February 5, 2021: A new announcement has been made regarding support ending for Microsoft Edge Legacy. Please refer to this new blog for more information.
This article was originally published on August 17, 2020.
Today, we’re announcing that Microsoft 365 apps and services will no longer support Internet Explorer 11 (IE 11) by this time next year.
This means that after the above dates, customers will have a degraded experience or will be unable to connect to Microsoft 365 apps and services on IE 11. For degraded experiences, new Microsoft 365 features will not be available or certain features may cease to work when accessing the app or service via IE 11. While we know this change will be difficult for some customers, we believe that customers will get the most out of Microsoft 365 when using the new Microsoft Edge. We are committed to helping make this transition as smooth as possible.
Customers have been using IE 11 since 2013 when the online environment was much less sophisticated than the landscape today. 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.
Respecting investments in IE 11 web apps
We understand the need to “do more with less” in the new business environment. By the dates listed above, customers should no longer access Microsoft 365 apps and services using IE 11, but we want to be clear that IE 11 isn’t going away1 and that our customers’ own legacy IE 11 apps and investments will continue to work. Customers have made business-critical investments in IE 11 legacy apps and we respect that those apps are still functioning.
In this moment of bridging between modern and legacy apps, many customers may feel there is no choice but to rely on a two-browser workaround of using IE 11 alongside a modern browser. However, with the new Microsoft Edge and Internet Explorer mode, customers don’t need an awkward workaround of one browser for some apps and another for other apps. They can standardize on one browser and seamlessly experience the best of the modern web in one tab while accessing a business-critical legacy IE 11 app in another tab – all housed within the new Microsoft Edge.
With native integration in Microsoft management, security, and productivity tools, we recommend the new Microsoft Edge to address our customers’ compatibility and secure remote work needs. Microsoft Edge has SmartScreen built-in and has the highest-rated phishing and malware protection as measured by two independent studies. We will also support our customers’ transition to the new Microsoft Edge with app and site compatibility assistance. As part of the App Assure promise, we have Microsoft engineers ready to help customers in case they run into compatibility issues. For more information, see the ‘Help is available’ section below.
Note: Using Internet Explorer mode in the new Microsoft Edge will not help to extend IE 11 access to Microsoft 365 apps and services beyond the dates listed above. Microsoft 365 apps and services will stop supporting IE 11 on the dates listed.
Microsoft Edge Legacy makes way for the new Microsoft Edge
Nearly two years ago, we started working on the new Microsoft Edge, listening to our customers’ needs for world-class compatibility (including legacy app support), security, privacy, easy and unified manageability, and productivity. The result is a whole new Microsoft Edge from the inside out: a browser built on the Chromium open source engine with the latest in Microsoft enterprise capabilities. Since its release in January, millions of users have upgraded their home and work browsers to the new Microsoft Edge. Additionally, new devices and future Windows feature updates (starting with Windows 10, version 20H2) will contain the new Microsoft Edge.
Now that we’ve shipped the new Microsoft Edge, and upgraded most of our Windows 10 customers to the new browser, we’re ending support for the Microsoft Edge Legacy desktop app on March 9, 2021.
The new Microsoft Edge is our best expression of a modern browser—we’re excited for customers to experience it. Apps and sites created for Microsoft Edge Legacy will continue to work in the new Microsoft Edge, but if a compatibility issue does arise, we have our App Assure promise to provide support. For more information, see the section below.
Help is available
For customers using IE 11 to access Microsoft 365 apps and services, or using Microsoft Edge Legacy as their preferred browser, we recommend the new Microsoft Edge and offer a range of support options to help transition.
To begin, we recommend that customers first read this detailed article about how to plan for deployment. The article guides customers through key questions and offers a path forward for major steps in the transition to the new Microsoft Edge.
Next, customers should determine what type of support they are looking for, if any.
Customers with Microsoft Unified Support can reach out to that support service for help transitioning to the new Microsoft Edge.
For customers who would like guidance on how to plan, deploy, or adopt the new Microsoft Edge, there’s FastTrack. FastTrack is available at no additional charge to customers with 150 or more paid seats of Windows 10 Enterprise. To get started, submit a Request for Assistance through the FastTrack site.
Finally, it is natural for customers to be concerned about compatibility when it comes to business-critical apps and sites. This is why we offer compatibility “peace of mind” with App Assure. The App Assure promise is this: if customers’ web apps and sites work on IE 11, supported versions of Google Chrome, or any version of Microsoft Edge (including Microsoft Edge Legacy), those web apps and sites should work on the new Microsoft Edge. If not, they can contact App Assure for remediation support here or by email (ACHELP@microsoft.com). Assistance is provided in Traditional Chinese and Simplified Chinese (support specialists speak Mandarin only), English, French, German, Italian, Japanese, Korean, Portuguese (Brazil), and Spanish.
Higher performance, simpler security on a single browser standard
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.
We’re grateful for the trust you have placed in Microsoft through the years. We’re here to help and can’t wait for you to experience Microsoft 365 on the new Microsoft Edge.
1 Internet Explorer 11 is a component of the Windows operating system and follows the Lifecycle Policy for the product on which it is installed.
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