18 Dec 2007
It’s years since web developers joyfully abandoned supporting Netscape 4, and Internet Explorer 5.x has been next on the list. I started phasing out Mac IE5 workarounds a couple of years ago, and have gradually reduced my own projects’ support for Windows IE5, but kept diligently testing and adding hacks to clients’ templates.
Looking at a range of stats I’ve got access to, it seems IE5.x is now used by only 0.05-0.3% of visitors; the figures vary depending upon how geeky the site is, how many visitors are likely to be office-based vs. home-based, etc. Other stats sources show higher figures, but anyone still using IE5 is tolerating a substandard web experience via an outdated, insecure computer. From a bluntly commercial perspective, they’re considered less desirable/important than users of other minority browsers such as Safari and Opera.
So unless requested by a client, or needed for an unusual project/audience, I’m ending IE5 support. No more tedious box model hacks, just a couple of conditional comments to offer plain, unstyled pages (rather than badly broken layouts). I think I’ll have a drink and a mince pie to celebrate this decision.