Earlier this week there were a number of blog posts about how Volkswagon is not only still using IE6 internally, but requiring IE6 compatibility for some of their web applications used by outside suppliers and vendors. This had all the web developers scratching their heads to determine if that meant they also still needed to support IE6 on their public-facing websites or whether it was just an internal-to-the-enterprise problem.
Our perspective has long been that IE6 does still matter on the web because those users do access public websites, though at not nearly the rate of the average consumer who has surely upgraded to a more modern browser (be it IE8 or 9, Firefox or Chrome). In fact we’re seeing the public IE6 usage stats, published by Net Applications and others, dropping much faster than the rate of enterprise migration off IE6. So that seems to imply that the holdouts on IE6 (still numbering over 150M worldwide) are more and more only using their old browser for internal applications — or in the case of Volkswagon, to access extranet sites for a specific line-of-business application.
Given the interest in UniBrows, particularly in verticals like banking, healthcare, and government, enterprises are clearly motivated to make a change. They don’t like being trapped on IE6 any more than web developers like hacking up their own websites to support IE6 users. But that change will take years due to the size the problem (it’s massive) and the time it takes to reach all of these customers with our solution.
So if you’re an IT pro running IE6 as the standard browser in your organization, it’s time to give us a call to get you moving up to IE8 or IE9. And if you’re a web developer, check your stats often. If IE6 usage falls below your threshold, cut off support for them. You’ll be giving enterprise IT yet another reason to move off IE6 even more quickly. We’re happy to have that business.