Explorer, Microsoft already specified 31 December 2020 as an end date for the support of IE10. The company also plans to provide security updates and support for IE11 until 25 October 2025 (when support for Windows 10 also ends).
Deprecation of IE in eXo Platform
In order to be up to date with new frameworks and technologies that respect web standards (such as HTML5, CSS4, ECMA Script etc.), we have decided to cease support for Internet Explorer.
Ending support for IE11 was not a sudden decision and we adopted a deprecation period that extended over a number of eXo Platform versions. IE moved from being supported in eXo Platform 4.4 to compatible in 5.0 and finally to non-compatible in 5.2 back in April 2019. In other words, IE11 and previous versions have been continuously tested and support was guaranteed up to eXo Platform 4.4 (whose latest maintenance release was in June 2018). Since then, our support team has been operating in a “best effort” mode, meaning we will look into issues submitted, but there is no guarantee that we will work on a fix or workaround in the case of a clear incompatibility.
Since the introduction of eXo Platform 5.0, compatibility with IE11 has been partial as the web browser did not offer an optimal UI for some functionalities, such as video calls and push notifications, due to limited standard support (HTML5). Moving forward, we intend to keep adopting the latest web standards and technologies when it makes sense for eXo Platform’s user experience and to reduce our dependency on old, unsecure and proprietary technologies.
So our position is clear : we can’t offer our customers a level of service on par with our standards with Internet Explorer. Since we no longer test it proactively, we can’t ensure new features will keep working and existing features won’t break.
Our Recommendation: Transition to Microsoft Edge, Firefox or Google Chrome
As it stands, we recommend our clients to transition from IE to Microsoft Edge as a stable and supported browser for our upcoming versions. Edge is the latest web browser developed by Microsoft and released for Windows 10, Android, iOS and macOS. The browser embraces Microsoft’s vision to participate in the Open-ource software community. The development of Edge is currently based on the Chromium open-source project to provide better web compatibility for users and an overall enhanced experience on PCs and other devices.
Windows 10 comes with Edge as the default browser. Users can fall back to IE11 when using certain web applications for compatibility reasons. In our case, eXo clients still relying on IE11 for some apps, should make sure it falls back to using Edge when visiting eXo Platform-powered digital workplace environments.
eXo Platform is also compatible with Firefox and Google Chrome. Just like Edge, both are leading evergreen browsers, which means they are quick to adapt to web standards and keep you safe at all times. For full details of supported versions, please take a look at our supported environments.
You are welcome to submit your questions here. Make sure to follow our blog to stay up to date with any new developments.