Internet Explorer 6 – 5 reasons we are dropping support

Goodbye IE 6For almost 4 years now since the release of Internet Explorer 7, Optix Solutions has continued to offer backwards compatibility with older and out-dated browser versions – specifically the one that causes a lot of aggravation for web designers worldwide, Internet Explorer 6.

There was a time when Internet Explorer 6 dominated the market. Now, with upgrades from Microsoft and the competition (Mozilla Firefox/Google Chrome) seeing a massive increase in popularity, latest figures show Internet Explorer 6 usage having dropped below 10% of the market share.

During this time Microsoft has announced it shall be discontinuing support for Internet Explorer 6 in 2014. It’s been a hard decision to make, but with the security vulnerabilities the browser poses to potential secure data we discourage users strongly from using the browser. Continuing to support something that we feel so strongly about just doesn’t make sense. Even world governments and Microsoft themselves have issued warnings about using the browser!

Here are our top 5 reasons why you should abandon the browser now, if you are still using it:

  • Security – The biggest flaw of Internet Explorer 6 is it’s poor security. It opens your operating system to hackers and malicious users, exposing potentially sensitive and personal information. Both Germany, France and even Microsoft themselves have warned against using the browser.
  • Technology – Our biggest frustration here is the technical capabilities of the browser. In the past 5 years, there has been some amazing progress with JavaScript and CSS that Internet Explorer 6 just doesn’t support. It is halting our ability to develop feature-rich and aesthetically pleasing sites.
  • Compatibility – Internet Explorer 6 restricts our ability to conform to internet standards; particularly W3C xHTML standards. Through having to use nasty “hacks” and workarounds simply to get things to show correctly in Internet Explorer 6 , developers are sometimes unable to create sites that are 100% standards compatible .
  • Efficiency – By dropping support for Internet Explorer 6, we are increasing work efficiency by 10%-30% – that’s 10%-30% more work that we can spend perfecting the minor details on your website.
  • Support – Often, days are spent ensuring a site functions and displays correctly in ie6 alone. By dropping support for this browser, we are helping both ourselves and thousands of other businesses worldwide by doing our bit to ensure users upgrade their browsers.

In case you are worrying that by dropping support you will be losing out on 10% of your audience, this is not true. While dropping support for the browser, we will still continue to offer minimal compatibility to ensure the site is still functional (even if it is slow) and users can still navigate as they should be able to. Aesthetics however, may suffer in the browser – but look many times better in a more modern browser!

Upon first visiting any new sites we do, Internet Explorer 6 users will now be greeted with a message asking them to upgrade their browser – with download links to the top browsers out there. Just for certain cases sake, we will also give the user the option to keep using their ancient browser and not prompt them again!

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