It’s finally happening. Microsoft, the once-browser juggernauts, are retiring Internet Explorer 8, 9 and 10.
As of November 2015, IE has a user base of 6.8%, while Chrome has 67.4% of the market share. (Come to Chrome, we have rounded corners.)
From today (12 January 2016) users will receive an end–of-support update encouraging users to move—run, dammit—to one of their newer browsers: IE11 or the Edge.
Without future developments, unsupported versions leave users vulnerable to malware and other malicious attacks.
While this move may inconvenience some, designers and developers around the world can rejoice. For years we fought a battle with backwards compatibility; graceful degradation in a bid to make the web a beautiful and user-friendly place for everyone.
Microsoft killing off the stray versions of IE just made our jobs far easier. YAY. Some day soon there will be only Edge from Microsoft, joining the likes of Chrome, Safari, and Firefox in a consistent and easily updatable world. Be honest, if you use Chrome, Safari or Firefox, how often do you even notice the browser updating? Very little I’d guess, it’s so quick and easy. Downloading it in the background and requiring only a restart. It’s not an entire new version with new rules to deal with.
An example of the differences of how browsers render can be viewed with our own site (recently and elegantly redesigned, though we say so ourselves).
It’s nowhere near as awful as IE6 was. But that isn’t saying much. The logo is missing, positioned somewhere at IE’s choosing. Background images don’t scale. IE’s idea of the centre of your screen is warped. The beautiful mouse scroll animation is gone.
So today, developers and designers raise a glass and have a drink to the death of IE.
Those painful late nights, stressful deadlines, and clients demanding that their website look pixel-perfect in the lowest possible version to please their aging patriarch who thinks the internet is a fad, are in the rearview. The road ahead looks sunny.
And it’s a far lovelier view.