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Internet Explorer 6 usage is growing rapidly again

Big news for all websites out there. In an unexpected turn of events, multiple analytics tools have reported that Microsoft’s Internet Explorer 6 has seen a big increase in usage lately:

web-browser-usage-share-april-fools

After discontinuing support for IE6 almost a year ago, Microsoft’s CEO issued a statement today saying that Internet Explorer 6 is now back in their product offering and will most likely be included in their next version of Windows later this year:

“We kept releasing newer and better versions of our flagship browser Internet Explorer, but tens of thousands of users were complaining that they miss the quirkiness and complexity of our old 6th version. Our customers’ wishes are at the core of our business, so Internet Explorer 6 is now back, and will be the default browser for the next version of Windows.”

The web-design community is showing mixed feelings about the return of IE6, and scrambling to update client websites to make them compatible.

Thousands of designers and developers have gathered in New York to protest about the recent turn of events (in a repeat of similar protests from 2009):

ie6-no-more-meeting-april-fools

 

Many online job boards have reported that roughly 15% of their users have updated their profiles & changed their profession from “web developer” to “other” in the last couple of days.

 

How does Internet Explorer 6 impact your photography websites?

1. It’s expected for Microsoft to also issue an iPhone version of Internet Explorer 6 in the following months. Since CSS compatibility is very limited, websites will no longer work in a responsive manner, so mobile users will again have to pinch-and-zoom to browse a website. Google, who has been strongly advocating mobile-friendly websites recently, completely took down its free mobile testing tools online, and is expected to change its SEO requirements for non-responsive websites too.

2. Advanced slideshows (built with Javascript and HTML5) will most likely also stop working, so web-designers are left with using Flash again for any creative page elements.

3. Performance best-practices for websites are still in place (as people still expect sites to load faster & faster), but less important now since IE6 automatically ignores some of the page elements anyway.

4. Facebook will be down for a couple of weeks. Design changes that Facebook made in the last few years have made it “too modern” for IE6, so the company is now forced to rebuild their social media platform in IE6-compatible ways, leaving millions of users and business without access.

5. Search engines will start displaying small badges in search results, showcasing whether websites are compatible with Internet Explorer 6:

google-label-ie6-compatible-april-fools

 


 

 Happy April Fools’ Day!  :-)
– Alex

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