Internet Explorer 6: to support, or not to support?

Tue 9 February 2010 21:00, Dennis Sievers

Internet Explorer 6: to support, or not to support?

As we all probably know by now, Google is about to kick Microsoft’s Internet Explorer 6 to the curbs. Following a whole bunch of other companies, Google’s explanation is simple: old browsers do not support advanced and current techniques for rich interactive web apps, including things like voice and video. Short after Google went public with this news, a Dutch webdesign firm started a website where developers protest against IE6 and support Google’s decision. And today, another group stood up to protest against Google’s decision.


The hell with IE6?

Sure, it sucks having to recode almost your entire application or website, just to make it look good in IE6. And over 1.000 designers and developers agree, over on the Dutch website, which means ‘we also stop’. The growing group of followers will all stop supporting IE6 and boycott it. Just as Google, they feel that IE6 is, simply put, to old and too buggy to be around any longer. Personally, all I can do is cheer and chant for Google’s choice, as it certainly will put some more pressure on IT specialists, who tend to keep holding on to old stuff way to long. 

Don’t punish your customer for something that is out of their hands

On the other hand we have the newly born Dutch competitor (we don’t stop). As I said, I appreciate Google’s choice to stop supporting IE6. But, just like the designers who are against boycotting IE6, the most important reason not to stop supporting it, is simply because IE6 still has a market share of 13%. A lot of companies still use IE6, which makes it very important to make sure your website or application works in IE6 when you operate in a B2B or B2G (government) branch. Developers and designers shouldn’t punish their customers when the IT specialists truly are the problem here. 

When it all comes down to it: the customer is king

Again, phasing out IE6 is very welcome for a lot of companies, designers and developers. But as long as IE6 has a market share of over 10%, it simply is big enough to make sure you reach that audience. Next to that, if YOUR customer wants YOU to make it IE6 proof, then what is the problem? Estimate the necessary hours to recode it, make a nice invoice and off you go. It’s all about business. Making money, for yourself and your customer. 

On what side are you?

Just to get insight in the opinions of you Searchcowboy-visitors, let us know how you feel about this issue. Are you ditching IE6, or do you keep on coding and recoding for it? 


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