Andrew Maxwell

Google Dropping Support for Internet Explorer 6

February 04, 2010

This past Friday, January 29th, Google announced that they will drop support for Internet Explorer 6(IE6) in two additional Google products; Google Sites and Google Docs.

On Google Docs’ official blog they stated:
“‚ÄčThe web has evolved in the last ten years, from simple text pages to rich, interactive applications including video and voice. Unfortunately, very old browsers cannot run many of these new features effectively. So to help ensure your business can use the latest, most advanced web apps, we encourage you to update your browsers as soon as possible.”

Like Google, other web companies are tired of supporting out of date browsers. Many companies spend countless hours making their sites work for all major browser, just to go back once they are finished and make the site to work for IE6. In order for companies to support modern web standard they need to stop wasting time and money supporting a 10 year old browser and focus only on modern browsers. Microsoft also has said that they suggest you upgrade to IE7 or IE8, both of which are much better at supporting web standards.

Modern browsers have a lot going for them that many fail to realize. Not only are you getting new features, better adherence to web standards and speed improvements but you are also getting updates to help secure your information. As the web grows more of our information is stored online then ever before and the only way browser companies can keep your information secure is to have you upgrade your browser to the latest version.

My company Heka Interactive dropped support for IE6 in January of last year. We still offer IE6 to our customers, but at an additional cost. We did this for 2 reasons:

1.) We don’t want to waste time re-coding our work when we can use that time and money in other areas of a site.

2.) We want the web to grow, and make lives easier and we can’t do that if we continue to support out dated browsers.

I applaud Google for dropping support for IE6. There is no reason why we should support IE6 when people who do use it can easily upgrade their browsers, we are only holding the web back by supporting IE6.

Note: In the article “Google phasing out support for IE6” by CNET they cover another reason why Google will be dropping support for IE6:

“A flaw in IE6 was exploited in the recent cyberattacks against Google and other U.S. companies, and Microsoft scrambled to patch the flaw in a rare out-of-cycle patch release earlier this month.”

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