Dean Marshall Consultancy Ltd

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Internet Explorer 6&7 (IE6,IE7) Must Die

We no longer build websites that support IE6, IE7

Sorry people, but the time has come where we tell you the worst kept secret on the web:

Internet Explorer version 6 & 7 are evil - pure and simple (and IE8 is getting that way). We don't even allow IE6 to view this website in a bid to make them understand that IE6 is dead.

There we've said it. By continuing to use these browsers years after their useful life is over you are placing an intolerable burden upon people in our profession. Please stop.

We at Dean Marshall Consultancy Services will no longer support these browser on *any* of our own websites (If IE8 is a must an additional fee WILL be charged).

We shall recommend clients also cease - but of course this is a recommendation only - final say will be theirs, we serve our clients after all. Please continue reading this article for a full explanation why we have taken this decision and what you should (in our opinion) do next if you are still using any of these browsers.

Don't worry - we won't deliberately cripple the site or set out to ruin the browsing experience for anyone using IE7 or 8, but we won't tweak our design to suit your browser. If it works then that is fine by us. If the site breaks and misbehaves - well, that is fine by us too.

Now - you probably feel that this is an unwarranted decision on our part, and that so far no basis for the decision has been offered. You are of course correct so let us attempt to offer justification here and tell you why we decided to no longer support any version of Internet Explorer below 9.

Two reasons to stop using IE6,7&8

One: Update Internet Explorer to the highest verion of Internet Explorer that your machine can handle (IE9 is only compatible with Windows Vista and higher) due to security issues

Like most software, Internet Explorer has seen numerous security flaws. Unlike other applications which are fixed in a speedy manner, the number of exploitable security holes has been alarming and at the same time Microsoft has been less than forthcoming with timely fixes.

Brian Krebs of the Washington Post wrote:
For a total 284 days in 2006 (or more than nine months out of the year), exploit code for known, unpatched critical flaws in pre-IE7 versions of the browser was publicly available on the Internet. Likewise, there were at least 98 days last year in which no software fixes from Microsoft were available to fix IE flaws that criminals were actively using to steal personal and financial data from users.

Seriously, it is in your best interest to upgrade and get a better, safer browser.

Two: Update Internet Explorer due to technical issues

Web designers are well aware that each browser has its own quirks when it comes to interpreting the styling of a page. These differences are usually minor, as most browsers render pages the way they should be rendered as they follow web standards (or are "standards compliant"). Internet Explorer (IE), until version 7, made no attempt to be standards compliant. It interpreted styling requests in its own way. While IE7 has made improvements in this direction, it is still far from perfect, but we will come back to that point another day.

I know that significant additional time has been added to every website project I have worked on, just to make pages work in IE6,7 and 8. This has cost my clients dearly and also has cost us personally as some silly niggles take such a long time to sort that I have felt unable to pass on the full burden to the clients and have had to take the hit ourself.

IE6 and 7 especially are both outdated browsers: IE8 came out in March 2009 and IE9 has been out since March 14, 2011 and Microsoft itself has been quite strenuous in pushing it out to users (even those with knock-off copies of Windows). Since IE9 has been out for over 1 year we feel that it is no longer appropriate to continue supporting any version less than IE9 considering the amount of work required to do so.

If you are using IE7 or 8, you will still be able to view this site as is. I hope it works for you - but if it doesn't - well, that's a shame but please don't come running to us about it.

Alternatives To Internet Explorer

Many users don't realise it but Internet Explorer is not the only way to access web pages. Internet Explorer is just one example of a category of software known as a 'web browser'.

Once upon a time Internet Explorer wasn't even the most used browser - in fact it was far from it - but then Microsoft abused it's monopoly position and distributed Internet Explorer with Windows killing off the competition.

Over the years a number of new browser manufacturers have sprung up. Three leading browsers are:

Firefox - from the Mozilla Foundation - probably the leading alternative to Microsoft due in part to its history (it is built on top of the browser that Microsoft buried with its anti-competitive practises) and partly because of the sheer volume of extensions (add-ons) available add new functionality to the Firefox web browser.

Opera - a very slick browser indeed. Many of the features that you need to add to Firefox with external add-ons are just there in Opera - built-in and ready to use from the start.

Safari - from Apple - the people who brought you the iPod, iMac, iPad and iTunes. Many people will have ended up with this on their PCs thanks to Apple's new Microsoft style sharp practices. Did you ever hear the saying about becoming the very thing you hate - that's where Apple seem to be headed. Anyway - the browser is functional and would make a good alternative to Microsoft's Internet Explorer.

And if you really, really must stick with Internet Explorer: Upgrade to Internet Explorer 9 (IE9)

For the love of all that is good - do us all a favour and stop using Internet Explorer 6,7 and 8. On your start menu you will find an entry called 'Windows Update'. Or in Internet Explorer you will find the same 'Windows Update' listed on the 'tools' menu.

Please pick one of these methods and use it. Even Microsoft want you to stop using IE6,7 and 8 - honestly. IE9 has been out over a year now.

Please don't wait, Update today.