Google Apps dropping support for IE9

Google has announced through its Google Apps blog that it will be dropping support for Microsoft's Internet Explorer 9 browser in the coming weeks.

The blog post highlights Google's policy for browser support which includes the latest and one generation older version of all prominent browsers such as Firefox, Internet Explorer and Safari. Latest version of Chrome is supported as it is automatically updated regularly.

Users of Google Apps such as Gmail, Docs and so on from unsupported browsers will be notified through interstitial pages or in-app notifications to update their browser to a supported version. Google will stop testing and engineering of products on Internet Explorer 9 and will focus on Internet Explorer 11 which was released on October 17th with Windows 8.1. Windows 7 SP1 users can use IE10 or upgrade to IE11 release preview for working with Google Apps.

Most businesses are transitioning from Windows XP to Windows 7 as the former operating system reaches end of support early next year, which has allowed Google to apply their policies to Internet Explorer. Earlier versions of the browser, especially IE6, were supported for a longer period due to the dominance of the browser. Google discontinued the support for Internet Explorer 8 around the same time in 2012.

Source: Google Apps Blog

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Together with their recent announcement that they will extend support of Chrome on XP this could be seen as an attempt to increase their Chrome install base which in turn will help to support their main business model, figuring out who you are and what your habbits are for advertisment revenue purposes ;-)

Some departments where I work are still using Windows XP + IE6 for compatibility reasons with some old shi**y softwares. Imagine...

myxomatosis said,
Some departments where I work are still using Windows XP + IE6 for compatibility reasons with some old shi**y softwares. Imagine...

wish they had a whistle-blower law where you could complain about how unsecure your companies systems are without repercussions

myxomatosis said,
Some departments where I work are still using Windows XP + IE6 for compatibility reasons with some old shi**y softwares. Imagine...

It's a vicious circle - developers won't drop support for IE6 as long as organizations still insist on IE6 compatibility. Organizations still insist on IE6 compatibility because some lazy developers won't update their software to be compatible with newer browsers!

But really, at the end of the day, particularly in relation to IE6, Microsoft have a lot to answer for! http://blog.mid.as/2011/07/20/...osoft-holding-back-the-web/

myxomatosis said,
Some departments where I work are still using Windows XP + IE6 for compatibility reasons with some old shi**y softwares. Imagine...

Maybe they need an IT team that can VM that crap until they can migrate the server side web features that use IE6 code.

There is NO reason any company should be letting/having users run XP or IE6 as their primary OS/Browser. Microsoft has provided VirtualPC/Windows XP Mode in Win7 and full on Hyper-V in Windows 8.

Mobius Enigma said,

Maybe they need an IT team that can VM that crap until they can migrate the server side web features that use IE6 code.

There is NO reason any company should be letting/having users run XP or IE6 as their primary OS/Browser. Microsoft has provided VirtualPC/Windows XP Mode in Win7 and full on Hyper-V in Windows 8.


There's plenty of cases where its impossible to use a VM with XP in it.

myxomatosis said,
Some departments where I work are still using Windows XP + IE6 for compatibility reasons with some old shi**y softwares. Imagine...

Perhaps, you should upgrade your manager as well...

I kinda have to agree.

I can understand that not every bit and byte in your organization supports Windows 8.1 and all the latest available browsers but lagging behind years and years is bad management.

We always upgrade our apps as we go when new technologies appear. This will make our software up to date so internal users can upgrade their PC software too and enjoy all the joys of modern times with added performance boosts.

When third party components and software lags behind we threathen them to dead to change partners in the future.

By keeping up with the times all our software and webapps usually only need some minor tweaking to work.

The strategy "when it works, don't fix it" may be great in the short term it never pays of long term. These aren't the nineties anymore you know... You can't expect a whole team of people to work with dated software just because of one program.

..in defense to all the "lazy developer" comments..

It actually tends to be "the company doesn't want to pay to build a new system since the one that only works with IE6 is meeting all their needs". Doesn't tend to have anything to do with lazy developers. Most of these systems I've run into don't even have development teams anymore. They hired an outside firm to build them something, it got built, technical support got taught how to maintain it, and that's been the status quo ever since.


My mothers last employer asked me to come in because they were having all sorts of issues with their system. First thing I did was contact the developers of the system. Basically found out they were about 8 versions behind. The version after the one they had required a new server. 4 versions later required a new OS. When I told the president of the company about this, they just dealt with the problems because they weren't going to spend all that money just for a printing bug.

We all have expectations as to what the system should be like and how flexible employees should be. Most of these organizations flat out say "they aren't supposed to be doing anything else on those computers" and absolutely freak out at the cost of getting their systems modernized. A hammer is a hammer, carbon fiber or wood, they both drive the same nail in.

Heck, we still get calls from people running some software I wrote back in 1994(windows 3.1) wondering if there's an update to it. When we tell them that the entire line of those software's were dropped in 2006 for the new web based version, they balk, then call back a year or two later trying to get the old software to work on the latest-greatest windows. It's a simple example of a business having something they paid for, it handles everything they need to, they simply don't want to justify paying for change.

Looking back at that software from 1994, it's horrible compared to what can be created today. At no point do I consider myself a "lazy developer" for it. It was created the best it could be with the tools and patterns available at the time. An outsider looking in on someone running it right now would giggle at it. They just don't realize there were numerous upgrades available, notices were sent out to customers the entire cycle up to and including the move to the web. Businesses didn't want to spend money on something they felt was working perfectly fine.

Shadowzz said,

There's plenty of cases where its impossible to use a VM with XP in it.

Such as? With Hyper-V built into Windows 8 it's trivial.

