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Is IE6 Dead?

Friday, April 9th, 2010

Is IE6 Dead?

That stats seem to point that it’s on life support, at the very least. There’s even been a funeral for IE6 out in Denver.

That’s great if you’re a geek. A browser with 8.9% market share has probably been in your rear view mirror for ages. But that’s not true for many casual users, and even for some corporate users with an “if it ain’t broke don’t fix it” attitude. Hard to blame them. Upgrades can be expensive and unpredictable.

But does that mean you should let your developer sell you on the idea of not supporting IE6? Only if she does her homework.

It’s easy to cite the stats that say “no-one” uses IE6 anymore, and we even discuss how it doesn’t meet our definition of “recent versions of major market browsers.” (Which is the language we use in our development agreements.) With IE7 and IE8 out, IE6 is OLD.

But the real test isn’t industry-wide statistics or a developers rule of thumb. The real test is your audience. What percentage of your audience is using each browser? Which browser should be your top priority when testing layout and usability? This is valuable information to have, so it’s worthwhile to install a stats / analytics package to begin tracking that information. Six months down the road, when it’s time to decide whether to save the time and money of not worrying about IE6 compatibility, you’ll know whether it’s 2% or 20% of your audience you’re affecting.

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