Stop supporting IE 6 and 7

Microsoft announced the final release of Internet Explorer 9 yesterday, so I think it's time to explain why I don't support older versions of IE (mainly 7 and 6). The reason is simple: supporting older versions of IE is harmful for IE's users. Why? There are two reasons behind this. First, if you support these browsers, you're actually encouraging their users to continue with their bad habits and this is harmful for their computer security. Using an obsolete browser exposes users to malicious attacks that can compromise the integrity of their data. So if you build a web site that fully works in IE 6 and 7, you're indirectly contributing to the massive widespread of malware infections, phishing hoaxes and similar security problems. An obsolete browser is affected by several bugs that may harm a user's computer. Every site that still supports these browsers convinces IE's users that there is no need to upgrade their browsers. If you do that, be aware of the potential danger of what you're doing.

Second, if you still support these browsers, you're actually preventing the latest releases of Internet Explorer (8 and 9) from being adopted by the majority of web users. Microsoft has put so much effort in the development of IE that it would be harmful even to Microsoft if you continue with supporting obsolete versions of IE. The intention of IE 9 and 8 is to provide web developers and users with a full standard-compliant web browser. If you don't drop your support to older versions of IE, you're actually frustrating the hopes of Microsoft, web developers and simple users in a better web.

Please don't do that. Please stop supporting IE 6 and 7! smile

3 thoughts on “Stop supporting IE 6 and 7”

  1. Thanks for giving us a reason to stop feeling guilty about dropping hacks for IE7 and below! I hadn't thought about the idea that doing this is enabling people to continue using obsolete versions.

  2. The problem with this argument is that I work for major clients who would simply take their business to another company who do support IE6/7. Several of our sites have around 3 million hits per month with around 14% usage from IE6/7... try telling a client that you are not going to support over 400,000 users a month.

    Maybe if you work for a little design studio for very cool apps only it is feasible to drop support, but whilst it is non-commercially viable to stop support for these browsers many of us will continue to do so and embrace the idea that the web is for everyone, regardless of browser.

  3. James, I work for big clients too. I worked for two years as a security assistant and almost every time clients got infected because of IE... not to talk about the recent mass-spreading of phishing sites, which IE6 and 7 cannot handle. A client who's been infected doesn't follow your rule, because the web is no longer for everyone but only for people who can surf freely without a parasitized and slowed down connection due to malware or with their bank credentials sold to third-party malicious web sites.

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