Web Designer’s Corner: Why IE 6 Still Matters

Ah yes, Internet Explorer 6. It has more holes than Swiss cheese, is exploited easily and is slow as molasses. It doesn’t even do tabs.

You might be thinking, "What moron would still use IE 6 when you could use 7 or 8?"

Corporations would, that’s who.

Windows 2000 is still used widely in the enterprise environment. And as anyone who uses 2000 knows, it won’t support any IE version higher than 6.

Additionally, the majority of enterprise environments absolutely will not allow the installation of any other browser, such as Firefox or Opera.

According to an article published on Lifehacker, a whopping 60% of companies still have the default browser as IE 6.

Concerning your web site or blog, if you want to ensure the widest possible audience, it should work in IE 6.

"But I don’t have IE 6 to test with", you say. Not a problem. There are ways around that.

Workaround 1: Install a virtual environment of Windows XP or 2000.

Download VirtualBox, grab your copy of XP or 2000 and install it, and you’ll get IE 6.

Workaround 2: BrowserCam

This is a web designer’s best friend for testing compatibility of your web site. It is a paid service but there is a free trial so you can see if it’s your thing or not. This service tests web sites in Windows/Mac/Linux using a plethora of different native-environment browsers from you to choose from. I have used this service before and it works great.

Workaround 3: Internet Explorer Application Compatibility VPC Image

"VPC" is "Virtual PC". Microsoft does understand that designers need to test things in previous editions of IE and has VHD (Virtual Hard Disk) images ready to download for that purpose.

This is essentially the same as creating your own virtual machine, but with Microsoft’s available offerings they’ve done all the work for you. All you have to do is download, install and go.

blog comments powered by Disqus
Copyright © PcBerg