Ignore scare stories about Office and Internet Explorer

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Some scary headlines warn that ‘millions’ will be blocked from Word, Excel, PowerPoint and Outlook later this month.  Sounds scary but most people will NOT be affected and no-one will suddenly lose their Microsoft Office .

What’s happening on 17 August 2021?

Office web based apps will no longer be supported on Internet Explorer 11 (IE 11) from 17 August.  This end date was announced long ago.

This applies to any Microsoft service that runs in a browser window, like:

  • Outlook Web App (OWA)
  • Some Sharepoint features
  • Teams in a browser
  • Office apps on the web (Word online, Excel online, PowerPoint online or OneNote online)

From 17 August those web apps/sites will not be supported in IE 11.  They will still work but Microsoft won’t guarantee that everything will fully operate.

Repeat: Internet Explorer will keep working and so will Office apps in IE.

But over time, the Office apps won’t have all the features that are available with a modern browser and might not work properly. Microsoft euphemism is a ‘degraded experience’.

Microsoft Office 365 and Office 2019 software still support Internet Explorer 11 (not earlier versions).

IE is already behind modern browsers when it comes to security and privacy.  Without regular patching, IE will gradually become less secure over time.

Most people will have already moved away from Internet Explorer, most likely to Google Chrome, Microsoft Edge or Firefox.

If you’re still using IE as your main browser, we’d urge you to move to a modern, more secure and better browser. All modern browsers have migration options to copy your IE settings.

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