Up to now, Microsoft’s support for the versions of IE lasted as long as its support system for the version of Windows that the browser initially shipped with. In some cases, this meant it had to keep producing bug fixes and security updates for versions of IE that were more than 10 years old.
The change means that it will only be supporting versions 9 and above of Internet Explorer. Users of different editions of Windows will be expected to be using the latest copy for that release. For instance, people and businesses running Windows 8.1 will only get bug fixes and security updates if they are on IE11.
Microsoft has also made other moves to improve security on its browser. From 12 August, Explorer will start to block some out-of-date add-ons, known as ActiveX controls, for the program.