Google Apps users who still use IE8 will soon have to upgrade to a newer version if they want to keep using Google Apps services.
Google Apps users who are still using Microsoft's older Internet Explorer 8
(IE8) browser won't be able to continue to use Google services starting Nov. 15
until they upgrade to a newer browser.
Google detailed the move in a Sept. 14 post on the Google Apps Blog as part
of its continuing strategy
to keep its products up to date
and working seamlessly with the latest
evolving features in newer Web browsers.
"As we announced last year, we support the latest version of Google
Chrome (which automatically updates whenever it detects that a new version of
the browser is available) as well as the current and prior major release of
Firefox, Internet Explorer and Safari on a rolling basis," Google officials
said in the post. "Each time a new version of one of these browsers is
released, we begin supporting the update and stop supporting the third-oldest
Because Microsoft previously announced that its newest Internet Explorer 10
(IE10) browser will debut Oct. 26, Google will drop support of the older IE8
version Nov. 15, according to the post. "After this date users accessing
Google Apps services using Internet Explorer 8 will see a message recommending
that they upgrade their browser."
The current IE9 version of the browser will be supported by Google Apps
until a future IE11 is released.
The changes will affect users of Google Apps and Google Apps for Business,
Education and Government, according to Google.
The Google Apps policy of supporting only the latest browsers began in June
2011 as big
changes were beginning to arrive from new Web standards, such as HTML5
"For Web applications to spring even farther ahead of traditional
software, our teams need to make use of new capabilities available in modern
browsers," Venkat Panchapakesan, Google's vice president of engineering,
wrote in a Gmail Blog post at that time. "For example, desktop
notifications for Gmail
file upload in Google Docs
require advanced browsers that support HTML5
. Older browsers just don't have
the chops to provide you with the same high-quality experience."
The new changes mean that users who are still running older browsers and
even older computer operating systems will have to make decisions on what to do
if they want to continue to use Google Apps.
For users who are still running Windows XP machines, IE8 is the last of
Microsoft's Internet Explorer browsers that will run on the soon-to-be-retired
operating system. IE9 and the upcoming IE10 weren't built to operate on XP.
That means that XP users-and there are still plenty of them out there-will
have to upgrade their operating systems if they want to keep using Google Apps.
Windows XP SP3 will no longer be supported in any way by Microsoft
April 8, 2014
, according to Microsoft. As of that date,
be no new Windows XP security updates, non-security hotfixes, free or paid
assisted support options, or online technical content updates.
When Google Apps dropped support for a myriad of older browsers such as
Firefox 3.5, Internet Explorer 7 and Safari 3 in August of 2011, users were
told by Google that they "may have trouble using certain features in
Gmail, Google Calendar, Google Talk, Google Docs and Google Sites, and
eventually these apps may stop working entirely."