End IE6 Support on Aug 27 Campaign

February 19, 2009
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Microsoft Internet Explorer v6 has long been a crippling effect to web developers worldwide.  It’s slow development pace, lack of continuous updates, shortcomings in web standards, and usage of proprietary standards (ie: ActiveX) all cause developers continued headaches.  Rather than support the new web standards such as CSS 2.1 and CSS 3, HTML5, etc, developers must create workarounds.  This results in less usability, more development time, and maintenance nightmares.  If the internet is to ever see Web 3.0, we must bring IE6 support to an end.  Only then, can developers create all types of interactive and exciting content, creating a new flourishing of content.  For the positive side of life, Internet Explorer v8 is much better in terms of standards and support, although it is still far behind other browsers such as Firefox, Opera, etc.

There are only two ways to cause IE6 to cease to exist:  (1) convince all IE6 users to upgrade (2) force all users to upgrade.  In January 2009, the estimated market share of IE6 was 19% (Browser Market Share).  Unfortunately, that is too many users to either convince or just abandon.  However, we can start warning (ie: forcing) users to upgrade over a time period and once that time period has elapsed, sites immediately stop supporting IE6 and require users to upgrade to view content.  Sometimes the only way to get users to do something is to proactively suggest and eventually force them into it.

That being said, I am beginning the push to start displaying warnings to users that IE6 will be deprecated and no longer supported on August 27, 2009.  Why August 27, do you ask?  Per Wikipedia, IE6 was originally released on Aug 27, 2001.  That means that on Aug 27, 2009, 8 years will have passed.  That is more like 20-30 years in the digital technology age and plenty of time for users to have upgraded to a new version of IE or better yet another browser.

I am calling all web developers to join me in helping to bring IE6 to its final resting place in history.  As a suggestion, here are some examples for how to go about this.

  • Use IE6 javascript detection and on page load show a modal dialog telling the user they are using an older browser that will cause certain features to not work and provide a list of links to other browsers, including IE8
  • Provide an advertisement on the page that informs users that their browser needs to be updated to view improved content on the site
  • Provide a warning at the top of the page informing the user to upgrade with a list of links

Also, mention to the user that on August 27, 2009 their browser will no longer be supported.  If we can get sites to implement this, then maybe we can start causing the market share to quickly drop and eventually deteriorate by its birthday on August 27.

Note that I am not alone in this fight.  See the following:

One Response to “End IE6 Support on Aug 27 Campaign”

  1. And we are *international*…!! ;))))

    Great suggestion, I think the “8th birthday is the death certificate date” is just a brilliant idea…!

    Ohh yeah, and thank you for the link :)