Archive for the ‘IE6’ Category

Installing Chrome Frame no longer needs admin rights

Thank you, Google. This should really help those people trapped on IE6 by their IT departments.

IE6 Countdown

Credit to Microsoft for creating this.

IE6 and Mobile Sites

IE6 turns nine years old tomorrow. Ironically, it’s now old enough to ride most rides… and those rides are turning it away. The latest is PBworks, formerly PBwiki. They’ve announced that IE6 users are about to start getting a warning message that they have two months to upgrade.

Here’s the intriguing part: after that date, they will be directing IE6 users to their mobile site. And that, I admit, is a solution I hadn’t considered. Most mobile browsers, after all, have stronger standards support (and better security) than IE6. But most mobile sites also offer stripped-back functionality, making them frequently compatible with IE6’s limited standards. If your mobile site has scaled-back features, and those features aren’t especially demanding on modern browser features, punting your IE6 users to m.yoursite.com can be a great way to get rid of headaches.

Here Is Why Web Developers Hate IE6

This humorous graphic speaks 1000 words.

Google: So Long, IE6

Big news on the IE front, as the 800-pound gorilla of the Web announced that it’s going to start phasing out IE6 support next month:

Many other companies have already stopped supporting older browsers like Internet Explorer 6.0 as well as browsers that are not supported by their own manufacturers. We’re also going to begin phasing out our support, starting with Google Docs and Google Sites. As a result you may find that from March 1 key functionality within these products — as well as new Docs and Sites features — won’t work properly in older browsers.

Meanwhile, noting that IE6 was the weak link in the Chinese hacks on Google, a petition in the UK government is calling for an abandonment of IE6.

In light of those attacks, France and Germany advised their citizens to switch from IE to a different browser altogether; the UK government, in the person of “Lord West of Spithead”*, said that simply upgrading to the latest version of IE would be sufficient.

* no, seriously, that’s his name.

Google Chrome Frame

I’ve of two minds about Google Chrome Frame. On the one hand, it would be great to be able to take advantage of modern Web tech, especially HTML5 features, in Internet Explorer, which forever lags behind. On the other hand, I’m not exactly clear who exactly this plug-in is designed for.

For IE6 users, I guess the logic is that most users (as we’ve seen) are stuck with that browser due to their workplace’s IT department, so this plug-in would let them get around IE6’s limitations. This, however, assumes that an IE department so conservative as to prohibit IE7 or IE8 would also be willing to let users install this plug-in. I’m sure that’s true for some places, but Chrome Frame will hardly be the panacea to the IE6 problem.

The real benefit, I suppose, is for dealing with IE7 and IE8 users, who still are the lion’s share of the Web. Sites that want to use HTML5 (or CSS3) features, and are willing to force IE users to download a plug-in to access the site, can really profit from this plug-in. I suspect that Google Wave, in particular, was a big driver behind this project; Google seems really avid about the project, but also recognized that trying to code it cross-browser was going to be a losing proposition. So by throwing up a plug-in download screen, they can still bring in the IE users.

Unfortunately, I don’t work for a site that is willing to require IE users to grab a plug-in, and I suspect most sites are in the same boat.

IE6 on CNN

CNN just posted this article on the drive to kill off IE6.

It’s one thing when something like a Digg developer’s blog talks about IE6, but hopefully attention from a major media site will help spur more people to switch!

IE Sicks

It’s been a week of big news on everyone’s favorite albatross, IE6.

First, YouTube is phasing out IE6. Facebook, another big-ticket site, has already been warning users to move away from IE6.

There was a lot of Web buzz about six months ago when a Norwegian site officially stopped supporting IE6. That was all fine and good, but, well, it was a Norwegian site most people had never heard of, and so unlikely to motivate users to switch. By contrast, according to this week’s Newsweek, YouTube is the third-biggest site on the Internet, with 426M visitors per month, so it’s pretty meaningful when a site like that decides it can start dropping support for a browser. When users can’t access YouTube or Facebook with IE6, maybe that will finally be the kick in the pants they need to upgrade.

Second, the crew at Digg did some great research on their IE6 users. They found that IE6 was about 10% of their traffic and was using a lot of development time, but accounted for only 1% of the traffic that was actually using Digg’s bookmarking features. So they polled their IE6 users to find out why they were still using IE6. They found that 69% said that work was forcing them to use it, either by stating they had to or by not giving them admin access on their computers.

Mind you, Digg users are likely to be a tech-savvier lot than users overall, where I suspect you’ll find more users who are naive or stubborn about browser upgrades. Still, this does shine a light on IE6 usage – that it may be corporate IT departments who pose the biggest obstacle to getting rid of IE6, not average users digging in their heels.