22 Comments

Summary:

An unusual notice appeared on the 37signals blog today: On August 15th, 2008 we will begin phasing out support for Internet Explorer 6 across all 37signals products. In order to continue using the products without any hiccups, Internet Explorer 6 users should upgrade to a newer […]

ScreenshotAn unusual notice appeared on the 37signals blog today:

On August 15th, 2008 we will begin phasing out support for Internet Explorer 6 across all 37signals products. In order to continue using the products without any hiccups, Internet Explorer 6 users should upgrade to a newer browser.

37signals make Basecamp, Campfire, Highrise, and Backpack, among other web applications – and this makes them one of the first major online vendors to dismiss IE6. While this will make the Save the Developers people happy, I wonder whether anyone else will dare to follow their lead. I know that for some of the markets I’m working with, IE6 support remains critical, and Net Applications still shows IE with a 26% market share. Seems like a lot of potential customers to throw overboard.

Are you ready to leave IE6 behind? Or are you resigned to a few more years of support?

  1. I guess if it’s good enough for Apple it’s good enough for 37Signals. I would venture to say that this won’t be an issue for the majority of people using their applications.

  2. By contrast I can see this raising hell. We use basecamp every day at work to communicate with clients, many of whom have no idea what a ‘browser’ is. For us to have to ask them to upgrade is going to cause a lot of future troubles for sure.

  3. Matt Hussein Platte Thursday, July 3, 2008

    The pro-IE arguments sound a lot like the justifications of an “enabler” in the family of an alcoholic or other abuser.

    Not a perfect analogy, but close.

  4. My guess is that they will continue to quietly try to ensure that things work with IE6, but not spend time fixing bugs and adding workarounds as problems are discovered.

    Many of our customers still use IE6 though, at least 25%, so we’ll keep supporting it for the foreseeable future.

    37s has always believed in “opinionated software”, though, so I imagine this will make some people happy, and annoy others.

  5. @ Luke – IE7 is an automatic update. It’s not hard. And note that they’re NOT discontinuing IE support… just IE 6 support. Honestly, that’s not too much to expect – IE7 has been out for awhile. It’s IE for companies that can’t/won’t switch from IE. Yes, there will be transiitonal pain, but dropping old browsers is a reality – the don’t support IE 5 etc… And can you really expect IE 6 to be supported forever?

  6. Todd Sieling Thursday, July 3, 2008

    I recently tried (and failed) to convince a client that dropping IE6 support was the way to go. They’re convinced that people would rather die than upgrade, which I don’t agree with.

    Given that Microsoft has called the update to 7 ‘required’, it’s really a call that’s already been made, and it’s up to web developers to follow that lead for the benefit of customers and their own business.

  7. Lee Kelleher Thursday, July 3, 2008

    I’m curious what percentage of 37Signals customers currently use IE6?

    They should wait until August 27 to drop support … on IE6’s 7th Birthday!

  8. I don’t blame them. IE6 support is an absolute nightmare. I wish more large web companies would do the same because right now the majority of my userbase is IE6, and I can’t see it changing without this kind of push from the bigger players.

  9. Michael (Nozbe) Friday, July 4, 2008

    Just checked with the stats of my Nozbe – Simply GTD web application and out of all of my IE traffic:

    IE7 is 65%
    IE6 is 35%
    and IE5 is 0.1% (we don’t support IE5)

    Bottom line: maybe 37signals can afford to drop support for IE6, I can’t. Too many business users don’t have their computers updated to the IE7, so dropping support there for IE6 would mean a loss of quite a number of users.

    But hey, maybe 37signals’ stats are different and maybe they can afford to drop support.

    Nozbe can’t.

  10. we are a paying customer (full plan) but we will certainly migrate to another platform if IE6 is nog supported since 95% of our desktop is still IE6

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