Stop Using IE6

You claim your company has too many mission-critical intranet apps that depend on IE6 peculiarities, or that it’s just too expensive to upgrade users to another browser. Well the rest of the world is tired of having to deal with your broken and insecure infrastructure. Upgrade now.

Browser statistics are not totally consistent, but are sad no matter which ones you look at. Somewhere between about 10 and 20 percent of Internet users are saddled with the miserable Internet Explorer 6 browser that was first released in August, 2001.

Although it’s had nearly a decade of security patches applied to its now-weathered surface, IE6 doesn’t have any more features or web standards compliance than it did when it shipped in 2001. Those of you who are using IE6, think about that for a moment. Nearly any corporate worker turns to their browser dozens of times a day, doing work that’s important to the company. Is there any other tool they have that hasn’t been updated since 2001? If you don’t see a problem with that, let’s take away your BlackBerry or iPhone and replace it with a Motorola V200 Personal Communicator. After all, that baby was state of the art in 2001. If it did the job then, it’s fine for 2010, right?

Of course that’s crazy. Mobile devices have made incredible progress in the past nine years, and they have features we couldn’t have dreamed of back then. Browsers have made the same progress, too, and by using IE6 you’re holding back your users and your company. Worst of all you’re holding back the industry. Until IE6 usage drops below something like 5 percent of all users, web developers will be forced to accommodate it. That limits the features that developers can put into web-based products, and increases development time as they try to deal with a browser that should have died years ago.

Don’t care which browser you upgrade to when you drop IE6. Stay with Microsoft and use IE8, or switch to Firefox, Chrome, or Opera if you’d like. Just make the switch, now. Only then can our long Internet nightmare can finally be over.

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