IE6: To support or not to support? There is no question.

Son Huynh

In a post by TechCrunch, it appears that YouTube may be blowing off support for Internet Explorer 6 users. Users have been reporting that if you go to YouTube’s website in IE6 (and possibly other outdated browsers), you see a message from YouTube advocating an upgrade to one of the lastest browsers. It seems YouTube isn’t the only one as Digg.com is considering a move in that direction as well.

The real question here is not whether or not to cut support for IE6 but when are we going to do it already. IE6 is a huge money hole. Honestly why are we being forced to support an 8 year old browser anyway? Statistics show that there is still a decent percentage of users using IE6 and so most sites are forced to support it. But let me be frank, supporting IE6 is a big pain. More often than not, developers have to undergo major code changes in order to get the page to display correctly in IE6, the same page that displays just fine in modern browsers. So much development time is being wasted in this tedious task when it could be used to develop new features.

Now just in case you didn’t read that post from Digg, it appears that the main reason why people use IE6 is because they’re forced to use it at work and companies are refusing to upgrade. I really would like to find out the reasoning behind that because to me, that just seems silly. But hey, maybe these companies do have a good reason for not upgrading, but whatever that reason is, I am all for saying goodbye to IE6.

I am seriously considering following in YouTube and Digg’s footsteps but I’m not going to do something just because it makes my life easier (at least not when it affects so many people that come to our site).

What do you guys think? Who’s going to be pissed off if come Fall, there might be a similar message stating that you should upgrade?