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I am happy to announce that IE6 is not supported by UI for ASP.NET AJAX as of Q2 2014. The outdated and insecure browser reached the end of its life with the Microsoft discontinuation of Windows XP in April 2014 , since Windows XP is the last OS that could have it.

Let's get down to some of the reasoning behind our decision to drop the support of IE6 and see what's next and how it impacts your development.

Why do we drop support for IE6? What developers gain from this?

If the short answer "because we finally can" does not suffice, here is a list of reasons and benefits for you:

  • Microsoft dropped its support. We follow their lead as we did with the RadEditor for MOSS 2007 support back in 2012.
  • We are in a modern era of Web Standards: Microsoft is urging their users to switch to recent browsers such as IE11, and IE6 has a really small market share. Figure 1 shows the most pessimistic data I found.
    IE6 usage in May 2014 according to IE6 Countdown
    Figure 1 (click to enlarge): IE6 market share according to the IE6 Countdown site
  • Performance boosts:
    • We can remove CSS hacks and fixes for IE6 from our base stylesheets, leading to size reductions of up to 30% for some controls.
    • We can improve the CSS selectors which will ultimately provide more human-readable code.
    • Fewer images and sprites are going to be used because all newer browsers can work with PNGs.
    • Creating additional images, more styles and spending time on finding ways around IE6 bugs costs money—more resources mean more bandwidth, more development time for browser issues means less time for concentrating on new features. These are benefits for every web developer, not just us as tools vendors.

Are there any caveats if I use IE6?

If you still need to run your site under IE6, you may experience the following issues:

  • Some tones may be a tint different because IE6 does not like PNGs.
  • Some gradients, transparency and/or rounded corners may go missing.

At this point we are not going to modify the scripts we use, so things should be OK. Note that this may change in the future, as that's the point of dropping support for an obsolete technology—to make way for improvements available in more modern environments.

What's next?

So, with one dinosaur fossilized, we still have to tackle its close cousins—IE7 and IE8, to begin with. Thus, it is safe to say that IE7 is the new IE6, because it seems Microsoft will support it together with Windows Vista until 2017. That's only three years from now, so you may want to start preparing for that by phasing out its support from your applications. This includes the compatibility mode in IE8, 9 and 10 too, so removing it suddenly may cause quite a bit of commotion.

If you can make your client/organization use a modern browser such as IE11, Firefox or Chrome instead of IE7, for example, that would be a victory for everyone—you will have less to tackle and your end users will have a better experience.

New York Times have dropped support even for IE8. Many other sites also warn you about using obsolete or unpopular browsers because they aim at providing the best possible experience for their users and sometimes, some features simply cannot be achieved in old browsers.

My personal opinion is that we can advise our employers, colleagues, customers, friends and family to use modern browsers! We, the developers, are the ones to benefit from their adoption when we are no longer held back by obsolete technology.

Limited IE6 support

If you are stuck on IE6 and you are experiencing any problems with it after Q2 2014, we could provide you with limited assistance through the support ticketing system .

About the Author

Rumen Jekov

Rumen Jekov (@Rumen_Jekov) started his career at Telerik’s ASP.NET team in 2004 as a tech support engineer and passed through the position of a team lead to a product manager. He has answered more than 51,500 tickets helping customers to achieve their goals. Presently, he is a product owner of Telerik UI for ASP.NET AJAX and a manager of the AJAX crew at Progress. Off work, he enjoys traveling across the globe, watching movies and tech shows, reading books and listening to podcasts.


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