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Internet Explorer version 6 (IE6) has been in existence since 2001, and many sites have ceased to support it and perform Quality Assurance (QA) testing against it. At QuickBase, we feel that it’s time to do the same. We’re planning on supporting IE6 until September 30, 2011. After that, users will be able to access QuickBase using the once-popular browser, but there may be updated code that renders imperfectly on the pages. Our suggestion is to upgrade to a version of IE7, 8 or 9:
Why Have So Many Organizations Stopped Supporting IE6?
The short answer is that it’s a decade-old browser. To quote Google’s statement from last February: “The web has evolved in the last ten years, from simple text pages to rich, interactive applications including video and voice. Unfortunately, very old browsers cannot run many of these new features effectively. So to help ensure your business can use the latest, most advanced web apps, we encourage you to update your browsers as soon as possible."
In addition to the evolution of the web, the browser itself has had inherent security issues, and supporting it eats up 25-30% of our QA time in preparation for each release. By gaining back this QA time, we’ll be able to put more customer-facing and infrastructure features into each of our releases, increasing our speed to market, and hopefully improving customer satisfaction.
There has been a rallying cry from development teams across the globe to cease support of IE6 for at least 18 months, so why did we wait so long? When we first started hearing the rumblings, I checked the stats. A whopping 37% of our users were using IE6 to access QuickBase in October 2009. Many of our largest customers had IE6 as their standard browser, locked down so that employees were unable to upgrade to a newer browser. Fast-forward to today, and roughly 10% of our visits come from users running IE6. Almost all of our largest customers have moved away from IE6 as their corporate standard, and those at smaller companies are more likely to have the freedom to upgrade their browsers for free themselves.
So, tell me what you think. Is six months’ notice long enough to switch to another browser? Are you an IE6 fan? We’d love to hear your thoughts.