End-of-life warnings for software are commonplace, but in the past couple years it seems a new one is around every corner. The world wept when Windows XP expired and some defiantly kept running the decade old operating system. Some still run it. Windows Server 2003 is the next big product to get a graveside eulogy. It expires on July 14, 2015, and many organizations are scrambling to migrate to a newer server OS.
There will be many more, for sure, but there's one in particular that you should take note of right now. And, the reason is that this one might cause some additional problems.
Microsoft has now stated that on January 12, 2016, all versions of Internet Explorer will lose support, except the "most current version of Internet Explorer available for a supported operating system." Piecing out the information, this actually means that when January 2016 hits, the lowest Internet Explorer version that will be supported is Internet Explorer 11. We'll see at least one more version of Internet Explorer before 2016 (maybe more) in Windows 10, but IE11 will be the lowest required version to continue receiving technical support and security updates.
IE10 released with Windows 8 and produced all sorts of problems. With the number of reported web site and web app incompatibilities, IE10 seemed very much like a beta product. IE11 came along with Windows 8.1 and fixed many, many things. However, due to the IE10 issues, many companies have been reluctant to try again with IE11.
I can attest, though my own experiences and those reported by the community, that IE11 does, indeed, represent a solid product. It's fast and compatible – all the things that IE10 should have been. Microsoft has also released a number of IE11 add-ons for Enterprises, allowing IT staff to completely manage compatibility and security from a central location.