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Should we stop supporting IE 8?

 

Should we support IE8 or should we just develop and test from IE9 up?

This is an important decision for a Front End Web Developer on the process to finalize a website!

Every developer's dream is to be able to provide the full functionality and the best design to every user but IE8 and lower versions unfortunately make this a difficult job. I did celebrate on the day our company decided to drop support for IE7 - it was a victory! Another step to a better internet where we can use the best techniques available!

The most important thing to find out before you decide is whether your client does have a good reason to support IE8, if the answer is NO then you are all good to go with the better WEB experience but if he does have a reason then you need to try to make the IE8 user have the same experience as any other users.

During the process of trying to figure out if your client needs support you could point out a few things to change his mind if the answer is "I need support":

  • Windows XP support has ended - Internet Explorer 8 is also no longer supported, so if your Windows XP PC is connected to the Internet and you use Internet Explorer 8 to surf the web, you might be exposing your PC to additional threats. 
  • Google and Google Apps stopped the support of IE8 for online applications and services such as Google Docs and Spreadsheet. At the end of 2013, IE8 users could no longer utilize Google Analytics with the browser.
  • Last year, Twitter users were asked to switch to another browser after complaints that tweets were not appearing within IE8.
  • jQuery 2.0 dropped support for IE6, 7 and 8 in its new version released last year.
  • One day after the New York Time website IE8 deprecation notice, of IE8 visitors found a different browser to use. Mostly Chrome.

What will they miss if they stick with IE8? What exactly is the "better web" experience?

A lot of graceful enhancements that let the user enjoy your website, smooth round edges and shadowy depths. Colouring gradients and translucent containers. Animations and much more...

There are still numerous other reasons why we should try to make your clients and users to upgrade their browsers.

Websites like http://browsehappy.com/, http://browsingbetter.com/, http://theie8countdown.com/ are good places to see reasons and have links to better browsers than IE.

My opinion is that we are getting closer but still need to see if the effect in dropping support will be bad for the client but I'm definitely counting down the days to be able to develop a website without the restrictions for IE8.

Marcelo Moreira

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