Retirement of Internet Explorer 11: how are Xbase++ apps affected?

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Till Warweg

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Feb 1, 2021
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Microsoft will end support for the Internet Explorer (IE) 11 desktop application for certain operating systems starting June 15, 2022. What does this mean for Xbase++ applications running on affected platforms, and what are the side-effects for applications using the XbpHTMLViewer class and/or the Webbrowser ActiveX control?

First of all, it is important to understand that the retirement only affects the desktop application (aka the Internet Explorer browser). The underlying technology, such as the Trident engine (MSHTML), instead is a part of the operating system and is continued to be supported until at least 2029.

It should also be noted that uninstalling Internet Explorer 11 via the "Enable or disable Windows Features" dialog has no effect on the availability of the MSHTML components! In other words, applications using the Webbrowser ActiveX control (XbpHTMLViewer) will continue to run on systems with no Internet Explorer installed as well as on Windows 11.

The following is an overview of the anticipated end of service dates published by Microsoft:
End of service dates for IE11 desktop application per Windows version:

Windows 10 Enterprise (20H2): 5/9/2023
Windows 10 2019 LTSC: 1/9/2029
Windows 8.1: 1/10/2023
Windows 7 (ESU): 1/15/2023

Windows Server (20H2): 5/10/2022
Windows Server 2019 (LTSC): 1/9/2029

Windows 10 IoT Enterprise (20H2): 5/9/2023
Windows 10 IoT 2019 LTSC: 1/9/2029
Windows Server IoT 2019: 1/9/2029

End of service date for applications using MSHTML and/or the Webbrowser ActiveX control (XbpHTMLViewer class):

Usage of said components in 3rd party applications will be supported at least until 2029


As a matter of fact, your Xbase++ applications using the XbpHtmlViewer() class are not affected yet. However, developers shall prepare their applications to migrate from Xbase++ 1.9 or Xbase++ 2.0 to the WebUI for desktop after its availability before 2029.

Developers using the XbpHtmlViewer() class for accessing REST APIs which no longer support IE should consider using the XbpHtmlViewer2() asset instead.


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