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Our browsers can do a lot of stuff these days, from playing graphics-intensive games to showing cool effects to rendering video players made entirely out of HTML5. Not only can these browsers do whatever you can think of, but it’s easy to install them too.
However, there are still plenty of people out there that don’t know about that, or don’t even care what a browser is. All those people care about is knowing how to get to Facebook. Those same people tend to not install updates, and if they’re not big spenders on new computers they’re probably still using Windows XP. Windows XP without any updates means that IE6 is still being used.
In today’s highly-interactive digital world, that’s just not right. If you shudder just by looking at that old logo, you know exactly what I mean.
IE6 When It First Came Out
Don’t get me wrong, IE6 was great (keyword here being was). It was the best of the best when it came freshly squeezed out of Microsoft’s software factory. Because of that it was able to achieve the record 95% browser market share at the height of IE’s reign. It could do things other browsers couldn’t, and it was right there in the operating system. The user didn’t have to do a thing. But that was then…
You’re Missing Out
Now, we have a completely different story. The internet and its standards has evolved. The browsers have evolved to keep up and/or push those standards forward. However, not all users followed suit, resulting in an extremely slow transition to something better (the speed of transition was almost barbaric, if I may say so). In the mean time, while browsers (including later versions of IE) advanced forward, IE6 obviously stayed still. Today’s browser can do so much more thanks to HTML5, so everyone still using IE6 is missing out on all of that.
Speaking of standards, IE6 doesn’t really follow them. Microsoft decided to loosely stick with the standards, so when Firefox was actually giving IE6 a pretty good fight, developers had the trouble of creating websites that would conform to IE6’s poor standards support and Firefox’s high standards support. In the end it was almost like creating two separate websites. The world couldn’t keep going that way, and it eventually decided to follow standards.
You’re At Risk
Over time there were a lot of security exploits found, and now that Microsoft has long ago dropped support for both Windows XP and IE6, those holes aren’t going to be fixed anymore either. This should be a major concern as these holes are widely known by hackers and other evil-doers, so simply by staying with IE6 you’re putting yourself and your computer at risk. Additionally, there are plenty of other bugs still present in IE6 besides security holes, so by using IE6 you’re only going to get gray hair faster.
Finally, we all know that today’s browsers are constantly breaking speed records, and the difference in speed between one of them, like Google Chrome, and IE6 is ridiculously large. This is mainly because IE6 is technology from almost a decade ago, and although it might’ve seemed relatively fast back then, it certainly isn’t anymore. Save your sanity by using something else that is much speedier. It’s more gray hair you’ll prevent from appearing.
Simply short, IE6 needs to go away. Thankfully in the western world IE6’s market share has dropped to below 1%, but other parts of the world can’t say the same (in China it’s a 25% market share…really?) Hopefully these numbers will decrease even more so that the Internet can breathe a big sigh of relief that it doesn’t have to deal with IE6 anymore. If you’re using IE6, please switch. If you know someone who still uses IE6, please make them switch in whatever ways possible. Whether it’s by upgrading IE, switching browsers, or updating the entire operating system, you’re doing the world a favor.