As we progress forward with website development, it is important to understand the ever changing trends that users have over a course of a few years. These would include data bandwidth, screen resolution, and type of browser. Browser Trends are particularly important, b/c it tells developers what browsers they should support and what browsers should be left behind. Every browser out there has automatic updates set to “on” by default, however, whether a user decided to actually install the update is another question. This can be due to lack of understanding, perception of past experiences from an upgrade/update or having the automatic update set to “off”.
Regards less, we stand by the fact that we do not support browser versions two steps down from the current version. (For example we support Internet Explorer 8 and 7 but not 6.) Here is a few references that we use, among the many other traffic tools that help us gage our standards. Global Stats, http://www.w3counter.com/globalstats.php, is a wonderful resource b/c it updates on a daily basis. Global Stats also now included trends on how some browsers are becoming more widely used and others are not. http://www.w3counter.com/trends. Though Internet explorer is still the industry standard, fire fox has had a steady incline over the past few years. Dealing directly with Internet Explorer, IE 6 and 7 have had a steady decline since mid 2009 at about the same rate. While IE 8 has taken some time to gain ground, has become the new standard since September 2009. If you can compare this with operating system trends, IE 6 was part of Windows XP and Windows XP SP1. IE 7 was part of Windows XP sp2. IE 8 was introduced by default in Vista (which has very bad reviews) and Windows 7 which fixed Microsoft’s reputation and thus restored consumer confidence over time.
When Google made this statement “Google will be ending support for IE6. That’s a good thing if you’re a front-end developer constantly pulling your hair to support IE6. You know how painful it could get. Fortunately this move by Google should force IE6 users to upgrade, switch or die.” (Source – http://www.azurewebdesign.com/ie6-does-not-support-multiple-class-selectors/) This made it very clear that if the big boys are not supporting it, then we should not either. Finally if you want the “autority on this opinon check out this wikipedia article… enough said. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Internet_Explorer_6