Monday, September 29, 2008

IE6 - who's still using it?

Every time I run into an annoying, time consuming and downright stupid bug while testing in IE6, I check the W3C's browser stats to see if by some miracle it's usage dropped enough for me to delete it from my PC forever. Today was one of those days and as you can see from the above, around a quarter of internet users are still surfing the information super-highway on IE6. Sadly, this is not enough for me to kick it off the list of browsers I need to test in on a daily basis, in fact, by looking back over previous stats, IE6 usage has dropped by a steady average of 10% per annum, so that would mean I and my fellow web developers are stuck with the fugly beast for about another 2 years.

Chrome and IE8 releases will hopefully catalyse the demise of the thorn in my side further. Until then, we'll just have to keep the stress balls, gum, coffee and whatever other vice gets you through the pain that is king of standards non-compliancy and general stupid behaviour, IE6.

Those stats are here.


Mike Voss said...

Hi Steph,

I was actually just using it a second ago when installing an interactive on a pc that had thus far never been updated. Its a plague, but more often than not, PCs still exist running the OS versions they were shipped with. In the case of windows XP, that unfortunately means IE6. You'd think every internet savvy user would use windows update to get a free, much more secure and actually working IE7, but between the die-hard "I aint givin Micro$oft no access to my pc", conectivity challenged non-broadbanders and dial-up riding silver-surfers, you will see IE6 for some time to come - basically as long as you will see Windows XP machines... :(

John Braine said...

I've been meaning too write about this too. I see lots of web design bloggers calling for an end to IE6. Let's throw out the rattle and refuse to support it - but that's just not realistic. I think that crowd should focus their energy on educating people on (1)how easy it is to upgrade with losing favourites etc, (2) That there is no learning curves and (3) the advantages gained by upgrading or switching browsers.

Steph said...

I guess there's also a large contingent of users who don't have control over what they're installing on their machines at work too, I really hope that's the reason for most of it. Heck, some of Bank of Ireland are still using 5.5. Maybe I've always been very on the ball about updates given my occupation but I don't recall ever seeing a prompt from Microsoft to update IE6 to 7 - if they're just wrapping it as an MS update well I can understand a slow up-take. I just worry that when IE8 gets released are we then faced with testing/hacking for 3 versions of IE? Surely MS could take a leaf out of Mozilla's book and inform users of the benefits - go for the carrot instead of the stick?