Thursday, February 4, 2010

Slaying the Dragon

In the web design and development world, there are few things as maligned as the dreaded Internet Explorer 6. Originally created in the early part of the decade, almost since it's inception it has been hated by designers. There are Facebook groups such as Uninstall IE6 Day, website initiatives, web developers who will outright not design in IE6 (or create a redirect page to encourage upgrades, and even Microsoft – the creator of Internet Explorer – has put out monetary incentives for people to to upgrade to IE7 or IE8.

However, with around 10% marketshare (depending on who you ask) of internet users, there is still a large chunk of people that force websites to hold back on what they can do. Many people don't even realize how much of a problem this is. Web pages don't render properly in the aging browser, some file types will not work, many flash movies are incompatible, and – most worrisome at all - IE6 is a major security risk.

Google would like to change all that.

The last part is one of the main reasons that Google could put the nail in the coffin for IE6. With the recent cyber attacks on Google and many other American companies, it's well apparent that IE6 poses a risk for any company that uses it. Cyber attacks with IE6 are on the rise, costing billions to companies around the world. Google's solution: Stop support for it's applications to help further along the demise of the browser.

According to the Official Google blog, Google will begin phasing support out for IE6 on March 1st, beginning with their popular Google Docs and Google Sites services and then extending to other services, such as Gmail and Google Calendar. For Google, getting as many people using Google services is an important business model. After all, the more time you spend online, the more times you may click on a Google ad service (the main source of Google's income). To ensure people want to use Google services (most of which are free), they have to be cutting edge. IE6 holds that back. The method is not entirely altruistic, but it has wide reaching benefits to the entire internet.

If you work at a company and reading this on IE6 (if you even can) take a look at some reasons you or your company can upgrade.

[Source: Google Enterprise Blog]

1 comment:

  1. I use Chrome - so far, so good. IE is my back-up browser only. -Wendy