Facilitating the Spread of Knowledge and Innovation in Professional Software Development

Write for InfoQ


Choose your language

InfoQ Homepage News The “IE6 No More” Campaign

The “IE6 No More” Campaign

This item in japanese

Once the most prominent browser on the web, IE6 has drawn lots of criticism for it compatibility and security issues culminating with the “IE6 No More” campaign supported by web companies tired of spending extra time coding specifically for IE6.

A number of +70 companies have started to print the following message on their websites when an user using IE6 visits them:


“IE6 No More” invites every website which is fed up with IE6 to join the campaign by adding that message to their website.

Today, approximately 15-25% of the users are still using IE6, according to CNN. This is a far cry fro the 80% it had in its glory days, but still enough to prompt the people behind the campaign to say:

Microsoft Internet Explorer 6 was released in late 2001. For its time, it was a decent browser, but in 2009, it is still in use by a significant portion of the web population, and its time is now up.

As any web developer will tell you, working with IE 6 is one of the most difficult and frustrating things they have to deal with on a daily basis, taking up a disproportionate amount of their time. Beyond that, IE 6's support for modern web standards is very lacking, restricting what developers can create and holding the web back.

The main complaints against IE6 are:

  • not supporting CSS v2.
  • instability – The following line crashes IE6:
  • security vulnerability – Secunia reported on Jan. 10, 2009 142 vulnerabilities in IE6 with 22 unpatched
  • not supporting PNG transparency
  • no HTML 5 support

Major web sites like YouTube, Digg, Orkut, Facebook are against IE6 and would like to see it disappear over night if possible. For example, users accessing Facebook with IE6 are prompted to upgrade to a better browser.

A sarcastic Save IE6 campaign started on April 1st, 2009 wants to:

  • Get everyone to use IE6
  • Get IE6 ported to more platforms
  • Get the W3C standard changed to fit IE6

In another campaign, Jeff Zeldman calls for everyone to unite against IE6:

IE6 is the new Netscape 4. The hacks needed to support IE6 are increasingly viewed as excess freight. Like Netscape 4 in 2000, IE6 is perceived to be holding back the web.

While this campaign might seem as anti-Microsoft, Dan Oliver, editor of .net, a UK magazine on Web Design, says:

This isn't an anti-Microsoft campaign. Microsoft makes some fantastic products. The latest version of their browser is a good browser. But with regards to IE 6 ... [it] is an awful browser and no one should be using it.

Ultimately, we've kind of waited long enough. That's why there's a big movement of support for it because the geeks out there have known about this for years and have been waiting for big sites to jump on and push it forward.

Microsoft would also like people to move on from IE6, according to CNN:

Microsoft has consistently recommended that consumers upgrade to the latest version of our browser," the company said. "Internet Explorer 8 offers improvements in speed, security and reliability as well as new features designed for the way people use the Web.

Dean Hachamovitch, Manager of the IE team, explains why moving people from IE6 is difficult:

The choice to upgrade software on a PC belongs to the person responsible for the PC.

Many PCs don’t belong to individual enthusiasts, but to organizations. The people in these organizations responsible for these machines decide what to do with them. These people are professionally responsible for keeping tens or hundreds or thousands of PCs working on budget… For these folks, the cost of the software isn’t just the purchase price, but the cost of deploying, maintaining, and making sure it works with their IT infrastructure.

Dropping support for IE6 is not an option because we committed to supporting the IE included with Windows for the lifespan of the product. We keep our commitments.

IE6 was rated as the 8th worst tech product of all times by PC World in 2006. Probably it is time for this browser to go. It had its time, and there are better replacements.

Rate this Article