In the wake of recent cyber attacks, Google has announced that from 1 March, a number of its services (such as Google Docs and Google Sites) will cease to work “properly” for users of the Internet Explorer 6 browser which is now more than nine years old.
The announcement comes hot on the heels of Microsoft’s own statement last month, where it was confirmed that the exploit of a vulnerability within Internet Explorer 6 saw the “targeted and sophisticated attacks against Google” of December 2009. Attacks in which Chinese hackers reportedly stole intellectual property and attempted to gain access to the Gmail accounts of human rights activists.
Modern browsers for modern applications
Despite the IE6 vulnerability being patched quickly by Microsoft, Google remain resolute in their withdrawing of support for the legacy browser, encouraging users to upgrade “as soon as possible”.
As Google Apps Senior Product Manager, Rajen Sheth explains in his modern browsers for modern applications blog post:
“The web has evolved in the last ten years, from simple text pages to rich, interactive applications including video and voice. Unfortunately, very old browsers cannot run many of these new features effectively.”
And whilst Microsoft may have pledged to support IE6 until 2014, Sheth notes that “many other companies have already stopped supporting older browsers”.
Like lots of other web designers, we’ve also withdrawn our support for IE6 here at OXLink and we wouldn’t be at all surprised if there were a great many more companies following Google’s lead this year.
Definitely time to upgrade.