If you're still using Internet Explorer 6, you are basically driving a gas-guzzling clunker on the information superhighway.
Now many (including me) are getting behind the "Bring Down IE6" Movement. And it's even better than a governmental "Cash for Clunkers" program because all the possible upgrades are free and reliable.
The premise is simple: Internet Explorer 6 is antiquated, doesn’t support key web standards, and should be phased out. This isn’t about being anti-Microsoft, it’s about making sure that we encourage people to move to modern browsers such as IE8, Firefox, Chrome, Safari and Opera. IE6 accounts for up to 20% of web usage, primarily via business users. Clients pressure designers to ’force’ sites to work in IE6, and designers, not wanting to lose business, comply, using hacks and workarounds. This wastes time and money. While Microsoft is encouraging companies and developers to move on from IE6, designers need to unite, and we all need to move on.
If IE6's use is declining, why are folks continuing to use it? It's not clear. In a CNN article, one expert pointed out:
Many businesses have built computer applications that run on the browser, and upgrades to those systems can be costly and difficult. That makes campaigns that tell people to switch their browser ineffective, Mark Trammell, a Digg employee, wrote on the company's blog.
"Giving them a message saying, 'Hey! Upgrade!' in this case is not only pointless; it's sadistic," he wrote, also noting that Digg likely will stop supporting IE 6 for some of the site's functions.
Pointless? Not quite. Sadistic? I think not.
You see the problem is not, in my opinion, about making people change and the expense of time and money that may cost some (but not all!).
It's about forcing business and organizations to confront the poor choice that they may have made when IE6 came out.
Companies that created and invested in products that could only work in one limited culture/environment (Microsoft IE6) need to start asking questions about their long-term vision in a world that is clearly multi-lingual and multi-cultural -- even in the world of technology. Building products for one version of a single browser was clearly short-sighted.
The good news? It's not that difficult to dump IE6 if you are not tied to any other software that mandates its use. There are a number of other, better browsers available. Among them:
Internet Explorer 8 (PC only).
So what does Microsoft think of all this? They support the basic premise. In a statement issued to CNN, the company said:
Microsoft has consistently recommended that consumers upgrade to the latest version of our browser...Internet Explorer 8 offers improvements in speed, security and reliability as well as new features designed for the way people use the Web."
If your office, business, institution or organization is still using IE6, you need to be asking some serious questions of your IT people. There is really no reason to continue to use it.
Get a new model of web brower and start cruisin' that information superhighway at a speed and with the security and agility you deserve. Upgrade!