bit-tech.net

Google sounds death knell for IE 6

Google sounds death knell for IE 6

Internet Explorer 6 users wanting to view videos will see the above nag screen every two weeks until they upgrade.

Google is continuing its campaign to gently encourage users to upgrade from the severely out-of-date Internet Explorer 6 to a more modern web browser that properly supports web standards and features such as HTML 5 - and it's using YouTube as its primary weapon in the fight.

As reported over on ReadWriteWeb, the advertising giant is looking to end support for Microsoft's aging Internet Explorer 6 web browser - the default browser in Windows XP, replaced by Internet Explorer 7 in Vista - and hopes to encourage users to upgrade via a nag screen.

The message - which will appear every two weeks for IE 6 users - warns that support will officially end on the 13th of March, and offers download links to several alternative browsers. While anyone aware that Google owns YouTube will be unsurprised to see the Chrome browser headlining the list, links are also offered for Opera 10, Internet Explorer 8, Safari 4, and Firefox 3.6 - all browsers which support the HTML 5 standard.

With Google already pledging heavy support for the new HTML standard - with the first project being to move its flagship offline browsing API Gears to HTML 5 - it makes sense that it would want to implement the technology across its video streaming services, which it will struggle to do if users refuse to upgrade their browser.

Interestingly, the company has stated that IE 6 users will still be able to watch videos via YouTube after March, but that certain "new features" will be unavailable until a newer browser is used.

Do you applaud Google's efforts in getting users to upgrade their browser, or should Google continue to support IE 6 - which still holds a not-unimpressive 10 percent market share, putting it way above both Opera and Safari combined - despite its lack of HTML 5 support? Share your thoughts over in the forums.

23 Comments

Discuss in the forums Reply
Jamie 24th February 2010, 10:08 Quote
Besides web search this could be the best thing Google has ever done.

We need companies like this with the power to change the user base to push web browsers forward.
Singularity 24th February 2010, 10:11 Quote
IE6 is old and broken. Just let it die already. Why continue to support it if everyone CAN upgrade to a normal browser? It's not like is forced to use it with no alternative (except enterprise users, but that's just stupidity on the IT department's part).
Time to move on, otherwise we'll be living in the past. Might as well support the ol' Netscape too :D
mi1ez 24th February 2010, 10:13 Quote
Completely pre-empted me there!
antiHero 24th February 2010, 10:29 Quote
Thanks Google! Its about time. Luckily IE6 has such a small market share in finland (4%) that most devs dont support it anymore.
But if IT departments have not upgraded yet for other reasons why would they do it for Youtube support?
500mph 24th February 2010, 10:44 Quote
Now they need to put this on the search page to make sure plenty of people see it.
Mr T 24th February 2010, 10:58 Quote
As a web developer this can't come soon enough.
Darv 24th February 2010, 11:06 Quote
It's a good step by Google. At work we are all stuck on IE6 for god knows what reason. However Youtube is banned during work hours it's not exaclty going to make our IT department want to switch.
eddtox 24th February 2010, 11:25 Quote
No sympathy for IE6. It should have died a long time ago and maintaining support for it isn't doing anyone any favours, least of all those people running IE6. It is trivial for most people to upgrade their browser to something more recent.

As for corporate entities, do we care? Surely the whole web-dev world doesn't need to maintain support for an archaic browser just because a few corporations refuse to upgrade. The IT Techs of said corporations should be aware of the benefits of newer browsers, and if they keep using IE6 despite all of those benefits, that is their choice and they have to live with the consequences.

IE6 was released on the 27th of August 2001 (eight and a half years ago). IE7 was released on the 18th of Oct 2006 (three and a half years ago) and IE8 was released on the 19th of March 2009 (nearly a year ago), it's not like people haven't had enough time to move on. Eight and a half years is an awfully long time in the Tech industry.

(dates are according to wikipedia)
Darv 24th February 2010, 11:57 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by eddtox
As for corporate entities, do we care? Surely the whole web-dev world doesn't need to maintain support for an archaic browser just because a few corporations refuse to upgrade. The IT Techs of said corporations should be aware of the benefits of newer browsers, and if they keep using IE6 despite all of those benefits, that is their choice and they have to live with the consequences.

IE6 was released on the 27th of August 2001 (eight and a half years ago).

