Friday, 7 August 2009

IE6 will die on its own



No need for euthanasia.

Earlier this week, the IE6 No More campaign was launched, led by Weebly and a number of other mostly young Internet companies. The plan, no less, is to kill off Internet Explore 6, once and for all. Their reasoning:
As any web developer will tell you, working with IE 6 is one of the most difficult and frustrating things they have to deal with on a daily basis, taking up a disproportionate amount of their time. Beyond that, IE 6's support for modern web standards is very lacking, restricting what developers can create and holding the web back.

There are now over 70 companies backing the campaign by including a banner on their websites, visible only to those on IE6 (and earlier) encouraging them to switch to Firefox 3.5, Chrome, Safari 4 or IE8.

It's frequently claimed that IE6 accounts for 15-25% of Internet users. I wonder whether that paints an accurate picture of the usage of IE6.

When I was at Zattoo, visits to http://zattoo.com from the UK by IE6 users were very low. In fact, they accounted for just 6.5% in the last six months of my tenure (1st January to 30th June 2009).

Since we launched TV Pixie earlier this week, the proportion of visits from IE6 account for just 6%.

This blog, meanwhile, has just 3.6% of visits from readers on IE6. You guys are really advanced: 64% on Firefox (although the one person on v1.5.0.6 might want to upgrade); and of those on any IE version, 78% are on 7 or 8.

In other words, IE6 is dying all by itself. Web designers, especially start-ups, can probably ignore IE6 compatability, with impunity.

My gut instinct is that the IE6 No More campaign is a splendid PR coup.

Weebly, the leader of IE6 No More, is a direct competitor of Moonfruit. As I mentioned recently, Moonfruit launched a big Twitter campaign, which apparently resulted in a massive increase in activity for them, even though Twitter forced them to pull the plug on it. So it should come as no surprise, that Weebly responds with a campaign of their own. Theirs, however, is so much more subtle and avoids engaging in spamming techniques and product giveaways.

If you are one of those on IE6, I do recommend switching to another web browser. I generally use Firefox 3.5, which I find is stable and fast, as well as making it easy to install add-ons (like the Facebook toolbar and Foxclocks) for further functionality.

Unfortunately, for online banking, like many people I'm forced to use Internet Explorer. Should we start a campaign?