Internet Explorer 6 is finally dying a death. It's been a really long time coming, but it seems to be widely accepted that we - as web designers - no longer support it. That's fine, but what about the rest? There's another 3 versions of IE with a fourth released as a beta. Is it time to set our sites on Internet Explorer 7?
The Browser Competition
The way Chrome is updated is fantastic. Silent updates in the background, and then installations when you restart the browser. Seamless. Firefox prompts you to update - a bit more invasive but still helpful. Internet Explorer on the other hand only seems to update with each new version of the Windows Operating System. Not great for standards or innovation. The benefits of auto updates is that they help keep the browsers ahead of the game, and increase adoption rates hugely meaning that Google Chrome and Mozilla Firefox are updated by users much more quickly.
A common argument when discussing browser support is comparing browser share for your audience. I know that browser usage is changing rapidly at the moment but I haven't checked my own stats in a while. So, I logged into Google Analytics to check things out. Below is what I found:
That's right - Internet Explorer is just 9.5% of the Binary Moon visitors! Of that 9.5% over 80% are using IE 8 or IE 9. So - for my site I am definitely dropping support. Will this work for larger websites though? Or websites with less technically savvy audiences?
It definitely needs to be decided on a case by case basis, but I do think that it's approaching the end of the road for Internet Explorer 7.