A surprisingly high number of Windows 10 users are still clinging to Internet Explorer despite the old browser (opens in new tab) no longer supported by Microsoft, new data suggests.
Lansweeper figures shared exclusively with Pro claim that nearly half (47%) of Windows 10 devices will need to be updated because they still use Internet Explorer as their browser – the equivalent of millions of PCs in offices and other workplaces around the world.
Microsoft will officially end support for Internet Explorer 11 (opens in new tab) imminently (June 15, 2022), meaning users will now need to upgrade to Edge, the company’s truly supported browser, or risk a potential cyber attack.
Internet Explorer End of Life
The numbers don’t just cover a small number of niche users, as Lansweeper audited over nine million devices from 33,000 organizations to compile their results.
Microsoft has repeatedly warned companies that Internet Explorer would be officially retired (opens in new tab) this year, but not all companies have been proactive enough to come up with a plan to transition to another browser just yet.
Microsoft first announced plans to withdraw support for Internet Explorer 11 on Windows 10 and Microsoft 365 in August 2020, and has since gradually withdrawn services for the software.
The company recently recommended that companies still using Internet Explorer set their own retirement date. (opens in new tab) instead of.
They must also ensure that Internet Explorer mode, which is intended to support legacy websites and apps in Microsoft Edge until they can be ported to the new software, is configured in Edge to allow employees to access Explorer-dependent websites going forward.
However, it’s not just unsupported browser builds that are causing problems, as Lansweeper also found that a large amount (79%) of PCs surveyed weren’t even running the latest version of Windows 10, let alone Windows. 11.
The company found that Windows 10 version 2004 was the most popular version running on corporate devices, despite there having been three subsequent updates since its release in May 2020.
Users should always make sure their devices are updated to the latest version of Windows as the company regularly includes security patches and fixes for the latest vulnerabilities.
“From our perspective, it’s not a complete surprise that only a fifth of Windows 10 devices are on the latest version, or that Internet Explorer EOL affects so many,” said Roel Decneut, director of strategy at Lansweeper.
“There can be many reasons for organizations to delay upgrading, including being more conservative, having more pressing issues to deal with, or simply not having version visibility of the operating systems they are running. Organizations will need an overview of every device they own when support for Internet Explorer 11 finally ends. Without that data, they will remain vulnerable.”