As I recall IE6 was released with windows XP. Now how many people are still using XP? ;)

I'm certainly not supporting IE6 but within a big company (for instance my company has 40,000+ employees) it's not just a case of upgrading everyones browser and it certainly wouldn't be some tech guys decision. It would be up to the management to approve something like that and they simply don't understand why it needs changing. IE6 works, to a degree, so they won't understand the benefits.
Mongoose132 24th February 2010, 11:59 Quote
Our whole School System still uses IE6, asked the Admins if they'll be upgrading any time soon after they saw this, and still no luck, wish we could get access to Chrome or FF, six feels so outdated after using the modern equivalents, after all the small short cuts and handy little things implemented over the years, it feels weird :P
SlowMotionSuicide 24th February 2010, 12:04 Quote
Too bad we're still forced use to IE6 at work :(
FelixTech 24th February 2010, 12:33 Quote
Way to go Google, fighting old software and creating work for the IT sector at the same time!
V3ctor 24th February 2010, 13:03 Quote
Still on IE6 and Windows 2000 here... And I'm forced to use it, it crashes every 5 pages... :(
badders 24th February 2010, 13:39 Quote
This is exactly the sort of thing that needs to be done to encourage IE6 to die.
Corporate IT will sit up and listen, as YouTube is a major site.
The thing holding most Corporate environments back from upgrading, is the support costs. First off you have to deploy the newer versions, then you have to pay for support when a user calls the helpdesk and complains that their Web Applications (that were designed for IE6) do not work anymore. THEN you have to pay out to re-write or find alternatives to those applications, all the while taking the hit for the lost productivity, or rolling back changes.

I know this is somewhat simplified, and could be mitigated by good planning, but every corporate environment running IE6 will run into these issues.

Several sites have stopped working at work for me in IE6 - google maps locks up the browser, and Akamai control centre has critical Layout issues :(
Xir 24th February 2010, 14:58 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Darv
Now how many people are still using XP? ;)

I'm certainly not supporting IE6 but within a big company (for instance my company has 40,000+ employees) it's not just a case of upgrading everyones browser.

Me! :D
Also my work, and therefore IE6.

Personally I use firefox, but also in an older version as the last updates to a new version always killed my plugins/links. (and I'd have to kill the "awesomebar" again) *sigh*

New computer -> New OS -> new browser ;)
Quote:
Corporate IT will sit up and listen, as YouTube is a major site.

Really? In my company Youtube is blocked...so is ebay.... (and the "Gaming" section of BitTech along with all other gaming related sites)
dslickness 24th February 2010, 18:04 Quote
RIP EI6, you were good to us way back then. But now you are a dead horse that people are still beating.
NiHiLiST 24th February 2010, 21:10 Quote
A 10% market share? Try 17%, it's best not to get browser usage stats from sites about web development, they tend to be somewhat skewed ;)

As others have said, people using IE6 are either locked in by their company's software setup, or aren't the type to use YouTube or Google's "web apps" much. If this move causes IE6's market share to drop by more than 2% I'll be stunned. It's a shame, some of my clients at work could save thousands if that browser would just roll over and die.
deadsea 25th February 2010, 00:37 Quote
I'm still on XP, but hell no to IE6. That browser is the reasoon why i need to have ie tabs installed on FF.

Personally, upgrading to Win 7 is a dumb option for me. Since when does the OS cost 60% the price of the hardware?
Sparrowhawk 25th February 2010, 05:13 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mongoose132
Our whole School System still uses IE6, asked the Admins if they'll be upgrading any time soon after they saw this, and still no luck, wish we could get access to Chrome or FF, six feels so outdated after using the modern equivalents, after all the small short cuts and handy little things implemented over the years, it feels weird :P

Tell them IE6 is a major security vuln. and that they need to switch to Firefox or Chrome. Seriously. If Google can be hacked because of IE6 (IIRC), anyone can. :(
Risky 25th February 2010, 08:59 Quote
For large companies (I'm a contract developer working in the city) you have a vast stock of internal web apps that will all have to be tested and signed off on the new browser before you can upgrade. They will get there (my current client is on an XPSP3+IE7 setup, but it's a slow process. Often the OS Update skips a release (WinNT to XP) as the new platform is a big cost.
[USRF]Obiwan 25th February 2010, 09:20 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Risky
For large companies (I'm a contract developer working in the city) you have a vast stock of internal web apps that will all have to be tested and signed off on the new browser before you can upgrade. They will get there (my current client is on an XPSP3+IE7 setup, but it's a slow process. Often the OS Update skips a release (WinNT to XP) as the new platform is a big cost.

Company's that after 10 years of IE6 still need to 'test' for a upgrade browser are dumb, especially their IT department. It's the most insecure browser in the world.
Silver51 25th February 2010, 10:36 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mongoose132
Our whole School System still uses IE6, asked the Admins if they'll be upgrading any time soon after they saw this, and still no luck...

Our school uses IE6 as well. It's been locked down to prevent kids from changing fonts and moving bits around; basically buggering machines up for themselves and everyone else. It's all fun and games until they're presented with an online test and they've set their font to Wingdings.

IE8 will be going on the system at the end of the week, then we'll set up policies for student users next week on the test machines.

TBH, I'll just be glad when we don't have to add <!--[if lte IE 6]> to web pages to get them to work.
Risky 25th February 2010, 14:38 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by [USRF]Obiwan
Company's that after 10 years of IE6 still need to 'test' for a upgrade browser are dumb, especially their IT department. It's the most insecure browser in the world.

I'm not sure many are still on 6 now but it's not about testing the browser, they're testing all the internal web apps which are needed by the business far more than youtube.
Log in

You are not logged in, please login with your forum account below. If you don't already have an account please register to start contributing.



Discuss in the forums