Google yanks IE6 love from web apps
Do as we say, not as we did
Google is pulling IE6 support from Google Apps, its online suite of office applications.
On Friday, with a post to the official Google enterprise blog, the search giant cum world power announced that it will yank IE6 support from both Google Docs and its Google Sites wiki service on March 1.
"The web has evolved in the last ten years, from simple text pages to rich, interactive applications including video and voice," Google said. "Unfortunately, very old browsers cannot run many of these new features effectively. So to help ensure your business can use the latest, most advanced web apps, we encourage you to update your browsers as soon as possible."
The announcement came two weeks after Google told the world that December cyber-attacks originating from China pilfered unspecified intellectual property from the company. Microsoft later admitted that the attacks - which targeted as many as 33 other companies - exploited a then un-patched flaw in Internet Explorer 6.
Yes, this means Google employees were running IE6 - the eight-year-old security-challenged browser that refuses to die. Google now offers its own web browser, Chrome, but it seems even Googlers couldn't shake the habit of using the Microsoft browser that achieved near ubiquity on the back of Redmond's Windows XP operating system.
According to the latest numbers from research outfit Net Applications, Internet Explorer 6 is still used by roughly 20 per cent of all netizens.
With its blog post, Mountain View also said that Google Docs and Sites will soon jettison support for other aging browsers. As of March 1, Docs and Sites will only support Internet Explorer 7 or later, Chrome 4.0 or later, Firefox 3.0 or later, or Safari 3.0 or later. "Many other companies have already stopped supporting older browsers like Internet Explorer 6.0 as well as browsers that are not supported by their own manufacturers," the company wrote.
"We’re also going to begin phasing out our support, starting with Google Docs and Google Sites. As a result you may find that from March 1 key functionality within these products - as well as new Docs and Sites features - won’t work properly in older browsers."
According to security researchers, the December cyber attacks outed by Google exploited Internet Explorer 6 specifically. Researchers have since demonstrated proof-of-concept attacks on IE7 and IE8 that used the same vulnerability, but this sort of thing was not used in the sweeping attacks on Google and 33 other outfits. Microsoft has since fixed the vuln with an emergency IE patch. ®
hip hip hooray! hip hip hooray! hip hip HOORAY!!
The time is long come and gone for that beast to put out to pasture. When you give a quote for web work and include a separate additional line item for IE6 compatibility, it can serve well to drive the point home. It's about as useful as to include a gopher version ffs. If people insist on using IE6 then how can they expect to get the same experience as in a modern browser. There is accessibility and graceful degradation of features etc etc of course, but only a true masochist would aim for anywhere near pixel perfect match between that monstrosity of a wannabe browser and anything a thinking person would use if given a choice.
Good news for a Monday - a high profile drop kick to that painful thorn in the side of everyone who has ever done any web work :-)
"Yes, this means Google employees were running IE6 "
No, it doesn't. It means that some Google service users were running IE6.
And by the way, of course Google employees are most probably using IE6 -though probably not from "live" systems. Google core business is based on the www in case you did not notice. So they are probably running all the web browsers they can get their mitts on, including the whole range of IEs, of course. Running only their own browser would be incredibly stupid.
First they don't even support Gopher, now they remove IE6 !
At least lynx still works. Hrumpf.
Mine's the one with the VT120 in the pocket.
Spot on - where I work every box is locked down tight and company policy is for IE6 only.
This is backed by a corporate intranet which only works on IE - even newly built sections which could easily have been written according to actual standards.
It takes and *embarrassingly* long time to get a page up. If I have a customer on the phone, I feel compelled to joke about it, just to fill in time. Come on computer, you can do it!
Grenade for immediate despatch to East Bentleigh, special delivery for whoever formulated that policy. And another for the person who perpetuates it.
Firefox 2 has a critical, unpatched security hole
@Pigeon: I sincerely hope you don't use your Firefox for secure communications such as online banking. It (like earlier versions of Firefox 3 and Firefox 3.5) suffers from a critical security flaw in the handling of SSL certificates, which has not been fixed in Firefox 2 since that browser was already unsupported by Mozilla by that time.