Mozilla Web Development

Killing IE 6

Apple’s MobileMe will not support IE 6. Per an email to subscribers:

To use the new web applications, make sure you have one of these browsers: Safari 3, Internet Explorer 7, or Firefox 2 or later.

37signals is now doing the same, and will be dropping IE 6 support.

For most things that I’m in developing, IE 6 still has to much market share to ignore. That said, I can’t wait until the day we can kill IE 6. It’s from a previous generation of web browsers. It’s time for it to go.

Considering IE 7 is a free upgrade, or you could download the awesome Firefox 3, or Safari 3 it’s about time. I suspect we’ll see more and more sites start to do this, and likely in 2009 see some larger mainstream products no longer support IE 6.

It’s great to see the process starting. I can’t even begin to estimate the hours I’ve wasted getting IE 6 to work with something trivial on all other browsers.

The advantage of killing some old browser support is that it’s easier to take advantage of some of the features in more modern browsers that have much more robust features and better CSS support. Not to mention PNG transparency that doesn’t suck.

Modern web browsers like Firefox invest a lot into features to allow for a better web experience. Killing support for old browsers means they can be used. It’s the start of a better web.

14 replies on “Killing IE 6”

I’m not against killing IE 6, but is this method really to be applauded? As I understand it, they are also not supporting Opera, or Omniweb, Konqueror, Camino, Seamonkey, etc etc. Supporting specific browsers and versions isn’t “the start of a better web” – it’s just the same closed situation as 10 years ago but with higher version numbers and some different names.

Also, idisk doesn’t (currently) support Firefox 3. Works fine in Firefox 2, but just comes up completely blank in Firefox 3. In order to get some files from our Mac-using designer the other day, I had to tell a colleague to use IE6 instead of Firefox 3 to make it work. I guess I could have reinstalled Firefox 2 for them, but…

You cannot upgrade to Internet Explorer 7 if you don’t have windows XP or Windows Vista.
You cannot use a working Safari if you don’t have MacOSX.
You can get Firefox 3 if you use Linux / MacOSX or Windows 2000/XP/Vista.

Given that, options are not available for all users. In fact, in an enterprise network, we are lucky Firefox developped the NTML authentication, otherwise corporate users wouldn’t be able to use Firefox in an Internet Explorer oriented network.

You’re talking about web experience, which is very good because it’s the way evolution goes. But meeting standards /de facto/ is also important and you’re right when you say IE6 cannot be yet forgotten.

Me, I keep IE6 everywere I can just to make Microsoft look bad. Yes, I know I’m going to hell…

@Michael Lefevre: They never supported Opera AFAIK, so they didn’t change anything in that regard. By supporting Firefox they support all gecko browsers… I don’t know of any major sites that explicitly support Omniweb, Konqueror, Camino, Seamonkey, but they work as they share code with WebKit and Gecko.

@Xandrex: There are many Windows Safari users who are happy, just because it doesn’t please you, doesn’t mean it doesn’t “work”. The number of Win 2k systems still browsing the web is barely and more than NT4 and Windows 98 these days… at some point it’s just not worth it. These people will never upgrade, so we need to just let them sit. We can’t hold the world back because a handful don’t upgrade. Eventually they too will upgrade.

I would relegate IE6 to the text only template but a corporate environment is stuck on IE6 with no plans to upgrade, so i cant kill yet. Sucks to be me.

“I don’t know of any major sites that explicitly support Omniweb, Konqueror, Camino, Seamonkey, but they work as they share code with WebKit and Gecko”

They _should_ work, but if the site looks at the user agent and decides not to serve any content, they may not. If they have written a site which at least attempts to follow some standards, and it doesn’t work in IE6, that’s fine. But, based on my experience with idisk and Firefox 3, and reading of this stuff, it sounds more like they have written a site for Firefox Safari and IE 7 and are blocking everything else, which isn’t so good. Surely they could at least throw some kind of text page out to IE 6 and other browsers…

i simply agree.. with the “killing of ie6…” and let’s think about another field, movie!
if you want to see a DVD.. you use a DVD player, If you want to see a blu-ray movie, you need that player. try to play a blu-ray disc in a DVD player, you see nothing 😉 So.. if you want to see/use/play “modern web sites” you need “modern browsers”. and the best part is that all new modern browser are free….That’s all! ;-D

I recently updated my site to CSS (yes…I know…) and decided that now was the time to just not worry about IE6 support. True, I don’t have many visitors and I’m not selling anything (it’s purely cos I like to have a hobby) but I figure that if every new site takes the approach of not caring about IE6 then people are going to be encouraged to upgrade to something better. As long as web designers keep making sure that sites look fine in IE6 then there is going to be a sizable minority of people whose attitude is just “well, it works for me” no matter how many times they’re told that IE6 is broken, buggy and a dream come true for crackers.

It should be treated like the switchover to digital TV: just set a date and after than the whole world stops supporting IE6. Tough luck if you’re stupid enough to still be using it!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *