Mark's Stuff

My Foray Into Weblogging. Using this to store interesting items for later review.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

IE6 Retirement Schedule Is OK by me

There has been some uproar about an article that Microsoft will still support IE6 until 2014 (ref: http://twitter.com/JimHolmes/statuses/3388282884, and RT dozens of times.)

I'm sorry, but I cannot get upset about this news article.  Back in the 90's, we whined and complained that Microsoft (and other vendors) were coming out too fast with software releases, and not supporting releases long enough. Remember that VB 2.0 was only out 6 months before VB 3.0 came out.  And MS Word 98 was replaced by Office 2000 only 8 months after its release.  Microsoft heard and understood, and came out with their Lifecycle Support policy so that we could have some semblance of scheduled lifetime for software releases.

And now we want to whine that Microsoft is following that policy?  I'm sorry, but I'm not going to follow that.  We cannot complain because there wasn't a planned policy, then complain that we don't like the standard policy.  No, Microsoft is OK on this one.

Now, I fully agree that we should not be using IE6.  We need to get users to safer and better platforms, and get them on IE8 whenever possible.  And the sooner the better, especially for relieving our web site development headaches.  The faster the market share for IE6 approaches zero will be good for all of us. 

But as long as there are users using IE6, for whatever reason, I want Microsoft to support it.  I want critical security patches and fixes dealt with and deployed as quickly as possible, and any performance enhancements or rendering fixes continued to be developed. 

And as long there are significant share of our users still using IE6 (20% of total IE population, that I last heard of), we as developers still need to account for those users and make sure our sites don't leave them out.  We develop software for our businesses, and for our business's customers, not for our standards of elegance.  We need to continue to support or users and customers, not ridicule or demean them.

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