The topic of site support for IE6 has had a lot of discussion on the web recently. Enough is enough. IE6 is an ancient browser released in late 2001. Why would anyone run an eight-year old browser? Should sites continue to support it? What more can anyone do to get IE6 users to upgrade?
IE6 does not support many of the major innovations of the last 8 years. Yet it is still used by 15-25% of Internet users. IE No More website is run by a group of people who want to see IE 6 disappear as soon as possible. The reason is that IE 6 is one of the most difficult and frustrating things web designers have to deal with on a daily basis. The end users also suffer because the insecurity of that old browser compared to new competitors. IEBlog: Engineering POV: IE6 tells the reasons why some organizations and users are still stuck with the old version. But even this blog want people to upgrade to the latest version. Microsoft wants to see IE6 gone as much as anyone else, but the company isn’t going to make the decision for its users anytime soon. Microsoft says that is has committed to supporting the IE included with Windows for the lifespan of the product. On April 14, 2009, Microsoft retired Mainstream Support for Windows XP, and thus for Internet Explorer 6. That said, Microsoft is not planning to retire Extended Support for the operating system until April 8, 2014.
Of course some big Web sites aren’t waiting for Microsoft. Google’s Orkut (a social networking service popular in Brazil and India) and YouTube have started warning IE6 users that the browser will no longer be supported.