But the "right" was to do it would be to use Remote Desktop and a server 2003 machine -- you could even have IE as the "shell" so that it's the first thing that comes up when the user connects. One system for IT to manage and, if powerful enough, would serve the needs of the legacy applications until they can be upgraded.

And what organization running IE6 doesn't have a Server 2003 license they could repurpose for a VM?

The point is, there are ways to do this, and budgets don't always allow for companies to "just upgrade".

You guys who think that need to talk to some budget-strained companies who are just trying to stay afloat.

Yeah there's always a way. Buy new hardware, buy entire new systems, pay people to rewrite custom software and drivers...

small-medium companies with those kinda IT budgets, wouldn't need to upgrade anyways since their security would not be in any way dependent on the client OS.

Shadowzz said,
Yeah there's always a way. Buy new hardware, buy entire new systems, pay people to rewrite custom software and drivers...

small-medium companies with those kinda IT budgets, wouldn't need to upgrade anyways since their security would not be in any way dependent on the client OS.

You are way overestimating the costs.

Even for a tiny company, migrations like this can be less than a typical monthly service call. The support costs of one small virus would be more expensive than a full migration.

Seems kinda early... Just giving companies another reason to stick to locally running office suites or to switch to Office Web Apps instead as lots of companies are doing.

recursive said,
Upgrading the browser versus paying through the nose. Hmmm thats a toughie..

It's not quite so simple. Say you're in accounting and your accounting department runs Oracle eBusiness, Peoplesoft, Hyperion, or other applications that dont' support IE10 yet alone newer chrome releases or firefox.. Upgrading just for google apps sake could be the worst thing for those businesses when it may be a yearlong project to upgrade their financial application back end software to get latest compatibility and for some corporations that may just not be worth the effort.

Well for whom does it backfire than. this is clearly Google strategie. Calling longer support on xp - dropping support for IE9. guess why this is all happening

It's not THAT hard if people are on Windows 7 to update from IE9 to IE10/11, as your typical average-Joe will have Windows Updates enabled, and so will automatically get IE updates!

Also, I'm sure most people have downloaded software from the internet before, so downloading an alternative browser isn't rocket science! - in the EU, Microsoft forces a "Browser Choice" screen on people allowing them to select which browser they wish to download/install!

This isn't going to "backfire" - this is going to help move the web forward! If Google are dropping support for IE9 it might encourage other developers to do the same! (or at the very least speed up developers resistance to dropping IE8!!).

By no longer supporting older, obsolete, browsers, developers can make their web sites and web apps much better and take advantage of newer standards and technologies - this benefits everyone!

Its not going to move the web forward. Most people that use IE9 are not casual average Joe's. Its people at work, where just because Google wants to drop support, they are not going to upgrade IE just for the sake of it.

How does dropping IE9 benefit anyone? Is it an ancient old browser that cant handle websites properly? Is it holding back the entire web development somehow?
It lacks some features compared to IE10 and IE11, but none that will break Gmail, Google search or even Youtube.

This is just another sucker punch from Google, to get people to switch to Chrome.

Shadowzz said,
It lacks some features compared to IE10 and IE11, but none that will break Gmail, Google search or even Youtube.

Then you'll have no problem using IE9 with those services.

You'll get a warning though about new features not being tested in your browser, so if something eventually breaks you'll know why.

I know many a lot off staff at my school that use internet explorer for their work, all running IE9 (because IT doesn't need to update them really) on windows 7 (Hell, some of the teachers are still running XP on their staff laptops). They rely on Google Apps for a lot of cloud based work and staff emails.
Knowing that a lot of the staff there are above the age of 40 and some are a bit tech illiterate, this will surely become an issue in the future

Have you seen those horrible scroogled ads by Microsoft? Microsoft may be idiots, sure, but they're not liars.

Time for them to move from Google Apps to Skydrive, Office 365 and Lync for doing their work. All native and not running on web browsers.

Niekess said,
Time for them to move from Google Apps to Skydrive, Office 365 and Lync for doing their work. All native and not running on web browsers.

And not free. Google Apps is free for educational organisations.

Ambroos said,

And not free. Google Apps is free for educational organisations.

Office 365 is VERY inexpensive for educational organizations. And the free 7GB version of Skydrive and Outlook.com will allow you to use the free Office web apps.

I wonder if all the recent strikes at Microsoft (Youtube on WP, Google Chat on WP, and now this) is a result of Microsoft not allowing Chrome and Firefox to use the special API's on Windows RT.

Google to Microsoft:

ians18 said,
I wonder if all the recent strikes at Microsoft (Youtube on WP, Google Chat on WP, and now this)

huh? This has been Google's policy and is not limited to IE...as stated in the OP.

techbeck said,

huh? This has been Google's policy and is not limited to IE...as stated in the OP.


I don't remember every older version of FF and Safari and Opera being announced as support dropped for them. It's a nice heads up, though.

ians18 said,

I don't remember every older version of FF and Safari and Opera being announced as support dropped for them.

This is MS and Google...we will hear every little thing that has to do with them.

ians18 said,

I don't remember every older version of FF and Safari and Opera being announced as support dropped for them. It's a nice heads up, though.

Because it's expected and they have short release periods, IE on the otherhand goes years between releases so dropping support for a version (by a large site) is important information for companies and such.

ians18 said,
I wonder if all the recent strikes at Microsoft (Youtube on WP, Google Chat on WP, and now this) is a result of Microsoft not allowing Chrome and Firefox to use the special API's on Windows RT.

Google to Microsoft:

IE9 support is superfluous, and it actually helps Microsoft by getting more users to upgrade to IE10 or IE11.

As for the WinRT battle, Microsoft did open up any APIs they would need, with C++ direct access to the WRL COM.

I think the only restriction would be setting/using a non-IE engine for WinRT as it is integrated into the framework.