If you are still running a PC with Windows XP then you will have probably heard by now that Microsoft made the decision in 2014 to drop all support for the old IE versions. A more recent announcement says that from January 13th 2016, only the most up to date versions of Internet Explorer will be supported.
So what does this mean?
It means if you are on an old machine running Internet Explorer, then you should really consider either upgrading to a newer machine, or using another version such as Chrome or Firefox.
Why? Two reasons…
Older versions of Internet Explorer are a security risk (according to everyone!). We all get sent those annoying emails that tell us of unclaimed tax refunds, invoices that need paying, misuse of personal bank accounts. No matter what the subject, the emails will have one thing in common - they will contain a link for you to click on. Hopefully, you won’t! Clicking on these links can cause all sorts of chaos - especially if you are running old software that is not updated with the latest security threats. Clicking on these links can allow dodgy third parties to access, remotely, your system and all of the personal data contained therein.
There are specialists working tirelessly, in the background, ensuring that browsers are protected from such threats. When you upgrade to the latest version, you will be doing your bit to safeguard the internet (and your PC!).
For more detailed info, check out Google's announcement here on the BBC news website http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/technology-35291938
2. User experience.
You will have noticed those annoying ‘pop-up’ windows telling you that your browser is out of date - there is a reason for this! If you are running a Windows XP machine your choices are more limited, but for more recent PC equipment Windows 7 and above, there will be upgrade options available to you.
Technology has made enthusiastic advances in the last few years. Now, it is normal for many users to explore the internet from mobile devices - phone & tablets. As a result, websites are being built differently, with the majority of them having mobile responsiveness built in. New software platforms are not designed to work with the old out-of-date browsers, and for the more modern businesses, this may mean that they have to have more than one website built, to provide a decent user experience for anyone with older kit. As we move on, this is going to happen less and less, and if you are running older versions, your experience will be less ‘dynamic’ with slideshows that won’t slide, menus that won’t open, and layouts that just don’t look right!
If you are not sure what browser you are running, you can check out www.updatemybrowser.org
As always, all of my posts are based on my personal opinion and experience, and may not be the opinion and experience of everyone else!
(Note: since writing this post, Microsoft have announced the end of mainstream support for Windows 8, with effect from January 2018. This means the end of Internet Explorer as we move forward.)