Do you remember Internet Explorer 6? Mention this relic browser to developers and watch their eyes roll. IE6 was released in August 2001, and eight years later Microsoft was still committed to supporting it in spite of its increasing loss of interoperability. Microsoft felt it was acting in the interest of its users by supporting the browser for the lifespan of the computer it was purchased with.
In an interesting turn recently, Microsoft acted in the interest of its users by announcing it will stop supporting old (and not-so-old) versions of Internet Explorer. “After January 12, 2016, only the most recent version of Internet Explorer available for a supported operating system will receive technical support and security updates,” writes Roger Capriotti, Director, Internet Explorer, in the IEBlog. “Microsoft is prioritizing helping users stay up-to-date with the latest version of Internet Explorer.”
This is a good moment for learning. While enterprise users who have standardized based on earlier versions of the browser are less than thrilled, learning departments are rejoicing.
Modern web standards (we’ve all heard of HTML5) connect people in new and different ways, and improvements in these standards have turned the browser into a mainstream delivery system for e-learning. HTML5 facilitates responsive web design, the creation of e-learning content that responds to the screen size of the device being used, offering single-application solutions that deliver e-learning to multiple devices. Media and other interactive elements can be written into the code because of HTML5. And these elements are an expected part of today’s mobile web experience.
These rich web experiences can’t occur on older browsers, and increasingly, as browser-based services like Office 365 and SharePoint continue to evolve to these new standards and as e-learning spreads out of the LMS and into these other environments, interoperability between web applications is important. This is smart move on Microsoft’s part.
Microsoft offers a number of browser migration resources and services. At Weejee, we’re committed to creating the best experiences for your learners and are working with Microsoft to make this transition to the modern browser an easier one for all of us.