This article first appeard on Mashable: The Social Media Guide under the title “IE6 No More! Popular Web Companies Start Project to Kill IE6” by Ben Parr and has since been edited by Deathgleaner for use on this blog.
We’ve made no attempt to hide our belief that Internet Explorer 6 must die. IE6 is an ancient browser that does not support many of the major innovations of the last 8 years. Yet it is still used by 15-25% of Internet users – and that fact alone is holding us back from a new area of web applications.
Luckily, we’re not the only ones that feel this way. Twitter users and the Digg community both rallied behind our battle cry. But now a high-profile group of startups, most funded by the well-known early stage venture firm Y Combinator, have started their own initiative, IE6 No More.
The simple website provides a very concise case for why the Microsoft browser must be abandoned to promote innovation on the web. It then provides a call to action: embed a line of code that will tell your website visitors still using IE6 to switch to a modern browser.
Here’s what you would see on a website that has the code implemented:
The campaign is led by the website creation company Weebly with the support of about a dozen popular websites and startups. At last count, the startups include: Justin.tv, Disqus, Posterous, Reddit.tv, Divvyshot, Buxfer, Twitluv, Digital Dandelion, Happn.in, Defensio, and 31bits.com.
While it’s great to see companies taking a stand against the broken browser, we can’t help but wonder whether this type of campaign will make any impact, given that many users of IE6 are only using because of work/IT restrictions or are in underdeveloped countries. David, co-founder of Weebly, gave us his thoughts on the matter:
We think we can have a huge impact: For those users that are just unaware they are using an old browser (mothers, grandmothers), we’d like to encourage them to upgrade and have a better experience using our sites. For those users in corporate environments, we’d like to start putting pressure on the IT department to upgrade — the more users who complain about seeing the prompts (especially if coming from the top), the more pressure the IT department will have to either upgrade IE 6 or install Firefox side-by-side with IE 6 for compatibility reasons.
These startups are fighting an uphill battle, but nobody said killing IE6 would be easy. If you want to support their movement, be sure to check out their website.