It looks like YouTube is finally taking the plunge and dropping support for older browsers, including the very controversial IE6. This message was on the YouTube site and is only displayed when using an older browser such as IE6:
"We will be phasing out support for your browser soon.
Please upgrade to one of these more modern browsers"
Since our website building software is cross-browser compatible in IE6+ (Internet Explorer), Firefox and Safari, we are well aware of the extra effort that is required to create and maintain such software.
A lack of standards, proprietary standards and unsupported features means that extra testing is required and often separate code has to be written for specific browsers. Having said that, our web-application does many things that most front-end websites don't need (until they start introducing interactive elements).
With YouTube becoming more interactive and having customizable features (such as dragging sections around the page), it isn't really surprising that they want to drop support for older browsers. It could save them quite a bit of time and money. The fact that YouTube is owned by Google and that it could mean more people will use Google Chrome doesn't hurt them either.
Since the release of Chrome, Firefox and the recent release of Firefox 3.5, Internet Explorer has been gradually loosing market share. There is even a chance that up to 50% of your visitors are using Firefox depending on your website. However we still notice a large percentage of visitors using IE and even IE6, from statistics across some of the websites using our software. One reason for this is because IE is installed on new computers and ready to use.
It will take big guns like YouTube to finally make a stand against IE6, but I think we still have a long way to go. Aside from developers, the people still using IE6 are probably the same sort of people that you wouldn't find using YouTube (in which case YouTube has nothing to lose).
As for Spinsoft Website Builder, we still plan to support IE6 at this stage, but are looking forward to the day when browsers are more consistent in supporting standards. When IE6 support is 'officially' dropped by everyone, you will hear a large sigh of relief from developers all over the world.
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