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Large corporate websites stop supporting IE6, should you?

In the last 6 or so months some of the largest websites on the Internet today have stopped supporting Internet Explorer 6, does that mean that we should too?

Google, an extremely large corporation which owns and develops a great deal of web apps, widely used throughout the business world have stopped supporting Internet Explorer 6, could that be saying something?

It can be said that using Google as an example is biased being that they develop and maintain their own browser, Chrome, however, they have maintained their sites and apps to support IE 6 for a long time so why shouldn’t we count this as a vote?

Another example would be Facebook, as far as I can tell they are phasing out IE 6 as much as they can and eventually it will not be supported at all. So a social networking platform with over 400 million active users is giving IE6 the cut – a statement is being made here, surely?

Let’s face it, IE 6 is a real pain to support and the reasoning behind that is simple, Microsoft’s antics. Can a browser being insufficient be the cause of users still relying on said browser to suffer?

I’m rather certain that millions of pounds a year could be saved by companies if their developers didn’t have to spend so much time supporting IE6.

Having said what I’ve wanted to say, there are always two sides to the story, lack of support means others will suffer however lack of support means others will gain.

I’ve weighed up the pros and cons and my vote lays with flushing IE6 down the toilet, I am however interested in reading what you think?

Posted in Browsers on the 26th April 2010

2 people have spoken their minds!

  1. Billnobes says:

    Good post. I think the best measure is the audience of each site. I work on many sites and those with an ie6 percentage of under 10% I just make sure the site will load and and least be readable.

    But I work on other sites where the percentage is above 40% and for those we obviously need to maintain full functionality.

    You’re right about cost too. I’ve done builds where an embrassing percentage of the budget went into ie6 compatibility.

  2. srcnix says:

    Bill, great comment. I like how to decide whether IE6 support is required or not.

    Do you provide any means of notification to your end users about upgrading their browser?

    Youtube used a rather insightful method of informing their users to upgrade their browsers and I do on this blog. I’m interested to see how people tackle themselves out of a tight situation.

    At the end of the day new releases of browsers are made for a reason, however, the lack of peoples understanding of upgrading their browser has been a great factor into why us developers are still maintaining sites for IE6.


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