YouTube to drop support for IE6

YouTube will soon be dropping support for Internet Explorer 6 as it attempts to move users to a "more modern browser". Google, who owns YouTube, is pushing for users to upgrade to Chrome, Firefox or IE 8. It's no surprise that they are pushing for users to switch to Chrome with two advertisements to download the browser which Google is using to challenge Microsoft's IE 8.

TechCrunch cites that YouTube is trying to follow in Digg's footsteps where it recently expressed interest in dropping support for the legacy browser. "Digg's User Experience Architect Mark Trammell at the time wrote that the site is strongly considering removing essential features like digging and commenting for IE6 users. He explained that while IE6 users make up around 5% of site traffic, it only accounts for 1% of diggs, buries, and comments."

Is the time finally here that developers can ditch the browser and start to move closer to a unified Web 2.0 experience or should they continue to support those who have not or cannot upgrade their browsers?

With two mega-sites like Digg and YouTube pushing to drop support for IE 6 it's only a matter of time before other sites and webmasters jump on board. The ancient browser is part of a time period that represented Microsoft's dominance in the web browser market. As this era ends, so should its support.

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The strange thing is, I was using IE8, and this message was still popping up. Weather IE8 uses somthing to do with IE6, I still couldn't find a reason for it.
So I've switched to Firefox 3.5, and I doubt I'll use IE8 as my default browser now. I'll see what IE9 is like, if they bring one out that is

Browser compatibility? what a shame... Web has some standards, but some silly browsers never use them...
We would browse any website any version of any browser...

This doesn't help users at work or school that have computers still running IE6, and aren't allowed to install anything else on board.

YouTube sucks.

Great move from Google. IE6 needs to die already. The old "corporations with web apps that only work in IE6" argument will have to be be put to rest at some point. Fixing those sites to work on modern browsers shouldn't be a huge effort. Yes, it will cost money and if the company refuses to put in the work or pay for it, it will kick them in the ass when eventually they're left with all other websites being broken.

Those screaming Opera isn't on the list, well neither is Safari. I'm sure Google primarily went with the two major players and their own browser. If they listed every browser the people still using IE6 would most likely just get confused. Remember, these people can be the kind who just doesn't understand to update because IE6 to them works "good enough". I've met people like that and it was quite a job to get them to update even to IE7.

as a web developer, i use firefox because of the horde of extensions for technical work.

Without comparing MS browsers to any MODERN browsers, if it is IE8 that kills off IE6 rather than FF, Opera or Safari (regardless of monopolistic tactics), it would be a dream come true.

The playing field might be skewed towards MS, but it's the competition itself that got MS off their ass to finally make a decent browser, if the result unfairly lands you in IE8 rather than FF3.5, it would be a huge upgrade to the web regardless.

I concur... Seriously, IE6 should go... But that's gonna happen already by Windows 7, even slower... There will be always IE6 visitors but as long as rate drops and moves to IE8, it will be fine...

Personally I'm doing same thing for Chrome on my site: "You are using an unfinished, buggy, unsecure-to-increase-speed javascript engine and a browser making you think you are going faster without checking new version of pages and showing you all from cache browser... Please upgrade to modern browsers: IE8, Firefox

And about Opera? They really should get a different life...

bad news for those who are still using windows 98 and windows 2000 which do not support new version of ie.

I think that firefox opera and chrome do not support anything below xp neither...

update: firefox seems to support windows 2000 and opera support windows 95 and above.

that's right, eilegz. even firefox 3.5 runs under win2k as I've tested on my relative's win2000 sp4 computer. and opera 9.64 and 10.0 beta also runs under win95/98 but with the msimg32.dll file from WinME installed.

only google chrome and apple safari browsers require at least winxp to use

When you're whining because your 9 year old operating system doesn't work properly with the internet, then you need to update your nine year old operating system... assuming your're a home user.

Come to think of it, Win2K pre-dates most of "web 2.0" by quite a long time, it's a surprise they hadn't been suffering sooner.

*starts using transparent PNG's more often*

Thank God, glad to see the end of this era (hopefully).

I really wish Microsoft had allowed IE7 to run side-by-side with IE6, though. Or provided a compatibility mode like they did in IE8. Then all of the businesses would have upgraded a long time ago.

