I get into this argument all the time with people that use Internet Explorer. To start off I really can’t attack IE 9 or 10 as they’ve both come a long way from their predecessors 8,7 and the dreaded Internet Explorer 6. Believe it or not, there is still a small contingency of people that use IE6 though they are going the way of the Do. In fact, only about 0.26% of people worldwide were using IE 6 in 2013.
Not since Netscape Navigator has a browser been as hated by the web design community. There are still sites live on the web today for convincing people to drop Internet Explorer 6 and Internet Explorer 7. Germany even urged the public to stop using Internet Explorer all together.
While newer versions of Internet Explorer are leaps and bounds better than the older versions the browser just leaves a bad taste in this designer’s mouth. I only use it to test for cross-browser compatibility and I do this under protest.
Not Supported By IE 8
Below is a short list of just some of the features not supported by IE 8. It doesn’t support a lot of new standards that make the web a better and prettier place. Again this isn’t a full list, it’s more like the highlights or rather lowlights of this aged browser.
- Media Queries
- HTML5 elements
- RGBA, HSL/HSLA colors
- CSS Transforms
- Multiple backgrounds
- Real HTML5 Video/Audio
- WOFF Fonts
- SVG images, inline SVG, SVG in CSS backgrounds
Not Supported By Internet Explorer 7
IE 7 in addition to not supporting the above standards also does not support the following. Again this is not a full list so just imagine how degraded of a view you’re seeing if you use Internet Explorer 7 to surf the web. Yuck!
- canvas element
- SVG in text/html
- HTML5 tree building
- HTML5 tokenizer
- 2D context
- WebM support
- video element
- Subtitle support
- Poster image support
- MPEG-4 support
- Ogg Theora support
- Form validation
A Few Words About Cross Browser Compatibility
I’ve been building websites for over a decade now and one of the things that has become more and more complicated over the years is designing cross browser compatible websites. These are sites that work in all browsers in all versions of those said browsers. So nowadays with mobile devices and responsive web design there is a lot more to account for than back in the days before CSS3 and Html5.
About IE 8 & Below
If you’re designing for IE 8 first of all I’m sorry. At least it’s not 7, but you wont be supporting this browser for long. According to this survey on SitePoint.com worldwide usage of Internet Explorer 8 has dropped to 9.30% in April of 2013. This is good news for designers who must adhere to the standards of this aging browser and provide a gracefully degredated version for users.
About IE 9 & 10
When IE 9 first came about we were still leery that it would be as big of a disappointment as the previous versions. With the advent of Internet Explorer 9 Microsoft updated their auto-update policy to roll out fixes for defects like today’s modern browsers do. This helped put Internet Explorer back on the list of acceptable web browsers.
Today’s Internet Explorer 10 is a completely different browsing experience that closely follows W3C web standards. More so than even my beloved browser Firefox which still uses moz CSS extensions to handle how certain things are displayed such as gradients, rounded corners, padding, flex, etc. I just finished up a project that needed to be compatible down to IE 7 and the 2 browsers that threw the least amount of issues were IE 9 & IE 10.
I still don’t use IE as my preferred browser for the web mostly because of past experiences having to develop for it, but I couldn’t totally bash the browser that has made a severe come back from what it once was. I really wanted to throw Internet Explorer under the bus, but truth is it’s a pretty decent browser these days. Sorry if the title was a little misleading. Maybe it should have read “Why you should Stop Using Internet Explorer 8 and Below Today”.