There’s a new Microsoft browser in town, so it goes without saying that the Redmond-based tech giant is trying to push everyone to it, no matter if they’re running old Windows or new Windows.
The new Microsoft Edge browser is offered as the default browser on Windows 10, replacing the legacy version of Microsoft Edge once it’s installed.
But now that Microsoft is pushing so hard for Microsoft Edge, what’s going to happen with the good old Internet Explorer? It all depends on the Windows version that you’re running.
Internet Explorer 11 is the most recent version of the browser on Windows 7. However, Windows 7 no longer receives security updates as of January 14, which means that Internet Explorer itself is an abandoned application as well.
This means that if you continue running Internet Explorer on your device (and use it as your daily driver), any vulnerabilities found in the browser remain unpatched, as no security fixes are planned going forward.
Given Microsoft Edge is also available on Windows 7, Microsoft recommends users to install this version – once they do this, the Chromium Microsoft Edge becomes the new default browser on the operating system, replacing Internet Explorer.
This doesn’t mean IE11 would go away completely. The browser will continue to be there on the OS, which is good news for those running IE-optimized apps, but upgrading to a supported browser is the only way to go moving forward.
“If you’re running Windows 7, the latest version of Internet Explorer that you can install is Internet Explorer 11. However, Internet Explorer 11 is no longer supported on Windows 7. Instead, we recommend you install the new Microsoft Edge. The new Microsoft Edge was built to bring you the best of the web, with more control and more privacy as you browse,” Microsoft explains.
On the other hand, Windows 8.1 still receives security updates, and so does Internet Explorer. You can continue using IE as your default browser, but again, you’re recommended to install the new Microsoft Edge anyway.
Windows 8.1 support is projected to come to an end in 2023, so Internet Explorer will get security updates for at least two more years.
If you do decide to install Microsoft Edge, however, the browser will be updated with both new features and security improvements every six weeks, as per Microsoft’s updating policy for the stable channel.
On Windows 10, users are provided with three different browsers: Internet Explorer 11, Microsoft Edge legacy, and Microsoft Edge Chromium.
All three will continue to be around for a while, but users are recommended to make the switch to the Chromium version of Microsoft Edge.
Just like on Windows 7, once Windows 10 users install the new Chromium version, it becomes the default browser on the operating system, replacing the legacy version of Microsoft Edge.
Internet Explorer is still there for compatibility purposes, and so is Microsoft Edge legacy, but Microsoft recommends against using them.
The new Edge is offered to Windows 10 devices either as an automatic update via Windows Update or manual download with the standalone links. Regardless of the method you choose, Microsoft Edge will then be updates through Windows Update every time a new version is released.
Windows 7, Windows 8.1, and Windows 10 users can also install beta builds of Microsoft Edge and run it side by side with the stable version.
On Windows 10, Internet Explorer 11 will continue to receive security updates as long as the OS version is supported. Microsoft hasn’t yet shared plans to remove IE from the OS, although the debut of the new Edge could pave the way for the full demise of the old browser at some point in the future.