Google says it will cease fully supporting Microsoft Internet Explorer 6.0 for its Google Docs and Google Sites applications on March 1. This deadline also applies to other older Web browser versions, including Mozilla Firefox 2.0, Apple Safari 2.0 and Google's own Chrome 3.0. The move is part of Google's push to rid the messaging and collaboration world of the dated, insecure IE 6 and put Google Chrome in its place. Chrome has 4.63 percent of the browser market and Google would love to chomp away at IE's 63 percent share.
Google Jan. 29 said it would cease fully supporting Microsoft Internet
Explorer 6.0 and other older Web browsers for its Google Docs and Google Sites
applications on March 1.
Google recommends that its Docs and Sites users upgrade to IE 7.0 or higher,
Mozilla Firefox 3.0 or higher, Apple Safari 3.0 or higher, or of course Google Chrome 4.0,
which the company rolled out Jan. 25
with a host of extensions.
"Many other companies have already stopped supporting older browsers
like Microsoft Internet
Explorer 6.0 as well as browsers that are not supported by their own
manufacturers," Google Apps Senior Product Manager Rajen Sheth wrote in a
Users will still be able to access Docs and Sites through older browsers,
including IE 6, Firefox 2.0, Safari 2.0 and Chrome 3, but "newer features
may not be available and some features may even stop working."
Closing the book on IE 6 is an interesting choice at a time when many
companies are still stuck using that version of the browser, which Microsoft
released in 2001 to accompany its Windows XP operating system.
Many corporate workers-Forrester Research says 78 percent of enterprises-still use
IE 6 because their IT shops
say they must use so that their applications
However, using this dated browser version is unwise due to the glut of
security holes in the application. Indeed, it was a flaw in IE 6 that hackers exploited
to gain access to access to Gmail accounts in the China hack attack
disrupted relations between Google and China.
Google seized the opportunity to tout Chrome 4.0's security.
IE 6's infamy even lives large on Wikipedia:
"This version of Internet
Explorer is widely derided for its security issues and lack of support for
modern web standards, making frequent appearances in "worst tech products
of all time" lists, with some publications labeling it as the "least
secure software on the planet." Campaigns have been established in order
to encourage users to upgrade to newer versions of Internet Explorer or switch
to different browsers, and some websites have dropped support for IE6
Add Google to the list of companies campaigning for jettisoning of IE 6,
even though it cites application speed, not security, as the main reason.
"The Web continues to evolve at lightning speed, and using an up-to-date
browser enables you to use the very latest Web apps," Sheth wrote.
Of course, there is a strategic element to phasing out support for IE
Google stands to gain considerable market share if businesses begin
dropping IE 6, paving the way for Chrome. Net Applications has said IE commands 63 percent of the browser market
and Google would
love to eat into that.