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The End of Internet Explorer 6

February 20th, 2010 | Css3 , General , Html5

Internet Explorer 6 has pained many web designers and developers in recent years, it was originally launched back in August 2001 and it's shelf life should have long expired. You'd think a browser released shortly before Windows XP would have died long before now. I admit, when it was released it was efficient, fast, a million times better than 5.5 and had partial support for CSS level 1, DOM level 1 and SMIL 2.0. I'm a strong advocate of Microsoft but it's their laziness in knowing they had market dominance with Internet Explorer they didn't work towards any kind of compliance in the intervening years. That all changed when Firefox came along and began nibbling away at the browser usage pie, that Microsoft got it's team back off holiday and released Internet Explorer 7. Internet Explorer 7 was a small step in the right direction. It was disregarded by many corporations, designers and surfers and all it did was slightly reduce Internet Explorer 6 usage, but certainly was no true competitor to Firefox and the other standards focused browsers in terms of capabilities. That aside, Microsoft has now released Internet Explorer 8, and even though it still falls short of most other browsers especially with CSS Level 3 support, it at least has support for CSS Level 2.1. Internet Explorer 6 has long had a reputation of being a security risk. This is mostly due to the extremely long release cycles and the lack of security patches. This has only multiplied over time as the updates get fewer and the number of security exploits increases. There have been numerous articles about these issues, and to this day several issues, including critical ones are left un-patched. This alone should be reason enough to upgrade your browser. Internet Explorer 8 is slowly but surely increasing its market share and Internet Explorer 6 is on a slow but steady decline in usage. According to w3schools, from the high in November 2003 of 71.2%, Internet Explorer 6 usage had dropped to 32% in January of 2008, and 18.5% in January 2009. By January 2010, this percentage should be around 6-8%. With the introduction of Windows 7, this percentage could be even lower. This usage will never truly dwindle to an inconsequential percentage until all the large sites on the internet stop supporting it. People are generally averse to change, and if things seem to be working, there is no incentive to change or upgrade. An eight year old software product is positively ancient in technology terms, and the upgrade path to Internet Explorer 8 and Firefox is easy and free. The hold outs are almost entirely corporations who have legacy applications that require Internet Explorer 6's broken rendering engine or the corporation's IT department are too lazy to deal with the headache of colleagues compaining that things have changed or they've lost their 'favourites', but now is the time for those businesses to upgrade their core applications and their workforces mindset or these corporations will suffer drastically. With a view to this, I no longer, from today, support Internet Explorer 6 in the work I do, I'm too busy focusing on the future and the next generation of websites. If you're using Internet Explorer 6, CLICK HERE ( Source : http://www.webdevelopmentblog.net/ )

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