Meh, hasn't stopped me for a while now... I just blame the designer when the client complains it doesn't work properly in IE6.

I hope this will help people move away from IE6 (maybe even push them towards better browsers than IE)

Yeah, great at being a whiny, complaining red-headed stepchild who will not stop complaining that his slice of pie is smaller than his siblings', when it was he who cut his own pie.

This kind of behavior is perpetuated by the EU, a coddling, slightly offbeat aunt who seems to be the only one who listens, and forcibly tries to even out the amount of pie.


... I sense some kind of sitcom here.

I'm surprised they have only decided to move away now, I thought most Web Developers have given up in frustration a long time ago.

Nope. As a web developer, I am still spending countless useless hours testing and debugging for IE6, because of those people that are still unable to upgrade. We get clients all the time who are using IE6, and it has to work for them too...

Thankfully, I've developed a nifty arsenal of tools and scripts to make even the most challenging site work in IE6.

It doesn't stop me from praying for the day I can ditch it though.

Credit to you, and the paitence you must have. From the small sites that I code, I do try to get it to render correctly in IE6, but a fair few times I have had to leave out minor differences as IE6 is just such a pain sometimes.

Pc_Madness said,
Woot, good work Google! Now we need MS to push IE 8 out to all computers, including businesses! :)

What a dumb comment - MS pushing out to businesses - c'mon, you seriously do not work in a large Corporate environment where that isn't possible!

with the increasing popularity of portable apps in general, I think there will be no trouble to switch to a portable browser for those stuck with IE6

yeah IE6 is incredibly old and makes alot more work for web developers to do. Firefox 2, Chrome etc are all CSS 2.0 compliant so any fairly new browser means CSS2 compliancy so web developers would have much less work to do.

As Digg's research had showed, most of the people who use IE6 are the people who CANNOT update their browser because they rus Windows 2000 or their admins do not allow it.

I say good. It's about time people catch up to the rest of the world. There's little excuse to use a web browser that is so old. The security holes alone should be concern enough to upgrade.

I agree on the earllier point in Microsoft should have integrated IE7 directlly into the XP SP3 update, but they do make IE8 a critical update now anyway....

Yes, they should have not included only their own browser Chrome, Microsoft IE8, and Mozilla Firefox 3.5 as the only options, and should have just had icon/banner for people to click to look at what browsers to choose from.

Didn't Microsoft get a lot of flack for pushing IE7 as much as they did? I seem to remember people being rather peeved that it was considered high priority or something. maybe I'm wrong, but boy I remember that...

As for the browser selection, I see nothing wrong with it. How long should this list have been? They included the only two browsers with an even registerable market share, and their new one as an option. If people wanted something with 1% of the market share like Opera they could always download that... Regardless though, most people using IE6 are not tech savvy. The odds of them trying a new browser is unlikely, so I suspect the vast majority would just click on IE anyway. If you are tech savvy enough to even know who Opera is, you're not running IE6...

M_Lyons10 said,
Didn't Microsoft get a lot of flack for pushing IE7 as much as they did? I seem to remember people being rather peeved that it was considered high priority or something. maybe I'm wrong, but boy I remember that...

Irrelevant. An update to IE7 contains a lot of core code fixes for security to the browser and as its tied into the Kernal that itself. for this reason it IS a high priority update. WGA Notifications is also marked as high/recommended I think but your computer probably runs better off without it.

yeah, just thought of that... going to suck for alot of people at work, these browsers are free to download but not to deploy

If you're at work, you shouldn't be allowed to access websites like YouTube on company time, nor should you be allowed to bring in your own software on a pen drive.

DJGM said,
If you're at work, you shouldn't be allowed to access websites like YouTube on company time, nor should you be allowed to bring in your own software on a pen drive.

Um, yes you should - if it's work related.
If you work in insurance or fraud, YouTube is a tool of choice because people post anything up there that could incriminate them.

JahnnyBoy said,
Um, yes you should - if it's work related.
If you work in insurance or fraud, YouTube is a tool of choice because people post anything up there that could incriminate them.

wow that's evil :)

JahnnyBoy said,
Um, yes you should - if it's work related.
If you work in insurance or fraud, YouTube is a tool of choice because people post anything up there that could incriminate them.

