The Pending Browser Hell – On IE Half Life

Wednesday, September 28th, 2011 | Business | by

Paul Irish, wrote Browser Market Pollution: IE[x] is the new IE6, which details the complexities we have coming up for us as web developers.

I’m glad to see someone fully thought this through.  Browser half life is a significant issue for website accessibility.

When was the last time someone asked you to get your site working in Chrome 9?  Well, that was 3 releases ago, as was IE6 (I’m even ignoring the fact that Chrome 9 was February 2011, and not August of 2001 for IE6).  I’m constantly hearing that a client is asking for IE6 support.  I do all I can to dissuade them (logic, reasoning, and finally .. a 30% surcharge as it requires much more time to debug and handle), but IE6 support is still an issue.  Why?

Because of the half life of Microsoft browsers.

Microsoft doesn’t support Windows XP anymore.  Microsoft only supports IE8 on Windows XP.  Chrome still supports Windows XP.

That’s the problem.  Users are MUCH less likely to buy a new OS, which will require repurchasing much of their software, just for a browser upgrade.  So we are stuck with legacy browsers.

Take a look at the following 2 graphs (from the post, which looks like it was taken from Arstechnica):

Internet Explorer Transition

That’s the problem with IE, and why Chrome is so much better.

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1 Comment to The Pending Browser Hell – On IE Half Life

[…] think IE browser half-life is bad? Let me introduce you to the no-updates world of Android […]

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