Google deprecating support for IE6?

TGDaily has an unattributed report asserting that

Google is now urging Gmail users to drop Internet Explorer 6 (IE6) in favor of Firefox or Chrome that, according to the company, run the popular web-based email service “twice as fast.” Google also labels IE6 as an unsupported browser, meaning it fails to run some Gmail features

I’m unable to find any direct quote from Google to this effect – anyone got one? With 20% of users still using IE6 (which is only marginally less than all versions of Firefox, and close to 3 times Safari), it’s an interesting position if it is in fact the case.

There’s a reasonable case to be made that IE6 is disproportionally used in larger enterprises and organizations, for which Google provides commercial versions of Google apps like Gmail. It’s hard to imagine Google abandoning IE6 support for such users, even if the percentage of users for their free versions of Gmail, Google Apps and so on using IE6 is small and diminishing.

We’ll have some interesting related statistics from our recent “State of the Web” survey in the next few days, which among many other things asked designers and developers what browsers they used (and tested their sites and applications in).

I’m guessing that for mere mortals, support for IE6 in our sites and applications will need to continue for some time yet, even if Google feels they can start transitioning users to other browsers.

No responses to “Google deprecating support for IE6?”:

    • By: DOliva
    • January 2nd, 2009

    I for one, have found no browser that I liked better then IE6. It’s got a small footprint (memory/cpu) because it’s not trying to be an application provider.. it’s trying to be a browser. The browser interface components are small and out of the way. This maintains the focus on the content, not the browser. When I find a browser that I like better, I’ll move. So far, I have not. Less is more. Back to the basics, folks. A capable graphical browser with a small foot print with the focus on content. Browsers should not have self ego love.

  1. […] an increase in Mac OS X and iPhone usage, both of which spark increases in Safari usage. Also, with Google discouraging use of IE market share will only continue to go down, as it has for […]

  2. […] a better and more secure browsing environment). Thus, it seemed that companies like 37signals and Google had to take the lead, having to publicly announce that they would no longer bother making future […]

  3. DOliva, what about multiple tabs? And, on the subject of tabs, I quickly fired up IE6 and did a comparison between it and Firefox (which is my preferred browser). Firefox uses slightly more of the page due to the tab bar, but if you took that away it would use up less screen estate than IE6 (with the small icons option checked).

  4. I wonder, legally speaking, is it anti-competitive for Google to leverage its monopoly on search to push its browser product? It’s the same pattern as MS using its grip on the OS market to push other products. Still, anything that helps show IE6 the door…

  5. […] a better and more secure browsing environment). Thus, it seemed that companies like 37signals and Google had to take the lead, having to publicly announce that they would no longer bother making future […]

    • By: stevegmag
    • January 12th, 2009

    @DOliva: That’s a bunch of Hoo-HA! IE 6 needs to be retired for good after a seven year reign. It’s lack of support for standards has caused, god only knows, how many wasted developer hours and dollars of those who employ them. If had a law degree I would start a class action suit against MS.

    While I understand that IE 6 was a major player in web history, just imagine where the state of web design and development would be today with out all the wasted effort supporting, what is at best, a mediocre browser.

    • By: Art Yaffe
    • January 30th, 2009

    As of this morning, I cannot use IE6 for Gmail. I have Firefox loaded, but I really don’t like it or IE7. I will use Firefox for Gmail when I need to use the webmail version, but that’s not very often.

    • By: Attit
    • January 30th, 2009

    Can we please just kill all IE products? They all suck and are the bane of every web designer!

    save a developer, use a better browser!

    • By: Matt
    • July 24th, 2009

    I agree with all the developers as I am one myself. To make websites working in IE6 we need to usually use the IE-specific comment tags which we should not use as this is considered as “hack & slash” technique.

    And those bloody double margins are basically screwing everything up!

    IE6 should’ve died once IE7 came out on the market. Long time ago.

    • By: Rohit
    • December 9th, 2009

    There are t shirts coming out with quotes

    “Seriously, you still you IE 6!”

    Its time to let the old once upon a time most used browser to rest

    • By: iso ka
    • February 1st, 2010

    ie sucks, use better browsers to save developers.

    • By: RWes
    • February 3rd, 2010

    Seriously, I like MS, Windows 7, IE 7 +, Office 2010 changes, & other MS Products. I also love my iPhone, use Chrome, Opera & Safari. I like to consider myself objective/neutral; that said:

    IE 6 must DIE & I agree with the one poster about a class action, if it were legal ;). Having had to deal with CSS to just handle IE 6 related issues, I would be so happy to see that browser just disappear.

    • By: Todd
    • February 6th, 2010

    I used to be a web developer as well. The cost of maintaining support for IE6 is extraordinary. It is simply a horrible browser that does everything wrong… and to support it, you have to “trick” it into rendering your website properly. Supporting IE 6, can kill weeks trying to figure why it won’t do something it is supposed to do.

    I applaud Google. Thank you Google. Flush this browser out of the system once and for all. IE7 has it’s issues too, but IE6 needs to DIE DIE DIE!

    • By: Esteban
    • July 2nd, 2010

    I agree 100% with DOliva. I mean look at IE6, it is the epitome of browsers: small footprint (uncompared to any other browser including Chrome), amazing Javascript support (V8 has nothing on it), its lack of tabbed browsing streamlines productivity by maintaining focus on current task (same reason that I still favor single core processors over multithread/multicore), its rendering is leaps and bounds ahead of webkit (in all aspects: adhering to web standards, physical/visual rendering etc..). I don’t honestly see why Microsoft made any browsers after 6, they got it right with that one.

    PS: I lied, thank you Google for finally taking this sick browser out behind the barn for us…

    • By: Nitecon
    • September 25th, 2010

    I find posts like these kind of funny as to how people whine that it’s Microsoft’s fault that others are still running IE6. The fact however is any of you that currently have IE7 + installed, go ahead and try install IE6, this is absolutely impossible, which is a great feat my MS to force users to upgrade their software.

    However the problem comes in that enterprise companies use software like HP’s Quality Center that for whatever reason was built just for IE6 / IE7. Due to that the helpdesk teams are not allowed to upgrade the enterprise desktops / notebooks because they have to have IE6 / 7 since from a business standpoint, the businesses shell out several millions for software licenses, dropping that cash in the toilet just to move to a new browser isn’t an option.

    I’m a *nix person myself and love *nix over microsoft products for the fact that it doesn’t have rsync, ssh, or scp, but I have to admit that the MS OS’s kill the look & feel of any other OS out there. *nix has always had kde / gnome, even though kde can be made pretty it’s so full of bugs it’s sometimes unusable. As for gnome, well it’s looked as bad as OSX for the last 10 years, nothing has really changed that much.

    And my last statement on this… all of my friends whine about MS products asking for permission to do admin features… So does *nix and so does mac too.