I know that Windows XP itself won't get any more updates after April 8 (unless you've paid for them). But if I'm running IE8 on Windows XP after April 8, will I still be able to download IE8 updates?

I know it's not a good idea to keep running Windows XP after support ends, but much of the world will be doing just that, and I want to know what to tell people when they ask about this. I've checked Microsoft's Lifecycle information, and found nothing definitive. In fact, when you start looking at the lifecycle info on Internet Explorer, it gets rather circular.


Updated question to correct errors.

  • IE 7 itself has not been supported for awhile now. If you want updates you would need to install IE8. – Ramhound Feb 14 '14 at 18:23
  • I know it is not your question, but why keep IE7+ ? You are totally missing the web: you do not see it as it should be. And it's slow. – Vinz243 Feb 14 '14 at 18:30
  • @Ramhound: can you point me to something from Microsoft that confirms this? – boot13 Feb 14 '14 at 18:34
  • @vinz243: Okay, I'll change the question to IE8, or whatever the latest version is that XP can run. – boot13 Feb 14 '14 at 18:35
  • Just why IE ? There is chrome, firefix, opera, max athon, lunarscape... IE 8 and 9 are also deprecated (as a web designer, I know that) – Vinz243 Feb 14 '14 at 18:38

The support matrix for IE shows that all versions of IE are considered components of the operating system they are currently on. So when support for that OS ends, then support for any underlying components will also end (i.e. IE :-) ).

Practically speaking, IE 8 code was frozen feature-wise pretty much the day it was released, with the exception of security patches. If there were changes in HTML, like HTML5, only upgrading to the latest browser that implemented those features (like Canvas, WebSockets, etc) was the only way to expect to get those features. If someone figures out a new way to hack into your pc thru a web page that involves a browser flaw, your XP IE8 system will not be getting updates to protected from that, but your Windows 7 IE8 would. The Windows XP countdown and details page is here.

One ambiguous statement on the Microsoft support matrix is the statement: "Releases known as Components follow the Support Lifecycle of their parent Major Product." Some people note that a version of IE 8 was introduced as part of Windows 7, and optionally upgraded in XP - and thus one could claim that IE 8 should be supported as long as Windows 7 is supported. However, Microsoft supported pages like this one suggest that (components) "follow the support lifecycle of the OS on which they are running".

  • 1
    The Internet Explorer 8 bundled with Windows 7 is actually a different (albeit similar) program, and is referred to as "Windows Internet Explorer 8" by Microsoft. – and31415 Feb 14 '14 at 19:36
  • I'm inclined to accept this answer, but I still have lingering doubts. The support matrix for IE doesn't actually state that "all versions of IE are considered components of the operating system they are currently on". In fact all it has is that one ambiguous statement you already pointed out. On the other hand, the support page you linked to seems to answer that question definitively. I just wish Microsoft would update the IE support matrix to be more clear on this point. The other confusing issue is the notion that IE8 on Windows XP is somehow not the same as IE8 on Windows 7. – boot13 Feb 16 '14 at 15:39

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