If someone needs YouTube for work, then it's his IT department's job to make sure he can access YouTube at work, which means rolling out an updated browser, which means upgrading the company intranet software, which means spending money. Oh no! God forbid a company has to deal with COSTS.

Nah, Mobile IE 6 is a cross-bread from the real IE 6, some IE 7, and IE 8 peices of code. They wanted it to be current with the standards, but also lightweight. So it'll work.

Most people have upgraded by now, either though windows update or by installing another browser. Just those stupid IT companys that refuse to use anything other than XP with IE6.

Most of them don't have a choice. They have bespoke sites that are written to work in IE6 ( Company Intranets etc ) upgrading a browser means paying thousands for this software to be upgraded. Until the IE8 compatibility mode works correctly and sites stop treating IE8 as IE6/7 and feed it the right html/stylesheets so it renders correctly the sooner these companies will start to upgrade.

Exactly what I was going to say. As a developer myself, this is brilliant news for me. The less people who use IE 6, the better.

When Microsoft halted development of IE6 because it had enough market share it, it stagnated web development. Thank god for for mozlilia and also Opera. Without these we would be stuck with outdated web tech and Microsoft would have never have done ie 7 and 8 !

krustylicious said,
Without these we would be stuck with outdated web tech and Microsoft would have never have done ie 7 and 8 !

you sure that's the reason MS upgraded IE? Because I'm thinking the reason could be that MS will update IE only when a new Windows is on the horizon.

IE7 for Vista - IE8 for 7 and so on...

Aquarian said,
you sure that's the reason MS upgraded IE? Because I'm thinking the reason could be that MS will update IE only when a new Windows is on the horizon.

IE7 for Vista - IE8 for 7 and so on...


It's unlikely they would have put as much time and effort into it, though.

IE was getting updated, to IE6.5, it had a download manager! but that was about it, MS took people out of the IE team for other tasks.

The IE team likes Mozilla, they keep them in their jobs

good, maybe this will force the stragglers to switch to at least IE8... FireFox... or another browser

and no Opra link? wonder if they will sue them over anti-competative behavior j/k

HAHAHAHA, funny. Opera does seem to love throwing that word around... I dunno, but it seems to me like they've been around for a very long time and haven't been able to put a dent in the web browser market. Compare that to Firefox, which certainly has, and both faced the same competition. Firefox even had a partner in Google that decided to learn how to make a browser from Mozilla then release a competing product. I'm so sick of Opera whining...

no opera even in russian youtube. google is really becoming very conceited.
- payed registration for gmail
- required payed registration to run android in EU (thank god they will not require it in russian firmware)
- now a not really clear attempt to eliminate several competitors
early or later they will face a lot of problems with officials like MS, especially in EU

coth said,
no opera even in russian youtube. google is really becoming very conceited.
- payed registration for gmail
- required payed registration to run android in EU (thank god they will not require it in russian firmware)
- now a not really clear attempt to eliminate several competitors
early or later they will face a lot of problems with officials like MS, especially in EU


What the hell? I have signed up several friends to Gmail with no fees, and I have also been using Android on my G1 for about 8 months, and I haven't been charged for using it yet, especially seeing as it is an Open Source project. If you are referring to charges for actual applications that is down to the makers, not Google

I don't really like the fact that they haven't got an Opera link there (guess they probably refused to cough up any more advertising money), but seriously, where are you getting this crap from?

tiagosilva29 said,
What? Where have you seen that?

SMS activation for gmail is now required in many countries.

Awesome. Annoying for those who still use IE 6 for one reason or another, but a helpful push for the web at whole.

Things can only start moving forward once we stop waiting for those falling behind.

java2beans said,
Microsoft is not helping either. They should have integrated IE7 in WinXP SP3.


Considering a lot of corporations still use XP and also rely on IE6 as for compatibility for intranet sites that could cost a lot to update and test to make sure they have a smooth transition is why XP SP3 did not include it.

Martog said,
Considering a lot of corporations still use XP and also rely on IE6 as for compatibility for intranet sites that could cost a lot to update and test to make sure they have a smooth transition is why XP SP3 did not include it.


Well they better get a move on as this is the trend more and more websites will begin to take.

Uh oh, no Opera logo, they're going to be maaaad :P.

