Microsoft: This is when IE11 and legacy Edge support ends

Microsoft is pushing its new Edge browser to Windows 10 users, spelling the end of IE11 and legacy Edge support in core apps and services like Teams and Microsoft 365.

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Microsoft's new Chromium-based Edge browser is coming whether you like it or not, and now the company has outlined when support for both legacy Edge and IE11 will be phased out to make way for the new kid on the block.

The introduction of new Edge signals the end of Internet Explorer 11 (IE11) support for Microsoft's core web and Office products, starting with Microsoft Teams, which will no longer support IE11 after November 30. Remaining Microsoft 365 apps and services, such as Word, Outlook, OneDrive and SharePoint, will no longer support IE11 after August 17, 2021.

After this point, customers still using IE11 for whatever reason will "have a degraded experience or will be unable to connect to Microsoft 365 apps and services on IE11". 

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Additionally, new Microsoft 365 features will not be available or may otherwise cease to work when accessing the app or service via IE11, Microsoft said.

While Microsoft is effectively calling time on its original web browser, the company stressed that IE11 "isn't going away" just yet, pointing out that it still forms a part of the Windows operating system and thus Microsoft will continue to support IE11 for backward compatibility.

For those enterprise customers who have legacy IE11 apps, the new Microsoft Edge features an Internet Explorer mode that allows users to host those apps in Edge, negating the need to juggle two separate browsers. Microsoft has also committed to supporting customers' transition from IE11 to the new Microsoft Edge.

"Customers have been using IE11 since 2013 when the online environment was much less sophisticated than the landscape today," Microsoft said. 

"Since then, open web standards and newer browsers – like the new Microsoft Edge – have enabled better, more innovative online experiences. We believe that Microsoft 365 subscribers, in both consumer and commercial contexts, will be well served with this change through faster and more responsive web access to greater sets of features in everyday toolsets like Outlook, Teams, SharePoint, and more."

The  new version of Microsoft Edge was unveiled by Microsoft at the start of the year and began rolling out to users in early June via Windows Update. 

Sporting a similar feel to Google's Chrome browser – they're both based on Chromium – new Edge will start being shipped automatically with Windows 10 when version 20H2 hits sometime in the autumn. And no, you can't uninstall it.

Naturally, this means legacy Edge is being removed from service: from March 9, 2021, Microsoft will stop pushing out security updates to the legacy Edge desktop app, effectively ending support for the browser.

By this point, most Windows 10 users will already be using the new, open-source Edge browser anyway, which has been  rebuilt "from the inside out" with improved privacy, security and performance for Windows 10 devices, with Microsoft enterprise customers particularly in mind.

"At a time when IT professionals are being asked to do more with less on an unprecedented level, we want to make it simple for our customers to balance productivity, security, privacy, and cost," Microsoft said.

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