I’m very pleased that after working extra hard over the majority of the past 10 years at making websites compatible with Internet Explorer 6, we can finally put the nail in the coffin to round out a brilliant 2011.
One of the most common questions clients used to ask me 6-7 years ago was whether or not the website I was building would work in all browsers. It seems that the common practice for most developers at the time was to claim that it wasn’t possible to achieve this since they were so different. Well, any good developer knew this to be false and dozens of workarounds existing for just about every situation. As the years passed, more and more effort went in to making a great looking website function on the dinosaur browser, IE6.
The BBC reports that Microsoft is planning an automatic update beginning in January to force users to upgrade from IE6. Windows XP will be upgraded to IE8 and Vista and Windows 7 will upgrade to IE9. This means that IE7 will by default probably be phased out soon as well.
Security issues aside, the browser just wasn’t very good. Earlier this year, Microsoft themselves took notice and created a campaign to actually kill off the outdated technology, which revolved around the website www.ie6countdown.com. It seems they have mostly eradicated the browser with one major exception, China. Unless your website caters to the Chinese market, I think it’s safe to say that going the extra mile to make modern websites work on IE6 is no longer a requirement. In fact, that’s something that in 2012 we’re making official policy at Mediaura. If you don’t specifically require a website to work in IE6, it will no longer be a browser we test by default. We’ll still support newer versions of IE, Firefox, Safari, Chrome, and Opera.
Here’s to the good riddance of IE6!