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Devs ditch IE6 support, charge for IE7

Mobile platform strategist and consultant Peter-Paul Koch has revealed the results of his poll about usage of old versions of Internet Explorer among web designers and developers. The aim of the poll was to ascertain which versions of Internet Explorer were still being supported by developers, why they were being supported, and also how they were being detected. According to Koch, his main goal was to “find out what kind of old IE information web developers need”.

The worst-answered question in the poll still had well over 1000 responses, and Koch explained that preferences within the industry were very clear. IE5.5 is now dead in the water, and only a small number of developers are required to support IE6. For the majority, IE7 remains a going concern, with 56 per cent required to test in it, and 79 per cent having tested at least once in that browser during the past year. By contrast, 92 per cent were required to support IE 8.

A fact that surprised Koch was the number of developers charging extra for projects that work in older versions of IE: a relatively low 66 per cent in IE6, but a surprisingly high 42 per cent in IE7. In terms of detection, there were no surprises, though, with conditional comments winning out far over the IE versioning switch and the antiquated Quirks Mode, which reverts IE behaviour back to version 5.5, enabling developers to temporarily pretend their PC is a TARDIS that’s propelled them back to 2000.

With the results forming a well-researched sanity check, Koch concluded he’d no longer test by default in IE6. Let us know in the comments if you’ve also ditched support for Microsoft’s ageing browser.