Microsoft ends support for Windows 8, some IE versions

Microsoft announced changes for support for some of their software:

  • Today is the last day updates will be released for Windows 8. After today you need to upgrade for free to Windows 8.1 via the Microsoft Store or to Windows 10 for free [because of you are using Windows 8 and not Windows 8.1, you will need to download a copy (using the Media Creation Tool) or get a copy of the DVD].
  • Today is the last day Microsoft supports .net Framework 4.0, 4.5 or 4.5.1. You must be at 4.5.2 or later. The easiest way to tell is to go to the Programs & Features applet in the Control Panel and see what’s listed. [Windows 10 users are already updated.]
  • Today is the last day for support for anything other than the following: Internet Explorer 9 on Vista and internet Explorer 11 on Windows 7. Internet Explorer 11 is already included with Windows 8.1 and Windows 10. Since Windows 8 isn’t supported, neither is Internet Explorer 10.

For whatever reason, if you haven’t upgraded to the latest browser supported, today’s updates from Microsoft will be the last.

Included with the last update is some nagware from Microsoft. Once every 72 hours [or then next time you use Internet Explorer], you will receive a notification that your browser isn’t supported and not at the latest.

If you wish to stop this, you can follow the lengthy here, or use my handy registry fixes below.

If you are using a 32-bit version of Windows:

Windows Registry Editor Version 5.00

[HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Internet Explorer\MAIN\FeatureControl\FEATURE_DISABLE_IE11_SECURITY_EOL_NOTIFICATION]
“iexplore.exe”=dword:00000001

[HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Wow6432Node\Microsoft\Internet Explorer\Main\FeatureControl\FEATURE_DISABLE_IE11_SECURITY_EOL_NOTIFICATION]
“iexplore.exe”=dword:00000001

If you are using a 32-bit version of Windows:

Windows Registry Editor Version 5.00

[HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Internet Explorer\MAIN\FeatureControl\FEATURE_DISABLE_IE11_SECURITY_EOL_NOTIFICATION]
“iexplore.exe”=dword:00000001

Also note that if you decide to try to remove Internet Explorer, Microsoft recommends upgrading to Internet Explorer 11 first and then uninstall Internet Explorer 11 [and version behind that]. The reason, they say, is because Microsoft includes some common operating system updates and while Internet Explorer will be removed, the updates won’t but could help in system stability, etc.

Note: As usual, use at your own risk.

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Support lifecycle for Internet Explorer & DotNet Framework changing

As mentioned before, Microsoft has made changes to the support lifecycle for Internet Explorer [IE] and .net Framework 4 series [DNF].

As of January 16, 2016, you must be at the latest version of internet Explorer to continue to get updates and support. If you are in a company you can set up the Enterprise Mode for IE. If you aren’t in a company, you can enable compatibility mode from the tools menu.

Windows Vista and Server 2008 need to be at IE 9. Windows Server 2012 must be at IE 10. All other versions of Windows require IE 11.

On the same date, Microsoft will no longer support DNF 4.0, 4.5, and 4.51. You must be at DNF 4.52 or later by that date. Latest version is DNF 4.6 which includes all the previous 4.x editions]. DNF 4.61 is in release candidate mode and should be out probably before year’s end.

Other versions such as DNF 3.5 and 3.51 will continue to be supported but primarily updated only with security updates only.

To see the version you have, run [in one line]:

reg query “HKLM\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Net Framework Setup\NDP\v4” /s

Microsoft to release out-of-band update to Internet Explorer tomorrow

No word on which versions and/or operating systems. Should be MS15-093 unless a re-release.

Should be available after 10am PST / 1pm EST.

Features to be added and remove from the Edge browser

This week, Microsoft detailed some of the finalized features that its Edge (formerly named “Spartan”) browser will be receiving. Among them on the list includes:

  • Extension support (including extensions for Skype, Reddit, Pinterest)
  • More Cortana scenarios
  • Object RTC
  • Pointer Lock

Among those Internet Explorer features where the days are numbered including ActiveX plugins and VBScript. The removal will result in the elimination of more than 220,000 lines of code in MSHTML.

There is another minor glitch from April’s Patch Tuesday

Looks like there was a semi serious bug in April’s Patch Tuesday. it hit me and it hit some others.

Cumulative Security Update for Internet Explorer (3038314) seems to cause problems and here is what’s going on. For me at one point everything was fine. late last week, Internet Explorer notified me that my Google search provider information was corrupt. So I removed it.

But I could not add it. Not even after rebooting my system.

Seems others had the same issue. Here is what needs to be done to fix the problem:

  1. Uninstall update KB3038314. This may take some time to do.
  2. Restart the computer.
  3. Start Internet Explorer and add Google search provider from Internet Explorer gallery Microsoft site.
  4. Close Internet Explorer.
  5. Run Regedit as administrator privilegies and navigate to HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Internet Explorer\SearchScopes.
  6. Right click on SearchScopes key and click Export and save it under what name you want.
  7. Close Regedit and install the update KB3038314 again.
  8. Restart the computer.
  9. Right click on the saved registry file from above and click on Merge. Press Yes to agree.
  10. Open Internet Explorer. Go to Tools > Manage add-ons -> Search Providers and set Google as your default search provider.

Alternatively, as we are under a week from the next Patch Tuesday, you can hide the update [if you wish] and wait for the Patch Tuesday update to fix the issue…. Hopefully.

Microsoft to drop support for older versions of Internet Explorer in 2016

If you support Windows in a large enough organization [or maybe not], here’s something to think about….

According to a report, as of January 12, 2016, Microsoft will only release patches to Internet Explorer for the latest supported version. For example, Internet Explorer 9 in Vista, Internet Explorer 11 in Windows 7 and 8.1 [and server equivalents].

So, if you are still using Internet Explorer 10 on Windows 7 by then, you will not get any further security updates for IE after that date, since the latest version is Internet Explorer 11.

This could be a problem for many organizations that are using older versions of Internet Explorer for compatibility reasons. I work for one such organization and not all web based applications are compatible with Internet Explorer 11.

Microsoft has previous backtracked on some issues. Will they do it again?

This change gives organizations just over four months to make the necessary changes.

Wondering if some will drop Internet Explorer all together and use another browser as their officially supported browser.

In addition, now comes word on the same date [January 12. 2016], Microsoft will stop supporting .NET Framework 4.0 and 4.5 and 4.5.1. As of that date, you will need to be at .NET Framework 4.5.2 [released this past May].

Note: .NET Framework 3.5 and 3.5 SP1 are still supported because SQL Server 2008 requires that version.

Recent Internet Explorer started a bit of a controversy

There was a bit of controversy when Microsoft decided to release an update for Internet Explorer [MS14-021] running on Windows XP systems even though Microsoft had announced long ago that the last updates for Windows XP would be released in April. This update came on May 1st.

Problem is that the vulnerability was so huge that the US Department of Homeland Security announced that people should stop using Internet Explorer – not just for Windows XP but all versions – until Microsoft releases an update to correct a problem.

So Microsoft decided that if an update was going out, it was better off to release for Windows XP as well.

Some argue that if Microsoft released this update some people will expect that Microsoft will release further updates to Windows XP. [And of course a minority who said that Microsoft has lied to them.]

Others gave kudos to Microsoft for releasing the update. Better to protect people especially if somewhere around a quarter of computer users are still using Windows XP.

Meanwhile, as Windows XP isn’t supported, expect other web browsers to take advantage of the situation.

[Unfortunately for Microsoft they still need to support Internet Explorer 6 as it is still supported as part of Windows Server 2003 support for about another year.]