For the past eight(8) years Schalk Neethling has been working as a freelance developer under the pseudo of Volume4 and is now the president of Overt Strategy Consulting. During this period he has completed over 300 projects ranging from full web application development to complete branding. As president and lead developer of Overt Strategy Consulting, Schalk Neethling and his team has released a 100% Java standards based content management system called AlliedBridge and business document exchange and review system, called Doc-Central. Schalk Neethling is also actively involved on a daily basis in the open source, web standards and accessibility areas and is a current active member of the Web Standards Group. Schalk is also the co-founder and president of the non-profit The South Web Standards and Accessibility Group, which aims to actively educate and raise awareness of web standards and accessibility to both the developer society as well as business large and small. Schalk also has a long relationship with DZone and is currently zone leader for both the web builder,, as well as the .NET zone,, and you can find a lot of his writing there as well as on his blog located at Schalk is constantly expanding on his knowledge of various aspects of technology and loves to stay in touch with the latest happenings. For Schalk web development and the internet is not just a job, it is a love, a passion and a life style. Schalk has posted 173 posts at DZone. View Full User Profile

Google Says: Everybody Stop Using IE6

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Have you heard the news? Google is urging users of it's popular GMail application to stop using Internet Explorer 6 and rather opt for either Firefox or, you guessed it, Chrome. I know the entire community of web developers with breath a huge sigh of relieve once we can put IE6 to bed for good but, what do you think, is this the right move by Google?

Should we still care about IE6 as we head into 2009 or, will this move by Google spell the end for Internet Explorer 6? (Insert applause here) For the most part, if one builds websites and applications using standards, the experience in IE6 is not always that bad but, if you try to do anything remotely 'advanced' we all know what hoops we need to jump through to get IE6 to play nice.

So from a purely selfish personal view I hope this does mean the end of IE6. But what do you think? Looking forward to your comments. 

Published at DZone with permission of its author, Schalk Neethling.

(Note: Opinions expressed in this article and its replies are the opinions of their respective authors and not those of DZone, Inc.)


Vladimir Carrer replied on Fri, 2009/01/02 - 10:58am

I thing Microsoft should have more aggressive politics and upgrade all IE6 users to IE7. And than we web designers and developers  can finally concentrate on design not on bug fixing. I use Firefox. I think that Firefox is the best browser. Get Firefox! :)

Gabe Harris replied on Fri, 2009/01/02 - 11:08am

I read a blog post, unfortunately I can't remember where that summed it up very nicely - Flash files don't run on older versions - they tell people to upgrade. As a web developer, it's unfair to expect me to be concerned with technology that is so old, and was never stellar in the first place. I have decided to let clients know up front that I will not develop sites for IE6. I will insert some messaging that gets displayed after browser detection to direct people to download a better browser (eve if it's just IE7) if they currently have IE6. If I'm not part of the solution, I'm part of the problem, right?


Kudos to Google for urging people to change "fix" their browser. It's a little sleazy to tell people to install Chrome, but I guess they deserve it for pushing people away from that archaic dinosaur, and I'll be a much happier developer in the long run if people do take their suggestion.


I like Chrome, for browsing and developing - but when can I start to see some of the kick-ass add-ons I've grown to love in Firefox?

Nick Hellz replied on Sat, 2009/01/03 - 11:22pm

IE out, is FF next?

Schalk Neethling replied on Sun, 2009/01/04 - 8:42am

@hellz - I believe the idea is not to banish IE completely but, just the very aged and bug prone version 6 of the browser. I know some might see this move from Google as a way to promote it's own browser but I cannot believe that they will ever suggest people stop using Firefox or even other versions of Internet Explorer.

Jonathan Donster replied on Sun, 2009/01/04 - 11:07am

I don´t think that they will banish completely, too. It´s nothing against ms or pro chrome. In my mind this is just the natural way of (browser)evolution. Only the strong survive. And quality increases. I use firefox myself and really love it. But competition is a good thing and I hope ms will learn ..

Philippe Lhoste replied on Mon, 2009/01/05 - 11:38am

It is an interesting, good move: the weight of Google is important here.
But they are playing safe... They don't complain about bad standard support but about JS implementation.
So they can push their "superior" JS implementation (V8) and target only GMail users, a relatively limited number of Web users, compared to the number of visitors of their search engine...
So, while it is a good thing, it is still a bit shy.

I fear we still have to support IE6 for some years... Ditching it as "too old to support it" is unrealistic for generic Web pages, IMO, 20% of visitors using IE6 is still a number big enough to avoid rejecting them.
Web applications are another story, people using them often used moderner browsers, or can be motivated enough to make the switch -- if allowed: as pointed out in the linked article, lot of corporations still use IE6 as "blessed" browser. I suppose that's also why Microsoft can't "force" an upgrade to IE7 (or 8!).

James Sugrue replied on Thu, 2009/01/08 - 7:56am

It would be great if there was no need to support it anymore. I know I upgraded as soon as IE7 was available. But I suppose there's a lot of companies where they just have policies to keep a certain browser  - sometimes due to a fear that their internal webapp wasn't tested on IE7.

It's a pity, but IE8 should make IE6 old news :)

Priya Singh replied on Sat, 2010/12/04 - 11:30am

Flash files don't run on older versions - they tell people to upgrade. As a web developer, it's unfair to expect me to be concerned with technology that is so old, and was never stellar in the first place.

Boston web design


Carla Brian replied on Wed, 2012/04/04 - 9:08pm

I don't lik IE6. It is so slow. Google chrome ,safari or firefox will do. - Dr Marla Ahlgrimm

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