Thursday, March 4, 2010

RIP IE6 (Not Really, But Here's to Hoping)

CNN is reporting on a funeral today for Microsoft Internet Explorer 6. The funeral is in Denver, Colorado, so I will not be attending.

That the mainstream press is covering this is good news — somebody out there in the non-tech world understands that is newsworthy, even if only to a niche audience. Not that the funeral is newsworthy, but that causes pushing for the demise of IE6 is newsworthy. Granted, this is not tied to any official campaign to kill off IE6, but it is a fun way to draw attention to an annoyance many of us face.

Many people (web sites, developers, forums, etc.) have been calling for the demise of IE6 in some way for quite a while now. Google joined the fray (Modern browsers for modern applications, from the Google blog) when they announced that they would phase out support for IE6 in Google Docs and Google Sites as of March 1 (just a few days ago, the date on the grave stone). You can see other sites (far smaller, for the most part) who are trying to push IE6 out to pasture, just visit ie6nomore.com. Whether or not this will speed the end of IE6's reign is to be seen. Catch up on some anti-IE6 articles at Mashable using their IE6 Must Die tag. My post showing January 2010 browser stats broke down the IE versions thusly (what a fun and odd word):

Internet Explorer is the troubling one in the mix. IE8 is now up to 22.31% of the market, but IE6 still beats out IE7 (20.07% and 14.58%, respectively). That equates to 1 in 5 users is still surfing on IE6, known for its security holes and buggy rendering.

That I haven't seen this event fly through my regular flurry of tweets and RSS updates from web developers and developer sites is a bit startling, but this is a small, very local affair after all.

If you are interested in attending (and are in Denver), or just want to enjoy the humor, go visit the IE6 Funeral site. There is a Twitter feed (@ie6funeral) in case you are interested what I can only hope are live tweets throughout.

4 comments:

  1. At least we are not still dealing with IE6 AND NN 6.x - from the same era. We can also therefore blame all our woes on our client's IT departments. 99.9% of consumers' browsers good.

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  2. I am glad that the push for killing IE6 has been steadily growing. It's been a pain in our but for far too long!

    True story, from just this January: we decided to stop supporting IE6 for our main ecommerce site last year, since it had dropped to under 15%. When we launched a new version of our site this January, we had no IE6 support, and it looked pretty bad inIE6 (we put up a message suggesting users upgrade).

    Even though our IE6 usage was down to 10% before launch, one of our higher ups *insisted* we put in work to make it look better for this minority of our users! As far as I can tell, the only reason why is because he was still using IE6!

    (I saw "was", since just last week all PC users corporate-wide were upgraded to IE7).

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  3. Erik, I agree, much of the IE6 install base is driven by IT departments who are unwilling or unable to upgrade. It doesn't help that many companies paid for custom internal applications that were optimized for IE6 and just don't work well on later versions.

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  4. Nuvs, I have been down a similar path. Not that long ago I cam across a client on a very old Mac who was still running NN3. He had figured out by now that most sites just didn't work and knew he'd need to upgrade to use the modern web effectively, but I was still surprised. Often clients want us to build for their screen/system regardless of what the stats say in their own logs.

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