Wednesday, February 03, 2010

Google to end support for Internet Explorer 6 during 2010

Google has announced that it will progressively end support for Microsoft Internet Explorer 6 during 2010 - beginning with Google Docs and Sites in March. Youtube, another Google company, is also phasing out support.

Announced in the Google Enterprise blog post last week, Modern browsers for modern applications, Google Apps Senior Product Manager, Rajen Sheth, said that the web had evolved in the last ten years from simple text pages to rich interactive applications and that very old web browsers cannot run these new features effectively.

This approach isn't limited to Google. A number of companies have already dropped support for Internet Explorer 6.0 in their online applications and more, including Facebook and Digg, plan to drop it in the near future.

Microsoft (up to CEO level) have also advocated dropping the IE6 web browser for their latest version, Internet Explorer 8.

EDIT at 8:10AM 3/2/09:
Nick Hodge, a Microsoft staff member, has commented on this post that Microsoft is also progressively dropping IE6 support, saying that Microsoft has,
dropped support for IE6 in Sharepoint 2010 and the forthcoming web versions of Word, Excel, Powerpoint and OneNote 2010; plus live@edu and other web properties. 
END EDIT

However, to support its customers, as there are a number of major corporations still tied to the ageing browser, Microsoft recently extended support for IE6 until April 2014, when all support for Windows XP ends.

Given the recent severe security issues reported with IE6 and the increasing proportion of the internet unavailable to those using the 2001 vintage web browser, I hope to see the remaining organisations migrating away from the browser in the near future.

It is estimated that only 20% of web users - predominantly workers in large organisations - still use IE6, however up to 50% of Chinese internet users are still on the web browser.

Reportedly Microsoft's Internet Explorer web browser has been losing market share at least 2004, when it reached 90% of the market. According to Wikipedia's Usage share of web browsers article, it is now estimated (through tracking subsets of internet users) that only about 60% of internet users are on one of the Internet Explorer variants, with Firefox 3.5 having overtaken IE8 as the most popular browser by version.

Some commentators expect to see Microsoft's share of the web browser market fall below 50% by mid-2011.

2 comments:

  1. Microsoft is putting action behind its words in regard to deprecating Internet Explorer 6: It has also dropped support for IE6 in Sharepoint 2010 and the forthcoming web versions of Word, Excel, Powerpoint and OneNote 2010; plus live@edu and other web properties.

    Thanks Google for following suit, finally :-)

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  2. Thanks Nick, I'll amend the article to include this.

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