Here's one more thing to add to your End-of-the-Year to-do list: If you're still using Internet Explorer 8 (IE8) or IE9 upgrade to the latest version (IE11), particularly if you're using Office 365.
Microsoft warned customers about way back in August 2014 that it would stop support for both browsers in early 2016.
RIP IE8 and IE9
In the original notice about these forthcoming changes to IE, Microsoft indicated that Jan. 12 is the deadline.
"We are implementing changes across Office 365 workloads, which will result in a significantly diminished experience for Office 365 users on Internet Explorer 8 and Internet Explorer 9. The timing of this change is in line with Internet Explorer browser support changes in Windows."
The notice warned users they could lose access to apps and services unless they upgraded to IE 11.
So within just a few short weeks, some functions offered by Office 365 will be significantly diminished. Microsoft will no longer offer technical support nor will it issue security patches for IE 8 or IE9.
Businesses that insist on using IE8 or IE 9 are putting their security on the line. Microsoft’s browsers are among the most patched products in the Microsoft portfolio and most of those patches are for security, so the lack of future patches is worrisome. Specifically, here is how Microsoft is evolving its browser support:
It's interesting to note that this is a significant move away from Microsoft's traditional browser support policy, which linked support for a browser to the release of a specific operating system.
It reflects growing concern about security and the risk posed by unstable browsers.
“Outdated browsers represent a major challenge in keeping the web ecosystem safer and more secure, as modern web browsers have better security protection. Internet Explorer 11 includes features like Enhanced Protected Mode to help keep customers safer," Microsoft stated.
Is Microsoft just forcing people to upgrade their browsers? Perhaps. But you can also say that it's forcing users to do the right thing.