It has been more than 6 years since Internet Explorer last received an upgrade from Microsoft. Is testing on IE still relevant as per the end-user point of view?
I once had a client that used an older version of internet explorer on their terminal stations in their physical stores. We asked an extra yearly fee (100k dollars) to test the application versus this older version to motivate them to upgrade, but they were willing to pay.
Older IE is still widely used in corporate networks since it has more integration with windows security and networking mechanisms as well as with ms office suite.
Big corporations often have large lag in new technologies adoption since they would need to test numerous corporate applications for compatibility with new browsers.
So I wouldn't exclude from testing at least for corporate applications.
IE is (unfortunately) still around. It is not unusual for large government companies to have a deal with their hardware/software vendor that specifically mentions Microsoft products, including IE. They often require all their software to be compatible.
Government organizations, by inertion, will continue using IE until the contract runs out and they all get Linux machines with Firefox pre-installed.
As shown in the other answers, it really depends on your user base.
If you are targeting developers and high-end users, you probably won't have many (or any) using IE.
If you are targeting corporate or government environments, many may still be using IE (or obsolete versions of Chrome). Any update of the browser used by default on user's computers may break a number of proprietary applications which may not have been updated in years either, so they tend to stick with whatever works, because testing, upgrading, and all the dependencies that go with that is a lot of time (and money).
Anything in between (the public at large), you'll get a small percentage of IE users. The exact figure depends a lot on the target user base (country, age, revenue, tech-savviness...), so your best option is to measure it using your own stats/analytics. Once you have a figure, it's a business decision: is the revenue generated by that small portion of users larger than the cost of continuing to support IE and test on that platform?
Note that testing is really the tip of the iceberg here: the whole development process is affected by IE compatibility. In some environments maintaining support for IE can either be very costly, or very restrictive, or both (though IE11 is a lot better than some previous versions of IE were). So make sure the whole chain is involved. Unless you have business-specific reasons to support IE (as detailed above), you'll probably have the whole development team support you if you mention dropping support for IE!
Until a few weeks ago I would have said "maybe", because people who are still using Windows 7 and don't want to install a non-Microsoft browser (for whatever reason) were stuck with IE11, and couldn't install Edge. They probably make up the bulk of the 0.4% IE users mentioned in another answer.
But recently Microsoft has created a new version of Edge that can be installed on Windows 7, and is actively telling IE users to switch, so the number of people who are stuck with IE will probably decrease even further.
Microsoft bids farewell to Internet Explorer.
As per latest information from Microsoft, Microsoft To End Support For Its Ageing Browser Internet Explorer In 2021(News here).
But still most of the client required the Internet Explorer. Because they are still using the Older version due to some reason with security integration with Microsoft tools.
I believe the answer is to be found in this URL: XBAP Support in IE Edge:
As you can see, there are formats, supported by Internet Explorer, not being supported by Edge (Internet Explorer's replacement).
As long as there are such formats (I know about
XBAP, I have no knowledge about other formats), Internet Exlorer must still be tested (unless, of course, you are legally sure that such formats will never be used).
Depends on your audience, but if you need stability, YES.
Real life example: Last year(2019) I made a web application to be used by professors, I was later informed that they were unknowingly bypassing a validation and causing a bug (validation on the front-end, my mistake, granted), but wouldn't you know it. Not only were they using IE, they were using IE, but IE 11 didn't had this issue, I had to go down the history of IE, and I eventually found it, only IE6(2001) or older would make that bug happen, I made it compatible and the issue was gone.
As a Tester, you can surely deal with testing on IE 11. The decision is, however, not only up to you. Therefore, I'd try to find out what matters to other stakeholders:
- marketing team might have certain opinions about what browser customers use
- if the system is for internal users, the company might have some policies about what browsers their employees use (this would most likely be common knowledge for you and the development team from day one)
- you can perhaps access logs and collect statistics about
User-Agentheader, and therefore decide based on some data about what browsers you'll use for testing
- you can find global statistics like this one: https://www.w3counter.com/globalstats.php
Don't guess, ask other people who matter, collect data. Then see for yourself if testing on IE 11 makes sense in 2020 in your particular context.
As already said this really depends from your user base.
In our case - the requirement was to run it on both: desktop version and mobile/tablet version, since our customers also used our application on all these items we had to evaluate which browsers/mobile browsers they are using (e.g. Opera, Internet Explorer, Safari etc.).
So in our case we also made thoughts about considering Internet Explorer within our testing scope or not. Following points were important for us to make the decision whether we should consider IE within our testing scope or not:
Our customer -> More desktop or mobile related?
- We asked our customers whether they are using the products via desktop and/or mobile version. This was very interesting for us because we also detected that customers with Apple Products were more willingly to pay for our products than Android users
Which browsers are mostly used for destkop/mobile versions?
- Since we also were responsible for testing the versions within different countries we used Statcounter to find out, which browser was more used for e.g. the German market.
So as you can see the used browser for the German market for IE is very low just 4,4%. This leads also to the decision to concentrate more on Chrome, Firefox and Safari, less on Opera and IE.
At the end: Since our customer weren't developers (or special users from the Government using Internet Explorer), we just made the focus on testing more on the most used browsers (Chrome, Firefox, Safari) and once when the customer is using Internet Explorer - which leads to our page - we just inserted a Pop-Up "You are using IE, this platform doesn't work with IE, please use e.g. xx browser".