10 Reason To Stop Supporting IE6

I recently read an article that was talking about how as you move into the future you shouldn’t forget the past. What they were referring to was the need to always be backwards compatible and that your website should be developed for and accessible through Internet Explorer 6, just as much as any modern browser. It raised the question: Why is this even still a debate? As a developer myself, our company has dropped support for Internet Explorer 6 and I feel as though everyone needs to follow suit. Here’s the top 10 reasons why IE6 is off the party guest list.

  1. As soon as the company that developed the software declares EOL (End of Life) on a product, so should you.
  2. Your website should create an experience and that experience should be the same for all users. If a browser makes it impossible to supply that same user experience, then your website should no longer support it (that isn’t to say that new technologies such as HTML5 would be included, but things that have been around for at least the last 2 major browser updates.)
  3. With new technologies comes greater security risks and since IE6 is no longer supported by Microsoft, it will not get all the necessary security updates that it needs – not only are you protecting yourself and your website, but also the end-user.
  4. If you never force your users to move forward, they never will. That’s not to say there aren’t circumstances where a user might have IE6 and not have a choice to upgrade – but on the same hand, if you try to please everyone you’ll end up pleasing no one.
  5. Once again without a heavy workaround you can’t use transparent PNG images – something that you see almost everywhere on the web these days.
  6. As a designer or developer, you would never use 10-year-old software to develop a tech-heavy product or website – why would this methodology not transition to your browsing software?
  7. In 2006 PC World Magazine put out their list of “The 25 Worst Tech Products of All Time” – IE6 made it to 8th place. Just in the past year it was also declared of “The Worst Tech Products Every Imagined” by – if in the span of 9 years (2001-2010) you can’t manage some advancement in your software that would remove you from the Worst Tech Products listing, then I think it’s fair to say you’ve got a dud.
  8. According to W3C, as of September 2011 only 22.9% of users are browsing in Internet Explorer, and of those users only 1.8% are browsing with IE6 – The amount of time and effort that we put into debugging websites for a measly 1.8% is atrocious.
  9. The Chinese cyber attacks on Google (and at least 20 other large companies) got through because the exploited code worked only in IE6, on Windows 2000 and XP. (source)
  10. Microsoft sees such a large problem with Internet Explorer 6 that they took the time to develop a website: where they state, “Its name was Internet Explorer 6. Now that we’re in 2011, in an era of modern web standards, it’s time to say goodbye.”

I think it’s safe to assume that IE6 is on its deathbed – let’s just give it a good pillow in the face and get it done with.

For all you stragglers out there, here’s some help:

Upgrade Internet Explorer: click here

Choose a better browser (Firefox): click here

Follow the trend (Google Chrome): click here

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