Printed phone books, marshmallow Peeps, Tom Brady - despite the opinions of the masses, it seems like there are some things that just won’t go away. The Internet Explorer web browser was certainly on that list until recently, when Microsoft announced it would be ending support for the little-browser-that-could in summer of 2022.
Here’s everything you need to know about IE’s farewell tour and how it will affect your company, website, and customers moving forward.
What You Need to Know About Explorer Retiring
According to an official company blog posted May 19, 2021, “the Internet Explorer 11 desktop application will be retired and go out of support on June 15, 2022” after 27 years in operation. (Seriously what other tech are we using daily that’s 27 years old? Here’s looking at you airport tower people!) In layman’s terms, this means that Microsoft will no longer officially provide IE users with security packages and support upgrades that make the web browser a viable, safe and secure portal to the world wide web. It’s likely that sites that still support the browser will shift their focus to modern technology stacks as continuing to support software on the outdated browser will put their sensitive data and customer information at risk.
What Does IE Retirement Impact?
You might be surprised to learn that Internet Explorer still accounts for 4.5% of all web traffic globally according to the experts at NetMarketShare.
That means about 25 million people are still clicking that little blue E when they want to surf the web.
Sites which rely on IE’s technology to display their web information will have issues displaying information on newer browsers (such as Chrome or Edge) without upgrading their web code to modern technical standards. It’s also important to understand that customers who continue to use Internet Explorer will be at much greater risk of malicious hackers accessing their sensitive information. Microsoft has included the “Internet Explorer mode” within their Edge browser to mitigate issues during this transition, but it’s not a long-term solution.
What Should You Do before IE End of Support?
If you believe that a good portion of your customers still rely on Internet Explorer to access your website, now is the time to reach out to your ecommerce team to address the upcoming transition.
A great place to start is reviewing your company’s web analytics to identify how much web traffic is coming from IE users.
It’s also important to identify if there are any high-traffic areas of your website that rely on IE to display web information correctly, such as special configurators, price calculators, store locators, etc.
Ultimately, it’s critical to plan new development accordingly along with clear communication to customers still using IE in order to make the transition as seamless as possible.
Lastly, it might be time to give grandma a call and let her know she needs to click a new button to see her Twitters, but that’s a more case-by-case basis. If you have any further questions on how Microsoft’s end-of-life plan for Internet Explorer will affect your ecommerce setup, reach out to the experts at Swarming Technology today.