Credit: flickr/Javier Aroche
With just over four months left before Microsoft stops serving security updates to most versions of Internet Explorer (IE) other than IE11, nearly half of all IE users are still running a soon-to-be-retired edition, new data released Saturday showed.
In August 2014, Microsoft abruptly told virtually all IE users that they needed to be running IE11 by Jan. 12, 2016, or face a shut-off of security updates. After that date, Microsoft will support IE9 only on Windows Vista and Windows Server 2008; IE10 only on Windows Server 2012; and only IE11 on Windows 7, Windows 8, Windows 8.1, Windows 10, Windows Server 2008 R2 and Windows Server 2012 R2.
Although Windows 10 includes the new Edge browser, it also bundles IE11 for businesses, which need the older browser to run their line-of-business Web apps and intranet sites.
As of the end of July, 49 percent of all IE users were still running versions other than IE11, according to statistics published by analytics vendor Net Applications over the weekend. Only a fraction of IE users -- two-tenths of one percentage point -- ditched a retires-in-January version last month, a significantly smaller portion than each month during the previous half-year.
Through July, 50.3 percent of all instances of IE were IE11, Net Applications said. Substantial fractions of the IE user base, however, continued to run editions slated for shutoff, notably IE8, which accounted for 24.6 percent of all copies of the browser. But IE9 (13.6 percent) and IE10 (9.6 percent) also remained in wide use.
While consumers with Windows 7 PCs may have largely migrated to IE11 -- Microsoft began automatically upgrading their browsers to IE11 in 2013 -- enterprises will be hard pressed to drop the other versions before the deadline. Analysts have pointed out that before large organizations can even think about migrating to Windows 10, they first must get off pre-IE11 editions.
Other data posted by Net Applications for July again showed that Google's Chrome has benefited most from Microsoft's pull-the-IE-plug mandate.
Chrome gained another four-tenths of a percentage point of user share, which Net Applications estimates by measuring unique visitors to its clients' websites, then tallying which browser they used to do so. About 80 percent of the decline in Internet Explorer's overall user share last month went to Chrome. (Much of the rest went to Apple's Safari, which runs only on OS X.)
For July, Chrome's user share stood at 27.7 percent, second only to IE's 53.5 percent and more than double Mozilla Firefox's 12 percent.
Since Microsoft laid down the law in a year ago, Chrome's user share has increased by 8 percentage points, representing a 41 percent uptick. Nearly two-thirds of Chrome's gains came at the expense of IE, whose user share has dropped 5 percentage points, a 9 percent decline.
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