Facebook to kill off IE6 support

I believe that YouTube has already stopped supporting IE6 … I guess it’s time for a browser update.

Internet Explorer is the black sheep of the browser community.  It’s about as standards compliant as the overweight kid in the school athletics team, and as insecure as Fort Knox with the front door open.  Annoyingly though it’s still out there and being used.

Now there might be some light at the end of the tunnel.  Social networking giant Facebook is planning to drop support for chat on their site  for IE6 when the beta for IE9 appears next month.  This will be as part of a wider overhaul of their chat service.

They say…

Since its launchtwo years ago, Chat has grown from a small feature into one of the most widely used tools on Facebook. People around the world use it to share quick updates with people nearby and to stay in touch over long distances with friends and loved ones. And the more that people chat, the more we need to do to keep the application running smoothly.

The biggest improvements come from changes that aren’t supported on older web browsers. After evaluating the alternatives, we’ve decided to make rapid improvements and provide the best Chat experience possible, which means we will no longer support Internet Explorer 6 browsers.

This news is certain to be welcomed in all quarters, not the least by Microsoft who are forced to continue supporting the browser because so many of their corporate volume-licence customers are still using it.

Oddly, the removal of Facebook chat might help these companies upgrade to newer browsers when their employees begin to complain about not being able to access a service they use all the time.

Still though IE6 hangs on by its fingernails, avoiding death at every stage and instead just having the longest and most drawn-out demise in tech history.

If you’re still using IE6 and want to use Facebook chat you have until September 15th to get yourself a new browser.  After this time it’ll all be quiet with your friends.

© Mike Halsey for gHacks Technology News, 2010. | Permalink | Add to del.icio.us, digg, facebook, reddit, twitter
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