Facebook to kill IE6 chat support on IE9 beta day

Internet Explorer 6 has been a thorn in the side of developers for quite some time. The legacy browser has stuck around thanks to big business refusing to upgrade because of either legacy software issues or not wanting to update the default browser in XP; regardless it's still out there in the Internet ecosystem.

While other dominate players like Google have started to pull support for IE6, Facebook is finally joining the growing list of websites that no longer supports that platform. Announced on their blog, Facebook states “The biggest improvements come from changes that aren't supported on older web browsers. After evaluating the alternatives, we've decided to make rapid improvements and provide the best Chat experience possible, which means we will no longer support Internet Explorer 6 browsers.”

While it’s not entirely clear if Facebook is pulling support for the entire site, the chat function will no longer be supported after September 15. The date co-incides nicely with Microsoft's Internet Explorer 9 beta. Officials are expected to share more details on Microsoft's Internet Explorer 9 features, including beta code. Earlier this week the IE9 beta UI leaked after Microsoft Russia pressed the publish button a little early on press release.

As the Internet continues to grow and increase in complexity, it’s important that users keep their browsers updated to the latest version to ensure the best possible experience. Legacy browsers dramatically slowed web standards adoption in the early 2000s and it’s important that we don’t repeat those steps in the future. 

Thanks for the news tip Mephistopheles

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48 Comments

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IE6 should be ripped apart and only left an a failing memory. there are companies who could afford to upgrade but choose not to because they are not thinking of the customer but there own pockets that are full of cash. hey companies if you are smart you could part with some of your cash and the end result would benefit everyone.

YAY!!! My theory: Developers should only support the current release and the previous version. Hence, IE 8 and 7 (soon to be 9 and 8), Firefox 3.6 and 3.5 (soon 4.0 and 3.6) and so on.

collegeHumorMan said,
YAY!!! My theory: Developers should only support the current release and the previous version. Hence, IE 8 and 7 (soon to be 9 and 8), Firefox 3.6 and 3.5 (soon 4.0 and 3.6) and so on.

So you believe Microsoft should only support Windows Vista and 7 NOT XP

Joshie said,
My theory: developers should code to standards. Let browsers decide how well they want to adhere.

+1 million
See my earlier comment.

Facebook is HARDLY a reason to quit using IE6!!

Yes, I know, IE6 is technically outdated, but I'd prefer they killed IE7 first!! I ALWAYS hated that miserable version.

So, what I'm really saying is they need to kill both of those versions, if killing any of them.

I live in a city of 225 000 folks. I just went this afternoon to the local library. They are still using IE6. I then proceeded to type the CITY'S web adress. The page didn't show up because IE6 wasn't supported... by the city's OWN computers!!!!!!!

IE6 is waaaaaaaaaay old!!! It should've died ages ago!

Mouettus said,
I live in a city of 225 000 folks. I just went this afternoon to the local library. They are still using IE6. I then proceeded to type the CITY'S web adress. The page didn't show up because IE6 wasn't supported... by the city's OWN computers!!!!!!!

IE6 is waaaaaaaaaay old!!! It should've died ages ago!

Ohhhhhh, SNAP! That's so retarded!

But as I've been saying all along, kill IE6 with fire and move on to Firefox, Safari, etc., or at least upgrade IE for crying out loud. It's such a menace security-wise and an unnecessary headache for web developers.

I personally hate Internet Explorer 6, and I've always used alternatives from ever since I knew about them. (Mainly Firefox or Opera). The built in Messenger button was quite neat though.

finally a good reason to stay on IE6.. automatic Facebook blocking.. I hope it alse works for like buttons and 'Facebook users like these stories' sections of website.. Facebook, please be nice and replace all blocked content with a 1px x 1px transparent pixel

Surely facebook dropping support for functions on ie6 just gives businesses more reason to stick with ie6..

edit: same thought as last post I hadn't read..

Isn't this good news for enterprises? They stick with IE 6 and social networks are out. Fewer employees bypassing corporate defences and socializing..

Code to standards, not to browsers. That's always been what I've done. I hate it when I go to a website and I see "Designed for Internet Explorer 8". I even visited a website one time that blocked access unless I configured my browser to tell it that I was using IE when I really wasn't.

CoMMo said,
Code to standards, not to browsers. That's always been what I've done. I hate it when I go to a website and I see "Designed for Internet Explorer 8". I even visited a website one time that blocked access unless I configured my browser to tell it that I was using IE when I really wasn't.

They do code to standards but not all browser makers follow them. I haven't used IE since 5 and am eager for IE9. Firefox is falling behind until 4 is finalized.

Good news all around - IE6 users who have the choice to upgrade will now be forced to, while the rest of us get new features.

Finally, an incentive for IE6 Facebook users to move on from an outdated browser - and for corporate users to stick with it.

Anaron said,
Finally, an incentive for IE6 Facebook users to move on from an outdated browser - and for corporate users to stick with it.

Now if only they'd bar IE6 users from using it, many corporations wouldn't have to bother with blocking Facebook!

OceanMotion said,
Companies will love this. Not like they will bother updating.

Quite true. If anything, this gives businesses even more reason NOT to upgrade. Facebook chat is a huge time waster for people who are supposed to be working.

roadwarrior said,

Quite true. If anything, this gives businesses even more reason NOT to upgrade. Facebook chat is a huge time waster for people who are supposed to be working.

Companies that worry about this simply block access to facebook.

OceanMotion said,
Companies will love this. Not like they will bother updating.

Lol


Ruoken said,
Companies that worry about this simply block access to facebook.

Maybe. But remember proxies, and similar services. Now there won't be a way to access it.
What I can think of is that there are several companies that will be downgrading to IE6 to fight the cause. , haha....

greenwizard88 said,

Any web developer, designer, or corporate/enterprise IT departments.

Indeed, which is why this excellent news for people like me. I haven't bothered with IE6 for years; coding for it is like walking through a minefield with very wide boots and a metal detector that lies.

nifke said,
That's not news... who cares about IE6

This "It's not news" crap is really getting old. It absolutely is news to some people.

Meph said,

Indeed, which is why this excellent news for people like me. I haven't bothered with IE6 for years; coding for it is like walking through a minefield with very wide boots and a metal detector that lies.

Haha

Meph said,

Indeed, which is why this excellent news for people like me. I haven't bothered with IE6 for years; coding for it is like walking through a minefield with very wide boots and a metal detector that lies.

lol exactly.

Xenosion said,

This "It's not news" crap is really getting old. It absolutely is news to some people.

+1, it means Facebook Chat is getting improved with features IE6 does not support. That's what it means!

greenwizard88 said,

Any web developer, designer, or corporate/enterprise IT departments.

+1. Developing for IE6 is like redesigning the whole site again.... I know the pain they're suffering. Plus, it's far way less secure than newer browsers.

I think it's important because it helps solidify the idea that developing for IE6 is an optional expense. Right now, people who choose to omit <IE7 support in their sites are seen as being slightly bleeding edge. It's still difficult to go to customers and tell them 'It's going to cost you an extra $xxx for IE6 tweaks/hacks'. With more and more mainstream sites dropping IE6, the practice will become more accepted and people will realize that IE6 hacks are an additional expense above and beyond the basic site design.