Microsoft Releases New Cloud Tool for Orgs Stuck on Internet Explorer
Microsoft on Tuesday announced a new tool for IT pros that lets organizations keep using Internet Explorer (IE) technologies for their Web sites and Web apps via the Microsoft Edge browser.
This new tool, called "Cloud Site List Management," is now available, having reached "general availability" commercial-release status. Cloud Site List Management works with IE Mode in the Microsoft Edge browser. IE Mode is a solution that emulates various IE technologies within the Edge browser.
The announcement also described how long it'll be possible to use IE Mode in the Edge browser to emulate the older technologies. IE Mode in Edge will be "supported through at least 2029," Microsoft indicated.
Microsoft offers a series of Web presentations for organizations coming to grips with implementing IE Mode. An event list can be found here.
Cloud Site List Management Perks
Microsoft Edge using IE Mode soon will be the only way for organizations to access sites and apps that are dependent on IE technologies. IT pros can create a cloud-stored list of those sites and apps in XML format using the new Cloud Site List Management solution.
This approach seems to be an alternative to Microsoft's current Enterprise Mode Site List approach, which apparently required premises-based storage of the lists.
"The new Cloud Site List Management experience lets customers host their enterprise site lists in an authenticated cloud endpoint through the Microsoft 365 admin center instead of relying on on-premises infrastructure," the announcement explained.
Moreover, users of Cloud Site List Management can "publish multiple site lists which they can assign to different groups of devices," the announcement added.
IE 11 Ending on June 15, 2022
The IE browser is a dying product. It's currently only available as IE 11, which shipped with the Windows 10 operating system, but not with Windows 11, which just has the Edge browser.
In theory, IE 11 follows Windows 10's lifecycle. What that means is that the browser should still get patched by Microsoft until the end of Windows 10, which is listed as occurring on Oct. 13, 2025, per Microsoft's product lifecycle search page. If you search that page for end of IE 11, though, no end date is listed.
The actual end-of-life date for IE 11 on Windows 10 ("semiannual channel") is listed as "June 15, 2022," per this FAQ document. That date is at least three years shorter than Windows 10's end-of-life phase, so Microsoft seems to have accelerated IE 11's end. Microsoft's FAQ document is a little dated because Windows 10 was recently switched to a once-per-year release cycle, and the semiannual channel that was referenced no longer exists.
Microsoft apparently stipulated the June 15, 2022 end date for IE 11 in this May announcement, and it's confirmed in another Tuesday Microsoft announcement.
"Support for Internet Explorer will end in most versions of Windows 10 as of June 15th, 2022," the Tuesday announcement stated.
Microsoft's May announcement had noted that the June 15, 2022 end date for IE 11 just applies to the Windows 10 desktop version. Here's its note to that effect:
Note: This retirement does not affect in-market Windows 10 LTSC or Server Internet Explorer 11 desktop applications. It also does not affect the MSHTML (Trident) engine. For a full list of what is in scope for this announcement, and for other technical questions, please see our FAQ.
Microsoft indicated more than a year ago that IE 11 would stop working optimally with Microsoft 365 services on Aug. 17, 2021. Microsoft Teams support in IE 11 was said to have ended on Nov. 30, 2020.
Kurt Mackie is senior news producer for 1105 Media's Converge360 group.