Microsoft outlines its IE, legacy Edge phase-out timetable

Microsoft will begin the gradual phase-out of IE11 by ending Teams support for it this fall. Microsoft will stop providing security updates for the desktop version of legacy Edge after next March.
Written by Mary Jo Foley, Senior Contributing Editor

It's the middle of August 2020 and at this point, Microsoft is still supporting three browsers: Internet Explorer, legacy Edge and the new Edge. But by this time next year, it will be phasing out its support for two of these three.

In an August 17 blog post, Microsoft outlined its phase-out timetable for Internet Explorer (IE) and legacy Edge.

After November 30, 2020, Microsoft Teams will no longer support IE11. And a year from now, August 17, 2021, is the date when Microsoft 365, all up, no longer will support IE11.

After March 9, 2021, Microsoft will no longer provide any security updates for the legacy Edge desktop app, officials said. They are calling this the "end of life" date for legacy Edge.

As of these dates, "customers will have a degraded experience or will be unable to connect to Microsoft 365apps and services on IE 11," officials said in today's blog post. 

However, IE11 "isn't going away," officials said, as it is "a component of the Windows operating system," and thus will only cease being supported when the version of Windows on which it is installed is no longer supported. Officials noted that "customers' own legacy IE11 apps and investments will continue to work" up until that point. But access to Microsoft 365 apps and services won't work with IE11 after next August.

Update: If you're wondering exactly when the phase-out for IE11 will happen for everyone, there's no way to tell from Microsoft's support site. I asked a spokesperson if I was just too dumb to figure it out. Nope. The official answer: "At this time, we don't have further details to share."

Microsoft started to roll out the new Edge, a k a Chromium-based Edge (or as I like to call it, Chredge), via Windows Update to those running Windows 10 1803 or more recent starting in June 2020. Microsoft officials said starting with Windows 10 20H2, due some time this fall, Chromium-based Edge will come bundled with Windows 10. Chredge includes support for IE11 via Internet Explorer mode.

Chromium-based Edge cannot be uninstalled from Windows 10, even though Microsoft no longer considers it to be part of the operating system once a user installs it via Windows Update and/or gets an update for a manually-installed version of it.

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