We *Like* Our Internet With a Side of Revolution

Internet Explorer 6 will be SEVEN years old on August 27th, 2008 will be EIGHT years old this fall. It came out a few weeks before the Twin Towers fell. It came out before the Nintendo GameCube. It came out before the first iPod.

It’s time to put a deadline on dropping IE6, and I say that time is now, and the deadline should be soon… say like, March 2009. That’s roughly a little more than 6 months. Feel free to join me. If your company is dropping support for IE6, let me know and I’ll gladly post it up. I’m also on twitter, http://twitter.com/sxtxixtxcxh, if that works better for you.

Check out the marching category to see who else is phasing out Internet Explorer 6.

If, for some reason, you’ve found yourself here using Internet Explorer 6, you can help yourself by downloading Firefox, Safari, Opera and/or Internet Explorer 7 (there’s a beta for IE8, if you’re feeling adventurous).

Google has recently gotten into the browser game, and (if you’re on Windows) you can download a beta of their unbelievably fast Chrome.

Update: IE 8 has been released. Are you going to support three different versions of Internet Explorer?

188 thoughts on “We *Like* Our Internet With a Side of Revolution”

  1. I dropped IE6 several years ago, before Microsoft even made a half-way decent successor.

    IE7 is better, Firefox 3 is better, Opera 9.5 is better. Start writing some code telling people that IE6 is too old to use you’re site, and stop pandering to it. IE7 is at least easier to hack to in the event of a flaw or two. (Note the lack of optioning another insecure browser like Safari).

    Progress people.

  2. Totally agree. I’ve tried to mostly keep things working in IE6 simply cause I’m a manic perfectionist. But I’ve said for years IE6 needs to die.

    @Yert: Do you even know what you’re talking about regarding Safari? The only outstanding “security” issue with Safari is it’s lack of any anti-phishing protection. Which by definition, doesn’t make it an insecure browser. Even the safest car in the world is unsafe if an utter idiot drives the thing down the wrong lane on the freeway at 350mph.

    Not to mention, last I checked, Firefox 3 had lots more outstanding security issues than Safari and/or WebKit has ever had.

  3. I totally agree. I’ve posted more than one blog about the subject. I just spent the last two days wasting my time trying to get a website I am designing to work in IE6 even though it was and is working beautifully in every other modern browser known to man.

    I wish their was a way to literally BURN IE6 and permanently delete it from our technological history.

  4. *completely sarcastic comment*

    I think that people are still using IE6 because it is just so hard to upgrade to IE7, or even better yet Firefox or Safari. I mean, they actually have to go and download Firefox and then go through the wizard that imports all their bookmarks and stuff. That just seems so complicated and ridiculous. Maybe if someone would just create something that someone could do easily, we would all be fine. Change is just so hard and is not worth it.

    * end sarcasm*

    Seriously, some people just are too lazy. There is even a wizard built in!!!

    So, lets all cheer. Happy 7th birthday to IE6. Hopefully it will be your last.

    -JD

  5. I twitterd you..
    I am a strong supporter of IE Death March

    Why don’t you create some badges and make it available for your supporters to use in their blogs.. [may be something like this -> http://tinyurl.com/5laz8g
    It will give more popularity for this ‘mission’

  6. The Hostile Monkey is totally on this march. What would be GREAT would be to use this blog to collect some hard facts. The Hostile Monkey’s clients want to be reassured that IE7 is a solidly recommended upgrade from IE6 (e.g. a quote from MS saying “YOU REALLY SHOULD UPGRADE”). They want to know it’s easy and painless. They want to know that IE7 already has 30/40/50/80/90/120% market share.

    Advocacy is great. Facts are better.

    Let’s do this. Let’s kill 6.

  7. This is a simple decision to make if you don’t have many visitors using IE 6 to access a particular website. In the case of a client, 35% of their traffic still uses IE 6 and therefore an audience who cannot be ignored. It’s not always “easy and painless” to upgrade to IE 7 or another browser, especially when there’s a powerful IT department controlling those changes. I’m all for a revolution, but check your stats first.

  8. I wholeheartedly agree and support this campaign, however it’s so difficult with all our corporate clients managed by archaic IT companies who insist on IE6 corporate policies.

    As one of the guys said in the office today – if so many people upgraded from FF2 to FF3, why can’t IE6 users upgrade to (at least) IE7, or even better FF3!!

    Good luck with this campaign though!

    Carl

  9. Viva la Revolution!

    Sadly, Geof has a point… (even if the message was clouded by what seems to be a small superiority complex)

    Checking the Browser statistics ( http://www.w3schools.com/browsers/browsers_stats.asp ) we see that while IE6 is losing ground… it still commands a considerable corner of the market… so any business that is in it to make money… cannot really afford to simply abandon the browser until it drops to an acceptable usage percentage.

  10. Allen – A small superiority complex? I didn’t mean to come across that way. I just wanted to make the point it’s not always up to individual users to upgrade their browsers, but rather the powers-that-be above them. Simply, don’t drop support until you consider all of the consequences.

  11. Of course, some people are less able to drop IE6 – perhaps they’re running on older Windows OSs that don’t support an upgrade to IE7. Perhaps – shock horror, they don’t know about Opera, or Firefox, or any other, more compliant, less pain-in-the-arse-for-us-web-savvy-people browser.

