Google today announced it has discontinued support for Internet Explorer 9 in Google Apps, including its Business, Education, and Government editions. Google says it has stopped all testing and engineering work related to IE9, given that IE11 was released on October 17 along with Windows 8.1.

This means that IE9 users who access Gmail and other Google Apps services will be notified “within the next few weeks” that they need to upgrade to a more modern browser. Google says this will either happen through an in-product notification message or an interstitial page.

As far as Google is concerned, this is business as usual:

We would like to remind you of the Google Apps browser support policy, the set of guidelines for Google Apps services interoperability support. 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. Each time a new version of one of these browsers is released, we begin supporting the update and stop supporting the third-oldest version.

IE9 was released on March 14, 2011. Although it was not tied to a specific Windows release (as most IE versions are), Microsoft only made it available for Windows Vista and Windows 7.

Google killed off IE8 support in Google Apps in September 2012. It looks like at this rate, if Microsoft release a new browser version every year, a lot of IE users will have to upgrade regularly if they want to keep using Google Apps.

The good news here is that IE9′s market share has been falling steadily ever since IE10′s release, a trend that is expected to accelerate with the release of IE11. Nevertheless, it still had over 9 percent market share last month, so Google is making yet another potentially big cut.

See also – Google to retire Chrome Frame for Microsoft’s Internet Explorer, cease support and updates in January 2014 and Across desktop and mobile, Chrome is used more than Firefox, IE, and Opera combined

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