After 13 years Microsoft finally stopped supporting Windows XP on 8th April 2014, meaning that the OS has reached the end of its lifecycle and will no longer get any updates or fixes. The knock-on effect of this is that Internet Explorer 8 will also no longer be supported.
The web browser is the last version of IE that is compatible with XP. PC users with Windows Vista, Windows 7 and Windows 8 will be using later versions of IE, if not another flavour of browser entirely, which update automatically to the latest versions.
In software terms Internet Explorer 8 is virtually geriatric, hamstrung by outdated quirks and antiquated coding. We would always have to downgrade our website designs and functionality to accommodate its particular variety of compatibility issues. This resulted in extra development time and often limited the creative scope of our projects to ensure it was compatible with the ageing browser. For instance IE8 doesn’t support CSS3, the current and most popular protocol for web design.
In our future projects we will stop providing IE8 compatibility as standard. This will allow us to dedicate more time developing for newer platforms, adding greater functionality and more creative options. In short we can build bigger, better and more effective websites.
You can enjoy a less complicated development process with greater focus on the latest technology and a better product at the end of it. But don’t worry, if you think that a large proportion of your audience are still using IE8 we can still provide it as a development option. However, only 10% of PC users in the World and 8% in Europe currently use the browser and that number is getting smaller by the day. In fact many of the PCs still running XP are work computers in the public sector, for instance the British Government has signed a deal with Microsoft to extend their support for an additional 12 months.