Are you still using Internet Explorer 6 to browse the Internet? If so, it’s time for you to upgrade to at least version 7 if you hope to continue to enjoy all that the Internet has to offer. In fact, many of the most popular Internet applications and Websites, including those that are developed by the PlanMySite team, are no longer supporting IE6.
So, what has spurred this major change? Aside from the fact that it is simply time to go out with the old and in with the new, IE6 garnered some major unwanted attention earlier this year when numerous cyberattacks took place against Google as well as several other companies in the United States. Unfortunately for Microsoft, these attacks were made possible due to a flaw in the IE6 software. As a result, the company released an out-of-cycle patch to address the concern. Nonetheless, many still consider IE6 to be a much weaker version of the browser when it comes to the security that it provides to its users.
Although use of IE6 has been dropping significantly every since Internet Explorer 8 was released, statistics from StatCounter indicate that 13.5% of Web surfers are still using the outdated IE6. For these people, Google Docs and many other Google Sites services are no longer available and several others will no longer be available by the end of the year, which means they will have to upgrade to at least IE7 if they hope to continue to use these services.
The fact that Google has turned its back on IE6 should be plenty of reason to convince you to upgrade your browser and is a good reason for the PlanMySite team to steer clear of it as well. But, the fact that IE6 lacks the same level of security as the 8 version is another compelling reason to make the change. The reality is that the Internet has evolved significantly since 2001, which is when IE6 was released, and the browser simply has not been able to keep up with these changes.
Interestingly, some reports indicated that corporations are the ones that have been the most reluctant to upgrade to the latest version of Internet Explorer. For some, this is because some of their applications require IE6 and truly will not work if they upgrade to a newer version. For most, however, the reason for their reluctance to change is because it would mean testing every application to make sure it works and fixing any problems that may arise. While this may seem a bit burdensome, the truth is that upgrading to the latest version of Internet Explorer can help prevent some major headaches in the future. Furthermore, their decision to stick with IE6 actually affects more people than just their organization.
Among those who are affected the greatest by the lack of Internet Explorer upgrades is Web development teams such as the one at PlanMySite. Because some people and corporations refuse to upgrade, we are saddled with the responsibility of creating Websites that can support IE6 as well as the latest version of the browser. This makes development of Websites more complex and time consuming. Even worse, it limits what developers can do with a site because many of those features that are readily accepted by newer browsers are not supported by IE6.
Those who surf the Web are also affected by this reluctance to upgrade, as IE6 is more susceptible to being hacked and to spreading viruses. Modern browsers, o n the other hand, feature phishing protection and other features that help to reduce security problems and to prevent them from spreading to other users.
So, in a nutshell, this is why we have decided to block IE6 from being able to access our Website. Of course, if you are able to read this blog post, you must have already upgraded to a more recent version. In that case, our hats go off to you and we encourage you to push your friends and colleagues to make the change as well.