Microsoft ends support for Windows 8 and Internet Explorer 7, 8, 9, and most of 10
In 2014, prior to the advent of Windows 10, Microsoft announced that Internet Explorer will only be supported on each supported version of Windows. It was announced this week that Windows 8 will no longer be supported. This means Internet Explorer versions 7, 8, 9, and 10 will be severed from future updates. Users who would like to continue receiving software security updates will have to upgrade to at least Windows 8.1 (or the free Windows 10 upgrade thereafter; Windows 7 is still receiving technical support as well).
This change in support is not unilateral. Windows Server 2012 and Server 2012 R2–the server equivalents–will continue to have support for Internet Explorer 10 since version 11 was never made available to them. Microsoft states that these operating system will still receive support through their full 10 year life cycle.
Peter Bright from ArsTechnica explains further:
In other words, all the same patching and updating that Windows 8 and Internet Explorer 10 need will continue to be performed. Across the full range of supported platforms—including the Windows XP with Internet Explorer 7-based Windows Embedded for Point of Service—Microsoft is stuck continuing to produce patches for Internet Explorer 7, 8, 9, and 10, along with Windows XP, Windows Vista, Windows 7, Windows 8, and Windows 8.1. The patches just won’t be readily available, so upgrading will be strongly recommended.
Microsoft did issue a notice for this change allowing for upgrade times but it is inevitable that some organizations waited to update things due to compatibility reasons. Internet Explorer 11 does support some legacy features like ActiveX controls if you still want.
For the breakdown from ArsTechnica, check out this article.