Tag Archives: Internet Explorer

Yahoo, Baidu need to join the IE6 must die movement

It seems that every day that goes by, another one of the user interface developers that I work with talks about how Internet Explorer 6 must die. Granted, they have plenty of justification for why this browser should go away. For example, Internet Explorer (aka, IE6) is “ancient” — it was released in late 2001 (source). It has serious security flaws (source) and Microsoft has moved on to release IE7 and IE8. But there’s a problem that non-developers seem to be ignoring.

While IE6 usage dropped significantly in early 2008/2009, the downward pressure has softened quite a bit this year. And a recent survey revealed that IE6 is used primarily at work and the majority of people unfortunately can’t upgrade/replace IE6 because they have insufficient privileges on their machines/their company won’t let them upgrade (source). So without significant force now, it may take another two years before IE drops to a level where enough developers stop coding UI tweaks for IE6. Since coding for IE6 takes significantly more time, marketers are unnecessarily spending money on outdated technology (like paying for a telephone land line or dial-up internet service).

Internet Explorer Must Die

Last week, six solid punches in one swing were taken at IE6. I am speaking about the announcement that Google is planning to phase out support for IE6 (source). The announcement indicated that key functionality in Google Docs and [international] Google Sites will be disrupted starting on March 1, 2010. Since no other popular web destination is stepping up to the plate, we’ve got to applaud Google which owns 6 of the top 20 destination on the web (source) for their efforts. So what we really need to do is convince several US-based companies, such as Microsoft (thank you @cubanx!), Yahoo! and Amazon, and Chinese companies, including Baidu, QQ.com and Sina.com.cn, to jumped on board. While it may feel like we’ve made progress, the short list below demonstrates that we still have a long road ahead of us.

Top 20 Companies that don’t support the IE must die movement:

  1. Google (starting 1-Mar-2010)
  2. Facebook (as of 24-Jul-2008)
  3. YouTube (starting 1-Mar-2010)
  4. Yahoo!
  5. Windows Live
  6. Wikipedia
  7. Blogger.com (starting 1-Mar-2010)
  8. Baidu.com
  9. MSN.com
  10. QQ.com
  11. Yahoo! Japan
  12. Twitter
  13. Google India (starting 1-Mar-2010)
  14. Google China (starting 1-Mar-2010)
  15. Sina.com.cn
  16. MySpace
  17. Google Germany (starting 1-Mar-2010)
  18. WordPress.com
  19. Microsoft
  20. Amazon.com

Web Analytics, User-Agent and Google Wave Frame

Looks like Google broke the seal today on the Google Wave Frame project. Google has released Google Wave Frame for Internet Explorer, which brings the Chrome browser to Explorer 6/7/8. Basically, users can use Wave Frame plugin to run Chrome inside Internet Explorer.

As a marketer (or a developer), you better start thinking about the impact that this will have on your analytics. It is actually one of the easiest¬† way to identify and segment your early technology adopters from your standard visitors.¬† To identify these users, you can leverage the user agent string. Visitors with Google Wave Frame will generate the standard user agent string for Internet Explorer except that you’ll see an the addition of the word chromeframe.

Now granted, adoption for Google Wave Frame is not going to skyrocket overnight so don’t expect a flood of Wave Frame visitors. Considering the impact of Google Chrome (last time I checked with some of our clients at Engauge, Chrome adoption is barely scratching the surface), it will take a while before it will crack the top 6 browser used on your website ceiling. Nonetheless, start paying attention to your analytics report because web analytics tools will likely get this one wrong for the next few weeks.