Good move though! The more people that upgrade from IE6 the better, there really is no excuse to still be using it on a home computer.

this is a very shady deal... if they are dropping support for IE6, the only message should be, we are soon dropping support for IE6, please update your existing browser to its latest version with a link to Internet Explorer 8

not throw ads for various types of browsers out there, what if they were dropping support for Firefox 2.0.x ... its lame and lowbrow, getting harder and harder to place any trust in google and they want us to consider their OS a year+down the road lol

just my 2 cents

its the same as Apple throwing Safari into iTunes update, they know the cheap trick will get alot of eyes on, don't get me wrong i'm all for getting users updated but at least do it without the shady underhanded business, you know they would just love to have a lone download button to Chrome there and nothing else, if they could do that and get away with it

on another note, ISPs should just detect those running IE6, and leave users with a message that they need to upgrade to the latest IE version in order to use their service, folks that use other browsers generally keep themselves up to date regardless

artfuldodga said,
this is a very shady deal... if they are dropping support for IE6, the only message should be, we are soon dropping support for IE6, please update your existing browser to its latest version with a link to Internet Explorer 8

Which they have.

oh yeah a link to IE8 and nothing more, where does Firefox and Chrome come into play in this IE upgrade process? no need for it ... well Google has a need and thats market share i guess, so why not just just throw in some links to their own product ...

i'm a dedicated Firefox user btw, i don't like to see this type of tactic

artfuldodga said,
on another note, ISPs should just detect those running IE6, and leave users with a message that they need to upgrade to the latest IE version in order to use their service, folks that use other browsers generally keep themselves up to date regardless

My ISP should not mess with my choice of browser. If I want to run IE6 that is my decision as long as i keep myself safe.
One scenario is what if I'm running NT4 for some legacy application or hardware? Latest browser supported is IE6 and its required to use windows update. Sure there are ways around it as windows update is not required to get the latest updates but it should be my choice not my ISPs.

ZakO said,
Uh oh, no Opera logo, they're going to be maaaad :P.


They're promoting the 2 browsers with the largest marketshare, and their parent companys browser

It's not as if they placed Google Chrome first in the list

the 'list' apparently changes on refresh, Google sometimes being first etc, at least thats what i've seen from screenshots of the notice

artfuldodga said,
this is a very shady deal... if they are dropping support for IE6, the only message should be, we are soon dropping support for IE6, please update your existing browser to its latest version with a link to Internet Explorer 8

not throw ads for various types of browsers out there, what if they were dropping support for Firefox 2.0.x ... its lame and lowbrow, getting harder and harder to place any trust in google and they want us to consider their OS a year+down the road lol

just my 2 cents

its the same as Apple throwing Safari into iTunes update, they know the cheap trick will get alot of eyes on, don't get me wrong i'm all for getting users updated but at least do it without the shady underhanded business, you know they would just love to have a lone download button to Chrome there and nothing else, if they could do that and get away with it

on another note, ISPs should just detect those running IE6, and leave users with a message that they need to upgrade to the latest IE version in order to use their service, folks that use other browsers generally keep themselves up to date regardless


It's not shady! Their quote is:
"We will be phasing out support for your browser soon.
Please upgrade to one of these more modern browsers."

There's no where in that statement that constraints their statement to ONLY IE6! If anything, they are very meticulous. Because the title of the news contain "IE6" you've immediately concluded/interpret it as it was meant for IE6 ONLY. This means that Google preferred to give more choices to the consumer instead of just restricting their user to just ONE particular choice of browser in question. This kind of prejudice of the mind is dangerous.

what other browser are they dropping then? and i agree, my mind is very dangerous :P they ain't droppin Firefox, nor Opera, Chrome 1.0? don't think so lol they will take any version they can get a user on with Chrome right now, Maxthon? i doubt they care enough to check for that browser ..

anyhow, dropping support for IE6 is good, i just think they could of made it clear there is an upgrade path for any home user running IE6 directly to IE8 (anyone running IE6 willingly probably thinks the entire OS is called IE or Windows Explorer) intead of using YouTube to push another product of theirs

artfuldodga said,
the 'list' apparently changes on refresh, Google sometimes being first etc, at least thats what i've seen from screenshots of the notice

I've refreshed like 40 times... the order stays the same.

artfuldodga said,
not throw ads for various types of browsers out there, what if they were dropping support for Firefox 2.0.x ...

They should! 3.5 blows 2.x away.