Why yes, this picture might look like Regpack staff celebrating their go-karting legend status after a fun Regpack company outing in San Francisco last month, but actually it’s Regpack staff celebrating Microsoft’s recent announcement that on January 12, 2016, Microsoft will not support older versions of Internet Explorer and will be slowly pushing everyone to upgrade or stop using older IE versions. See their press release about this here. This means that any version below IE 11 will not receive technical support or security updates.
Why are we so thrilled about this you ask?
The reason is that Internet Explorer version through IE11 (the current version as of December 2015) does not need to abide by web standards. This means that everytime you try to do something a little complex it will work correctly on every browser except Internet Explorer. Huh? That makes no sense. Why does it do this? Because IE is not abiding by web standards, so complex applications written for current standards won’t function on something that isn’t updated.
Regpack is a very complex application (in order to make it super easy for applicants and admins) which in the past meant that our developers needed to write special code just for Internet Explorer, which as you can imagine is very time consuming. At some point we decided that the effort to write this special code just wasn’t worth it for the admin section of Regpack (where admins manage their users). We could not do this for the front-end section (where users register and make payments). The result was that we spent hours and hours making sure IE worked on the front-end correctly. Which again, is a huge time suck.
We spent a total of 13,665 hours writing the special code for IE 7 – IE 10 to work on the front end. You read that correctly. That translates to 1.56 years that we have spent on this! Multiply this by the number of software companies in the world and you can see that IE has wasted a few life spans of very talented people. So yes… we are very very happy Microsoft announced this decision!
Why should I update my browsers regularly?
In general, keeping up to date with the newest version of your browser is essential to good business practice. Having the latest browser means:
- You have the latest security benefits for that version.
- Avoid any issues with compatibility that plagued a previous version.
- Ensures your applications will run optimally.
- Gives you access to the latest applications.
- Many websites will only function in the newest versions of that browser.
No matter what browser you use (Firefox, Chrome, IE), updating to the latest version is always a good choice, not only for optimal functionality of all websites and applications, but especially for malware and other security concerns as older versions always have an increase in vulnerability as compared to their newer counterparts.
According to the release from Microsoft about their decision:
“Internet Explorer 11 is the last version of Internet Explorer, and will continue to receive security updates, compatibility fixes, and technical support on Windows 7, Windows 8.1, and Windows 10. Internet Explorer 11 offers improved security, increased performance, better backward compatibility, and support for the web standards that power today’s websites and services. Microsoft encourages customers to upgrade and stay up-to-date on the latest browser for a faster, more secure browsing experience.”
What does this mean for Regpack clients?
In the past, every time we introduced an amazing new feature into our system we needed to spend hours testing it on IE and spend time resolving any issues that campe up (Firefox, Chrome and Safari always play nice). With some features, making it work with IE was almost impossible and we just decided to disable that feature for IE users. This created a sub optimal experience for these users, which was frustrating for all involved. Now that Microsoft will be pushing users to upgrade we can focus on giving the best experience to all your users and then some!
This news from Microsoft is especially important because not only does it mean that Regpack and other sites won’t function the way they are intended to on older versions of IE, you are actually at a security risk and will experience even more problems and application failures if you do not upgrade to IE 11 or higher as even Microsoft now will not work with their previous versions of Internet Explorer. Says a lot about older versions of IE and how difficult it can be if even it’s creator doesn’t want to deal with it anymore!
How can I upgrade my browser to the latest version?
Click here to download the latest version of Internet Explorer, currently IE 11. You can download IE 11 for Windows 7, 8.1 and 10. Microsoft also has a great page with video tutorials on how to use IE 11.
I still have questions!
If you have any more questions about this change and how to make sure you are using the latest version of Internet Explorer so you can properly work with Regpack, reach out to your Account Manager directly, or email firstname.lastname@example.org.