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The Whiteclick SEO blog aims to keep you up to date with the latest in the search engine optimisation and marketing industry and the company.

Google Stops Supporting Older Browsers

- Wednesday, June 22, 2011

On the 1st of June Google announced their plans to no longer support older browsers for a range of their web applications. But there's an interesting bit of text that says "we'll support the current and prior major release of Chrome, Firefox, Internet Explorer and Safari on a rolling basis". What does this mean? Well, it's something that Apple do with iOS development. Only the most current version of the software, and the prior release will be supported, officially. And there's no mention of Opera, which is raising a few eyebrows. A quick skim of the comments on the page highlights this.

As a developer, it's great news. There is a shocking amount of time invested in making websites (and web applications for that matter) compatible with old browsers. Yes, I'm talking about you IE 6. Those older browser flat out don't support new technology like HTML5 and CSS3. And don't get me started on transparent images...
But it's a necessary evil, especially when dealing with corporate/enterprise/government clients. A large amount of these clients are running Windows XP, with, you guessed it, IE6. Why? That is a great question. Most likely the IT administrators don't trust the newer versions of Windows. And maybe they're not interested in upgrading browsers across multiple client machines. Microsoft stopped mainstream support of XP Service Pack 3 in April 2009. Yes, over 2 years ago...however it will still be supported in a 'reduced-support' phase until 2014.

In any case, with moves like this from search engine companies like Google we can only hope that people start upgrading browsers, enabling developers to spend less time fixing bugs, and more time creating outstanding websites and applications!

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