Stop Using Internet Explorer 11

Wednesday, October 16, 2019 5:37 AM
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You know what this past weekend marked? Sunday, October 13 marked the 6 year anniversary of the release of Internet Explorer 11 (IE11).

SIX YEARS… let that sink in.

Blurred LInes by Robert Thicke & Wrecking Ball by Miley Cyrus were released that year. Frozen, Gravity & Iron Man 3 were released in the theater. The iPhone 5s, HTC One & Samsung Galaxy S4 were the popular phones.

We’d all consider those things to be old… yet there are still organizations that are still using IE11 as their primary browser.

It’s long past time we as an industry stop using IE11 and get more aggressive in dropping support for it.

Microsoft no longer calls it a “web browser”… they call it a “compatibility solution”. In March 2019, Chris Jackson of Microsoft, wrote in his post The perils of using Internet Explorer as your default browser that IE11 is not a safe & secure browser. Microsoft is not supporting modern web standards in IE11 and more and more developers aren’t testing for it.

IE11 today commands less than 8% market share behind Chrome & FireFox, comically that’s still more than Edge.

Many organizations are dropping support for it too. For instance, Salesforce strongly discourages customers from using IE11 with their app unless you use the old “Classic” UI due to security & performance issues.

Web developers buy into it… we can’t stand IE11 because it doesn’t support modern web standards, but many organizations still have it set as their default browser.

As a developer, did you know if you support IE11, you have to compile all your JavaScript to ES5 instead of ES6? This increases the bundle sizes by 30% in many cases which can turn into a significant performance decrease.

Just STOP using IE11 as your primary browser.

The ONLY reason you should use IE11 is if there is a specific app that won’t work in any other browser… just as Microsoft says, use it as a compatibility solution.

What should we do?

I like some of the suggestions by Neal Burger in his post The End of Life of Internet Explorer 11. Things like developers can add a surcharge for making sure sites and apps support IE11. It’s extra work to support IE11, but it’s also forcing you to create bad solutions!

This isn’t some ivory tower statement I’m making. “You don’t understand the corporate world… you don’t get how hard it is to change.” First, yes I do. Second, so we aren’t supposed to do something because it’s hard? We shouldn’t push back on corporate standards because they are wrong? I’m not talking about doing something bad, this is a good thing… it’s a good move for the organization. You’re an advocate for progress by kicking support for IE11 to the curb. You’re helping the business move forward!

IE11 isn’t secure either… you can’t secure a customer’s data when they are using a tool that doesn’t meet current security standards, which IE11 does not.

Maybe the upcoming Chromium based version of Edge will solve this problem and allow customers to fully switch with an IE11 mode they can use for incompatible sites. But until then, when someone says “the site doesn’t work in IE11”, the answer shouldn’t be to figure out what’s wrong, it should be “use a modern & secure browser.”

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