Microsoft has announced that they will support Internet Explorer 6 (IE6) until 2014, the lifespan of the operating system, Windows XP.
This decision will frustrate many web developers (myself included) as IE6 is widely considered a hindrance to web development in the designer community.
Drastically broken in IE6
IE6 doesn’t conform to the same standards as modern browsers like Firefox and Chrome – so potentially a site could appear drastically broken in IE6. IE6 is a headache for designers because the browser usually requires a seperate stylesheet with various hacks, doubling the effort required and potentially doubling costs for clients.
We shouldn’t be surprised that an 8-year-old browser is so out-of-touch. What is surprising is that IE6 still claims an approximate 15 to 20 market share. This share will most likely include users that are restricted by what browser they can use, e.g. schools, local government and businesses.
On the slide
Thankfully, IE6′s market share appears to be on the slide, thanks partly to designers neglecting IE6 users. Some small sites now stop IE6 users from browsing their site by placing an alternative holding page encouraging users to update their browser. Some sites like SimpleBits accomodate IE6 users but the experiencing is downgraded to a basic stylesheet.
Tags: internet explorer