Internet Explorer 6 Cutbacks Continue

As the day draws nearer for Google Apps to drop Internet Explorer 6 support (March 1), other companies are following suit.

Internet Explorer 6 Sucks

Salesforce.com and Atlassian are the latest to kick IE6 to the curb. On Atlassian’s side, it was stated on the forums that IE6’s time is up as of the JIRA 4.2 launch date (Q3, 2010). As for Salesforce.com, a mass e-mail was sent out to customers:

“Multiple security vulnerabilities in IE6 have been exploited over the years. The most recent attacks against Google, Yahoo, and other companies specifically targeted vulnerabilities easily accessible in IE6 but much more difficult to exploit in IE7 and IE8—leading the Microsoft Security Response Centre to recommend that users of IE6 upgrade to a newer version of Internet Explorer.

And, in case that wasn’t enough to hammer their point in: “Of all of our supported browsers, IE6 provides the slowest and least rewarding user experience for our customers.”

Moreover, it looks like social networking is getting in some punches as well--mainly Facebook, which recently publicly prompted its users to upgrade to newer versions of IE. 

Not enough to convince you to make the switch? Here's a visual from the exo.performance.network:

exo_ie_performance.jpg

As you can see, even though IE6 is floundering, IE8 isn't doing half bad. Wrote the research staff on the exo.performance.network blog

Current data from the exo.repository shows a dramatic spike in IE 8.0 adoption, with over 70% of Windows XP systems - sampled from the exo.performance.network's IT-centric community of nearly 23,000 registered sites - now running Microsoft's latest web browser. This compares to the less than 10% of XP systems that are still running the aging IE 6.0, and the roughly 20% who are stuck on the in-between version, IE 7.0.

Not that Simple

As we said before, unfortunately it's just not that easy for some folks to switch browsers. For larger organizations and companies, mass testing and deployment of a new browser can be extremely time-consuming and expensive. Also, Microsoft has shown no intention of dropping support early. 

"...we committed to supporting the IE included with Windows for the lifespan of the product," said IE's General Manager Dean Hachamovitch. "We keep our commitments. Many people expect what they originally got with their operating system to keep working whatever release cadence particular subsystems have."

But we still can't help but wonder--considering IE6's rapid decline, will Microsoft sing a different tune before 2014 when support for Windows XP is scheduled to end?