Will IE9 save us from IE6?

Microsoft have released a beta of IE9, you can download it from http://www.beautyoftheweb.com/.

It seems that the battle of the browsers these days has a lot to do with being the best and fastest for modern standards like HTML5. In the past, the weapons used were often proprietary extensions that made the web a bit of a mess. It isn’t perfect now, since people are still stuck on old versions of browsers, but at least all major browsers are aiming for the same thing now, it seems.

Will IE9 help us at Caplin, or other people that have struggled with supporting IE6 users for so long? Unfortunately it won’t help much.

We have mentioned problems with IE6 before, Browser wars: the ceasefire is over and Supporting IE6 – a poison chalice or the holy grail?. The problem is IE6 users in large corporations that are unable to upgrade, sometimes due to there being applications that need IE6, or they don’t want to pay to upgrade to the latest version of those applications that support newer browsers.

Could IE9 entice them though? Microsoft seem to be quite keen on HTML5 now, maybe people will be encouraged to upgrade? Well, yes, some people will – but the problem users on IE6 are almost certainly running Windows XP. What’s the one thing harder to get upgraded in a big corporation than IE6? The operating system, and guess what, IE9 is not supported on Windows XP.

So people stuck on IE6 are probably stuck on it for even longer now if they are on Windows XP – apart from those corporations that will upgrade to IE7 or IE8, which is their only option if they are on XP and not able to move to Firefox or Chrome.

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