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Designing for IE6 costs extra | Company News

It's time to put the ancient, old, antique browser Internet Explorer 6 where it belongs... in the past. And if you feel you need your website designed to work with IE6, there will be additional programming costs.

stop-ie6-120x60.gifThis is not an anti-Microsoft rant. The newer IE7 is a tremendous step forward (thanks to competition from Firefox).  This is simply a matter of economics.  Web Developers waste too much time trying to get their site designs to work with IE6, and that time/cost must be pushed to the website owners.

Unfair? Just another way to make money? No. Let me explain...

Microsoft Internet Explorer 6 is OLD

Did I say old? It's more like a zombie that will not die. It was released in August 2001!  Think about that. How old is that in Internet Years? Sure, MS has updated/patched it now for 7 years, but even Microsoft has given up on it. The last update (except a multitude of security patches) for IE6 was in 2004! When was the last time you tuned up your 2001 car? Have you changed the oil at least?

IE6 was a thorn in the side of web developers from the start, since Microsoft attempted to use their monopoly/dominance to defy the Internet Standards. Certain features would only work in IE6, and the latest new web features had trouble working in IE6.

Developers, trying to bring the latest advances to users (blogging, enhanced graphics, secure interactivity), had to create special work-arounds just for IE6. One example is PNG images.

Image rendering in IE6.

Imagine a basic, worldwide, industry standard for graphics designed for Networks and the Internet. Oh, let's call it something simple like Portable Network Graphics. Or, PNG for short.  Great, a standard that all can freely use, everywhere on the web.  PNG was recommended (W3C) as a standard in 1996. And became an Internation Standard (ISO) in 2003.  And Microsoft appears to have ignored it, instead looking to use it's own proprietary images.

Have a look at how IE6 renders very simple, transparent PNG files. Here are two websites, both using very basic design, and simple PNG transparent images.

IE6 PNG Rendering IE7 PNG Rendering
IE6 cannot render transparent PNG png-render-ie7-bbl-250
IE6 cannot render transparent PNG png-render-ie7-cjc-250

Why Microsoft, Why? Because IE6 was built on old technology and was not able to be updated. So, why should developers/designers double their workload to fix something that just shouldn't be. Well, not for free that is. If someone wants their site to work in IE6, they will need to pay extra for all the extra work. It might be easier to actually create a separate, simple html site just for the IE6 users.

IE6 is, and IE6 should never be

There are many websites popping up with developers trying to eradicate IE6. Let's not forget that even Microsoft wants you to stop using it. Unless, of course, you are on Windows 2000, which for some reason doesn't run IE7. Odd, since all the other alternative browsers work on Win2000.  Tell your Network Admin you want to try Firefox or one of the other modern browsers.

Ramble On

Yes, I tend to ramble on. Sorry about that. The point is simple: developers can no longer create one website that works with all browsers and IE6.  You want your site to also work in IE6, a second design will need to be put into the budget.

More info on IE6 and charging more for designing for it.

 

 

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