A no-doubter: It’s time to stop supporting IE 6

Internet Explorer 6 usage share in the US is now below 1 percent according to Microsoft. If you’re still expending energy trying to design for IE 6, it really is time to move on. It turned 10 last year. For some perspective, the other active browsers at the time of IE 6’s release included Netscape Communicator 4.7, Netscape 6, and Opera 6. Do you still test for those?

If you’re using Internet Explorer 6 by choice, stop. You are missing out on the best the Web has to offer. If you can’t upgrade your machine from Windows XP or earlier, there are still working versions of Firefox and Chrome available for you (and IE 8 works on Windows XP, too).

And if your corporate IT policy demands Internet Explorer 6, your corporate IT department is knowingly running an insecure browser (Secunia reports at least 15% of IE 6’s known flaws remain unpatched). Who in the world would think this is sane IT policy?

IE 6 had a remarkable run largely at the expense of the advancement of Web standards. Fortunately, Mozilla disrupted things and kicked Microsoft out of cruise control and back to competing (a position from which Microsoft has historically done its best work). IE 9 was a massive improvement over any previous version of IE to date, and IE 10 is expected to be pretty fantastic standards-wise, so even if the open source alternatives aren’t palatable, Microsoft is doing a much better job on this front and should only continue to improve.