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Keep supporting IE6

I just checked the IE6 usage on my blog and it's about 4,3% which is incredibly low. Mostly because it's only tech people reading my blog. Any other normal Swedish site would have IE6 usage at about 25%. (some higher, and some lower depending on the user base)

The last month our developer community has exploded in this mission that every web site should warn IE6 users and tell them that they are not welcome. This just makes me pissed. In the end you could call this some sort of discrimination as we will stop supporting dumb people, poor people and all the unfortunates that are forced to use this web browser.

Please let me explain my view point

  1. What browser the user choose is not something for the web developer to oppose. As a consultant it is my obligation to confront my client with the choice of supporting IE6 users or not, because it will take more time and effort to make the web site function properly. It is however not my decision as a developer to say no to 25% of paying customers.

  2. The majority of the IE6 users are not able to upgrade. They may be senior citizens that does not care about web browsers, but just want it to work. They will get a browser upgrade when their grandchild buy them a new computer to replace that old 266 Mhz PII. The other user base are the companies with huge IT systems that will take years to upgrade. It is not your mission to tell those users what they already know and stop supporting them.

  3. If you follow web standards the last tweaks to make it look good in IE6 are not overwhelming. So stop complaining about your tools and just get to work.

A couple of weeks ago, Facebook told me that they wouldn't support the browser that I use. This was probably just a bug in their browser detection system, because it was gone the next day, but do you think that I switched browser to be able to log in that day? No! Do you think that people will upgrade to IE7 before they place an order on your site? No! They will go somewhere else.

Time will take care of this browser just like time took care of Netscape Gold. What we do not need are whining developers. Instead we need a broad support for the user base out there. All IE6 users are welcome to my site. I will not guarantee that it looks exactly like any other browser, but it will be usable and I will not tell you to upgrade.

Stop the hate - IE6 isn't so bad

*[IE6]: Internet Explorer 6 *[IE7]: Internet Explorer 7

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