Like Me? Follow Me.
Browsers age faster than dogs and IE6 was released in 2001!
The deal is that the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) has set a bunch of best practice guides for browser and web development. Microsoft likes to go against the grain and use their logic of how a browser should perform and this inevitably causes a whole host of problems. For example the box model bug is a classic problem that every developer has to deal with. Often the way around this problem is to use hacks which detect the browser type and version number and then load a specific style for that browser.
These frustrating yet fixable problems still exist in modern IE browsers. However, IE6 is an entirely different ball game. To get a website to look something like the design with IE6 a developer would essentially have to make an IE6 version of the site. This is extremely time consuming and expensive – besides, who wants a dumbed down version of their already awesome website? Read more about W3C and standards.
So why do people still use it? And who are these people?
Very few people use IE6 (3.8% of total market share as of Jan 2011). These statistics are skewed as many developers have been testing their sites in IE6, so the numbers are very likely higher than reality. It’s quite possible that the main reason people still use IE6 is to test to see what a website looks like in IE6.
You can actually view global usage figures here, at the IE6 countdown site.
Should I be Worried about IE6?
Only if you’re still using it. IE6 was made in the days when it was safe to leave your front door unlocked and say ‘hello’ to strange people. But those days have sadly gone and security is the order of the day. I don’t want to rattle on about the ins and outs of security and why it is as important as locking your front door at night. But if I didn’t scare you at least a little bit I guess you’d probably ignore me.
One of the many problems with IE6 is the ease at which a ‘drive-by install’ can take place. Consider the scenario: You’re happily surfing the web weighing up buying a new golf club when you see an ad for the very same club at a fraction of the price! Holy moly! You can’t contain your excitement and before you’ve even realised you’ve clicked the link. Something pops up on your screen and you close it no problem. But there is a problem, although you don’t know it, you’ve just become the latest victim of a drive-by install.
The severity of the problem depends on what has been installed on your computer but for the purposes of scaring you let’s pretend that it was a ‘keylogger’. You don’t want to go over drawn so you think it’d be best if you check your online bank before you purchase your new golf club. Little do you know but the naughty keylogging software has sent all your bank details to an even naughtier person who will promptly relieve you of all your money.
If you’re still an IE6 user then download the latest version here.
Sadly Microsoft still likes to make life difficult on the web. So if you’re really really scared why not try one of the following browsers: