The company recently announced that the Internet Explorer 11 desktop application will be retired on June 15, 2022 for certain versions of Windows 10. Websites and legacy Internet Explorer-based applications will continue to work with the Internet Explorer mode built into Microsoft Edge.

Microsoft Edge with IE Mode is officially replacing the Internet Explorer 11 desktop app in Windows 10. As a result, the Internet Explorer 11 desktop app will no longer be supported. However, Microsoft specified:

This withdrawal does not affect Windows 10 LTSC or Server Internet Explorer 11 desktop applications in the market. It also does not affect the MSHTML engine (Trident).

At the time of the announcement, the Internet Explorer 11 desktop application is not affected on some versions of Windows: Windows 8.1, Windows 7 Extended Security Updates, Windows 10 Server SAC, Windows 10 IoT Long-Term Servicing Channel (LTSC), Windows 10 Server LTSC, Windows 10 client LTSC. Windows 10 LSTC will be able to be used in devices with a long service life such as MRI machines and air traffic control systems. In August 2021, Microsoft 365 will stop supporting IE11.

Microsoft Edge’s IE mode provides built-in support for legacy websites and applications that still require Internet Explorer. For example, Edge uniquely supports ActiveX controls, a technology introduced in 1996. Support for legacy applications is especially important for enterprises, which Microsoft says have an average of 1,678 legacy applications.

Beyond compatibility with legacy IE apps, Microsoft cites two advantages of switching to the dual-engine Microsoft Edge. First, IE users will be able to enjoy the modern features that are regularly included in Edge browsers. This includes productivity features such as Edge Collections – which allows for organizing ideas, or browser tab management (vertical tabs, putting tabs to sleep to increase speed by saving system resources). Secondly, IE users will benefit from Microsoft Edge’s agility in responding to reported security issues. The announcement post explained:

Internet Explorer 11 packaged security updates monthly, Microsoft Edge can issue security patches for immediate vulnerabilities in a matter of days, if not hours.

Edge’s own IE mode will be supported until at least the end of 2029, providing additional time for IT departments to transition from legacy applications.

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