IE6 Status – Mid 2008

Microsoft Internet Explorer 6 was released on August 21, 2001. It attained a peak of about 95% usage share during 2002 and 2003.  Then IE7 was launched in late 2006 and it began a sharp market share decline.

I just checked my Google Analytics (as well as some other sources) and there is still a not-insignificant audience using IE6.  Maybe 5-10%, but still that is alot of people.

Real web developers who aren’t lazy like me support IE6 and just do the legwork, but the truth is that it is a pain in the ass.  IE6 rendered web pages horribly and JavaScript runs like a dog in it.  (A slow dog)  I just wish that there was a way out of this mess.

When IE6 was the dominant browser, developers could really push the envelope because they didn’t have to test everything 5-6 times in different systems.  Not it’s just a mish-mash.  IE6, IE7, FF2, FF3.  I can’t keep up.

For a decade now, Flash has been the alternative.  But yet, it has never made it.  Here is my guess as to why:  You need the IDE.  If they had made it so you could produce Flash with pure CSS and html then it would have been alot more palatable.  I guess they wanted to make money, but they missed the opportunity to be the dominant rendering engine.  Oh well, enough time spent in la-la land.  Back to work.  I have to debug IE6 now.

3 replies on “IE6 Status – Mid 2008”


Basically, Flex is Flash in the form of MXML code that can be compiled to Flash and used in conjunction with CSS and ActionScript (superset of JavaScript). Flash has about 99% browser penetration. Also, Adobe has Open Sourced the Flex SDK (compiler, etc…) and since MXML is a tag based language it can be hand coded just like HTML. Building Web Applications with Flex is getting much easier with integration with Ruby on Rails, Java, PHP, etc.. backends getting much better support. I think Adobe is making a lot of the right moves with Flex, but still time will tell….Microsoft’s Silverlight is making some noise recently, but as always people are turned off by the closedness of Microsofts platforms.

Oh, yea…forget to mention. My company is still using IE 6 on Windows 2000 if you can believe that. Difficult to get a large company (10,000+ employees) switched over. Most of us developers use Firefox, even though our application isn’t supposed to support Firefox we still try to make it compatible with both IE and Firefox. Sorry Safari and Opera. 😉

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