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Jun 19

Movement in the death of old browsers and IE 6

Tech, Web Browsing Add comments

I talked about having a best viewed in [insert new browser here] day where prominent web sites (and anyone who cares too) display some kind of sign, maybe on the first Monday of the month, that says:

If you like this application now, you will love how it runs if you were using a modern browser

This happens if a non-Grade A browser is detected. We can even go further and push a new version of the browser the person is using. For example, if someone comes in with IE 6, we prominently show IE 7, and then also offer Firefox 3, Opera 9.5, Safari 3.1 for Windows.

As Web developers we have put in so much time just to make sure that IE 6 runs our application well. This is like writing desktop software that runs well on an 8 year old machine!

It hasn’t mattered all that much until the last year or so, as now we are developing richer and richer Web applications.

As I look at apps like Gmail, Mobile Me, 280 Slides, Yahoo! Mail, etc etc…. I say screw it. People upgrade their computers when they want to run things faster, why can’t we ask them to upgrade their browsers.

If you have a simple content site, then it is fine to support everyone, but as you build rich apps, maybe it is time NOT to be a crutch and support these browsers.

It is interesting to note that Mobile Me doesn’t support IE 6. People have shouted at the SproutCore chaps, but SproutCore actually DOES support IE 6. Interesting huh?

If Apple can do it… who next?

8 Responses to “Movement in the death of old browsers and IE 6”

  1. Michael Says:

    My local newspaper gave up on IE6. You go there and it’s just broken. People call and whine and they are told, “we no longer support IE6. Upgrade to IE7.”

    Makes me feel like a nice guy if I gently guide them to a better browser, rather than just silently failing on them.

  2. funtomas Says:

    Yeah, some polite way of suggesting to upgrade to some these-day browser and not being a “dinosaur” would make sense. I like the idea.

  3. Tom Says:

    We don’t support IE6, pretty much only because it doesn’t support alpha channel PNGs without ridiculous workarounds that consume large amounts of resources.

    Even if IE6 was a good browser for it’s time, I simply don’t understand the decision not to support alpha channel PNGs by default. Clearly they knew such PNGs existed because there was *some* way to get it them to display correctly.

  4. Vikas Sasidharan Says:

    Unfortunately it’s not always so black-and-white. Our users were wiiling to upgrade to IE7. The issue was that they were all using Windows2K machines and IE7 is not even available for that platform. Imagine telling the customer to reinstall their OS because so-and-so web application won’t work on the existing one! ;-)

  5. Michael Says:

    >>Unfortunately it’s not always so black-and-white. Our users were wiiling to upgrade to IE7. The issue was that they were all using Windows2K machines and IE7 is not even available for that platform. Imagine telling the customer to reinstall their OS because so-and-so web application won’t work on the existing one! ;-)

    Yeah, that’s an interesting point. But I think we’re at a tipping point where more and more sites will abandon IE6, so what will those people do?

    FF3 works well on old systems. Here are its requirements…

    Windows
    Operating Systems

    * Windows 2000
    * Windows XP
    * Windows Server 2003
    * Windows Vista

    Minimum Hardware

    * Pentium 233 MHz (Recommended: Pentium 500MHz or greater)
    * 64 MB RAM (Recommended: 128 MB RAM or greater)
    * 52 MB hard drive space

    It may be that people who really need to keep IE6 are going to have to add a non-Microsoft browser like FF3 to be able to browse the web at large in a couple years. Especially if Microsoft has abandoned W2k users by making IE7 and IE8 have too high of a requirement spec.

  6. tracle Says:

    Yeah, some polite way of suggesting to upgrade to some these-day browser and not being a “dinosaur” would make sense. I like the idea.http://yahooclub.zhan.cn.yahoo.com/

  7. SEO技术 Says:

    I support you ! AND I LIKE IE6

  8. Webmaster Says:

    Only Firefox and IE6.

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