Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Google gives notice: IE6 has to go

I received notice from Google yesterday that by March 1 the company plans on discontinuing support for Microsoft's web browser Internet Explorer 6, as well as other older browsers including their own relatively new Chrome 3.  Users visiting this site and many others will see a notice asking them to upgrade their web browsers.

"Starting this week, users on these older browsers will see a message in Google Docs and the Google Sites editor explaining this change and asking them to upgrade their browser.  We will also alert you again closer to March 1 to remind you of this change," read the e-mail sent to web publishers and other Google clients.

The move was generally applauded, and Microsoft does not seem to be against the move. According to ComputerWorld the issue is compatibility. "Even Microsoft beat the anti-IE6 drum, although it has also admitted that the job is difficult because the old browser is still mandated by some enterprises. IE6 also accounts for half the browsers used in China, according to recent data from metrics company," wrote Gregg Keizer.

IE6's bad reputation even made it into Wikipedia: "This version of Internet Explorer is widely derided for its security issues and lack of support for modern web standards, making frequent appearances in "worst tech products of all time" lists, with some publications labeling it as the "least secure software on the planet."