By now, you’ve probably read all of our blogs about how much we hate IE6 (Internet Explorer 6.0). Why do we hate it so much? Let me review for those who aren’t familiar.
1. It’s old.
2. It’s outdated.
3. It doesn’t support new technology.
What does this mean? It means that it’s a pain for developers, and that means an increased charge for you to have us work around it. So, we do have some mutual interest in you upgrading your browsers regularly.
I totally get that some firms have invested a lot of money in certain technology. Upgrading that technology might not be financially viable.
Those people probably aren’t your target market anyway, unless you’re a “B to B” business. Still, I don’t believe that IE6’s market share of 9.6% are government workers, or people browsing websites at work. The relatively newer IE7 has 11%, while the newest version of Internet Explorer, IE8 has 14.7%.
Why is the market share for IE almost evenly spread throughout it’s 35.3% (down almost 1% from January) market share? I’ll tell you why. Because IE doesn’t encourage you to upgrade your browser.
I logged on with Firefox the other day, and I got this message asking me to download version 3.6. Note that it doesn’t require you to update if you don’t want to, but it does tell you why you should: It’s faster, more secure, with thousands of add-ons. As a bonus, it lets you do all of that in one easy click of the mouse. In less than 5 minutes you’re updated. You can even browse the web while it downloads in the background.
Aside from the visual and security updates, what’s important for web developers are the back end updates that come along with upgraded browsers. Features that support new technologies like CSS3 and HTML5 make coding your site easier. They help your website to load faster and more efficiently, in the long run helping your online sales or business to grow.
Microsoft doesn’t do this. Microsoft makes you find the update, download it, and install it. That’s why we still have 20% of users using outdated browsers. That’s why most (awesome) web designers hate Internet Explorer.
So, do yourself a favor. Switch to Firefox. When you notice that the web is a lot prettier and loads faster, you’ll leave me a comment and thank me for my advice.