Google set to kill-off IE6. Long overdue.

This is a day that should go down in history.

The long overdue demise of IE6 has begun in earnest… Google today mailed Google Apps admins stating that they would be phasing out support for legacy browsers, including Internet Explorer 6 in order to provide quicker and more sophisticated services to their users.

Dear Google Apps admin,

In order to continue to improve our products and deliver more sophisticated features and performance, we are harnessing some of the latest improvements in web browser technology.  This includes faster JavaScript processing and new standards like HTML5.  As a result, over the course of 2010, we will be phasing out support for Microsoft Internet Explorer 6.0 ​as well as other older browsers that are not supported by their own manufacturers.

We plan to begin phasing out support of these older browsers on the Google Docs suite and the Google Sites editor on March 1, 2010.  After that point, certain functionality within these applications may have higher latency and may not work correctly in these older browsers. Later in 2010, we will start to phase out support for these browsers for Google Mail and Google Calendar.

Google Apps will continue to support Internet Explorer 7.0 and above, Firefox 3.0 and above, Google Chrome 4.0 and above, and Safari 3.0 and above.

Starting this week, users on these older browsers will see a message in Google Docs and the Google Sites editor explaining this change and asking them to upgrade their browser.  We will also alert you again closer to March 1 to remind you of this change.

In 2009, the Google Apps team delivered more than 100 improvements to enhance your product experience.  We are aiming to beat that in 2010 and continue to deliver the best and most innovative collaboration products for businesses.

Thank you for your continued support!

I believe that this is a long-overdue step, and would be thrilled to see other service providers such as hotmail, yahoo and (in India) rediff begin phasing out support for legacy browsers, giving the internet a shove in the right direction.

This would mean that web developers can look forward to implementing more advanced features and styling of their websites without going through all the trouble of creating a scaled down, and bug fixed version for older, more buggy browsers.

If you’re wondering what browser to use instead of IE6, you could try Firefox, Chrome, Opera, Safari or even Internet Explorer 8.

Go ahead and exercise your right to choose.

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