Yesterday, the folks over at Mashable posted a new blog entry entitled “IE6 Must Die for the Web to Move On.” Since then, the post has been retweeted over 3200 times, received over 2700 diggs and quickly moved up the list on Twitter’s Trending Topics. The article seems to have “poked the bear” because it seems almost everyone on Twitter wants IE6 to die. Twitter users have even started adding an “IE6 must die” ribbon to their avatars to express support.
Introduced in 2001, only 15-25% of people on the web even use IE6 anymore. Over the years, it has become riddled with security vulnerabilities, does not support Drupal CSS (a major thorn in all developers’ sides) and doesn’t display any .png images properly (which ruins site design). And social networkers aren’t the only ones calling for IE6 to die – YouTube, Digg, Facebook and Basecamp have all announced that they will no longer support the browser.
As the web grows, better and cleaner technologies will emerge (like the new HTML 5) and integrate into our lives. So why support a browser that doesn’t support any new technology? It seems like a “I’ll scratch your back and you scratch mine” type of relationship. Since your website is supposed to be a clean and easy place to interact with clients and customers, using a browser that doesn’t give you optimum functionality doesn’t really compute. Think of it this way: building a website is kind of like prom night – you’re supposed to look your best. And any representation of your business should look its best no matter what form it takes on.
As the consumer demand for “IE6 Must Die!” grows louder, we’ll be watching to see exactly how Microsoft will react. Companies have been criticized before for not responding to customer service issues via Twitter, so only time will tell the fate of IE6.