    For the ones that can upgrade, perhaps the lead taken by sites such as Facebook, with its large user base, will help the migration towards better browsers.

    Patience, until the vast majority of people have done the deed. :)

  12. I respect your ability to organize a campaign and get support from the development community, however, I find that this will all once again fall into two camps.

    1.) IE6 sucks. Upgrade now. I don’t care about users. I only care about my job being easier. If you don’t force your users to upgrade, then I won’t do business with you.
    2.) IE6 sucks. Upgrade if you can. I care about the users, but I’m realistic enough to know that sometimes “it pays” to support IE because not all users have a choice.

    We live in our own little world, where we think we represent the general population. The reality is that most of the non-technical folks we talk to couldn’t give a rip about what browser they use. You can try to sell them on the security issue, but it still won’t help the fact that eventually they will end up with another virus on another day running another browser. They are not technical enough to understand anti-virus software, or even care enough to run it. If they do, they always say the same thing — “I can’t figure out why it won’t stop blocking my cookies, and it slows down my computer.”

    So while we all relish in Firefox, and hope someday that it will take over the online world, I guarantee at some point in your life there will be another Web site along the same lines (Firefox6DeathMarch.com?), that gets the browser the same bad press, that everyone is disgusted with because it has reached market dominance, and is therefore, the primary tool for hacking into computers.

  13. I’m all for it, but the tactic can’t be blindly imposed across the board. Businesses, non profits, government agencies, and so on MUST cater to users with outdated machines and browsers. That’s not a pass or an excuse not to stand up to the Menace. It’s merely a reality that the interweb community can’t ignore.

    Dropping support for IE6 is cool, but if you do it, do it in such a way that does’t come off as a smack in face to the user. If you don’t support IE6 and are willing to pay your bills more power to you. I’d just recommend helping the user understand why they should upgrade. I find that saying – what are you stupid – just doesn’t work.

    My next personal project will ignore all IE6 concerns, but will offer a detailed explaination as to why they should upgrade. I’ll tell them what’s in it for them, rather than just focusing on how much it makes my life easier.

  14. To everyone who is about to drop or has already dropped IE6 support, could you, maybe, list the URLs involved. Please…

    We’d be more than happy to ‘take over’ those customers.

  15. It’s bad enough our company supports IE6 for websites and online applications we build for our customers; but just found out that IE6 is actually our company standard for the entire planet! And we’re in 79 counties :(

    I’ve sent a link to this article to our tech guys who all seem to think the sun shines out of Bill Gates’ arsehole.

  16. Interesting. I find specific information on _why_ you want to stop supporting IE6 lacking, though. IE6 is my favorite version of IE so far. One reason is because it doesn’t hide the menu bar or put it below the address bar by default. I dislike the lack of tabs, however, so I usually use Firefox instead.

  17. Geof – No problem, your first post was just a little abrasive. And I do support the elimination of IE6… but we cannot afford to simply stop supporting a browser simply because it’s hard to develop for.

    It’s kinda like supporting the idea of the semantic web. It’s a great idea… and while general validation is always necessary, who can say what standards we should be adhering to… there are what, 3 active firms including the W3C pushing for Semantics? Each with their own idea of what is “standard.”

    sorry…

    like others have stated… if social media outlets can push it (facebook, youtube, flikr), perhaps we can win… but large market support sadly must continue.

  18. I just checked and 74.5% of my client’s traffic is on IE6. Of course the design we use also works well on Netscape 4 and Lynx, but they don’t seem to be as popular…

  19. whats the best way to make a “please upgrade your browser” page or popup box, i’m trying to do it for my page. Maybe someone can make a small script so people can put it on their websites as well?

  20. Explicitely dropping IE6 would mean recommending IE7. And since IE7’s CSS support sucks (not as much as IE6’s, but still a lot), I’m not too keen into recommending it in any way.

    I kid you not: in my code, there are quite a lot of IE6-specific code, my at least as much code that’s IE-specific (i.e. applies to IE6 and 7).

  21. I totally agree!

    As from March 2009 I will have a standard code that I will drop into my CSS which will create a pop-up saying “This site does not support IE6, please upgrade your browser”.

    If a client wants IE6 support they will have to pay extra for it.

  22. I build nothing for IE6 anymore. You can see a list of the sites at Hudin Varela. I also built, maintain, and am redesigning End6! which I run on all my sites to push people in to getting rid of it.

    Undoubtedly we’ll see more of a drop after December once people are unfortunately upgraded to Vista on any new machines that they buy at Christmas.

    -miquel

  23. Please tell me why so many people likes this torture called Microsoft Internet Explorer? Please, ban this crappy browser and start using the only standard: Firefox.

  24. Especially people who aren’t internetting that much (e.g. older people) usually hold on to IE6 with the motivation: “It works, I haven’t got any problems with it, so why upgrade it?” Time to move on and forget IE6 as browser choice for both developers and users alike.

    BTW, I do not understand why IE6 doesn’t upgrade automatically to the most up to date version? This would be profit for all of us, even for M$ because less people would change to FF.

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