Stop Using Internet Explorer 6!

2009-06-04 11:03 - Opinion

I'm a web developer by occupation, and for as long as I have been, Internet Explorer 6 has been a thorn in my side. You don't have to look hard to find complaints about it. It is riddled with bugs and "custom" behavior that makes it especially difficult to develop working pages against. As an attempt to help clean up this mess (users can upgrade to both IE7 and IE8 now, not to mention far superior alternatives like Firefox), I included the IE6 Update script. A little HTML bit included conditionally, that looks like a normal IE "information bar". The idea would hopefully be that people are used to seeing something like this, will click on it, and upgrade away from the mess that is IE6.

I included this on my site on April 21st. During the month of April before the change, Google Analytics says my IE visitors were broken down, by visits, into these versions:

7.0199,45973.15%
6.062,32122.86%
8.010,7413.94%

Here's the same grouping for April after this change through the month of May:

7.0383,89969.71%
6.0122,34222.21%
8.044,1898.02%

Very inconclusive. Certainly not anything that could be taken as a positive result. Since the bar is rather annoying for IE users (it comes up on every page, even after it is manually dismissed), I think I'll be removing it from my site. Asa Dotzler has recently pointed out some long term trends for all browsers and versions of IE. These numbers clearly fit, the tiny decrease in IE6 probably just represents the overall slow decline. A recent SlashDot post titled Internet Explorer 6 Will Not Die expresses, in the comments, the seemingly valid idea that pre-XP installations hanging around, and pirated XP, represents a group of people who cannot upgrade to IE7 (or 8), and probably make up the group still holding IE6.

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