In a blog post announcement, Google is reminding customers of its policy of Internet browser support. Per the post, any time a new version of an Internet browser is released, Google begins supporting the new version, but stops supporting the 3rd oldest version in the stack.
I had no idea about this policy, did you?
This announcement is important, considering that IE9 will still be supported by Microsoft yet many Google Apps customers will need to upgrade to IE10 or IE11 to continue receiving support for potential application issues. This means that customers who want to continue using Google Apps will either need to upgrade to Windows 8 or Windows 8.1 or roll out IE10 and IE11 for Windows 7. The statement is contrary to Google's other recent announcement that they will continue supporting Windows XP beyond Microsoft's April 8, 2014 cut-off date. Obviously, Windows XP cannot run any modern version of Internet Explorer, so really, Google is attempting to make it easier for Google customers to choose a Google browser and, maybe, a Google operating system.
Google isn't stopping at just announcing the end of IE9 support, either. Within the next few weeks…
End users who access Gmail and other Google Apps services from an unsupported browser will be notified…through an in-product notification message or an interstitial pages with information about modern browsers and how to upgrade to them.
You can bet their message about upgrading to a "modern browser" will be heavy on Chrome messaging. I'm also betting their announcement opens up a whole new area of coverage for Microsoft's Scroogled campaign.
This also creates another problem for Microsoft. Microsoft has set off on a new path to update products more frequently. Both IE10 and IE11 released almost a year apart from each other. Any new version updates to Internet Explorer means that IE10 will be unsupported by Google in soon. This could put a kink in Microsoft's accelerated release cycle plans. The intent is to give customers more in a shorter time frame and at the same time compete with the likes of Google who updates their own Chrome browser sometimes weekly or monthly. Customers are already concerned about the ability to keep up with Microsoft's fast-tracked releases. Customers will only have a couple options: stop using Google apps, or accelerate their own internal product update policies and projects.
The full announcement: End of support for Internet Explorer 9