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Stopping support for Internet Explorer 8

Stopping support for Internet Explorer 8

Like Google, WordPress and most other web companies before us Go4 is officially ending support for Internet Explorer 8 (IE8) as of April 30, 2014.

Why?

In a world where responsive, mobile-friendly design makes up the majority of our work the reality is that we can’t build websites that look and work great on tablets, smartphones and new desktop web browsers and still have them work perfectly on old browsers. It’s like trying to build a new car engine and then make it run in a Morris Minor (ok, so that’s a laboured analogy, but you get the point).

Need an example?

Here are screenshots of the homepage of popular website AV Club taken in Google Chrome and IE8. Can you guess which is which?

Some facts about Internet Explorer 8

  1. IE8 was released released in 2009 to run on Windows XP, at the birth of the smartphone era so it’s not surprising it doesn’t support modern web development practices.
  2. Microsoft stopped supporting Windows XP and IE8 in early 2014. The current version of Internet Explorer is IE11
    “Internet Explorer 8 is also no longer supported… if you use Internet Explorer 8 to surf the web, you might be exposing your PC to additional threats.”  –
    Microsoft
  3. The most popular browser used in the world today by a long margin is Google Chrome, followed by  Firefox and Internet Explorer 11.
  4. April 2014 stats from StatCounter show Internet Explorer 8 is used by less than 5% of global internet users and stats from our client websites confirm this. This figure is dropping monthly.browser versions showing ie8 april 2014, statcounter
    StatCounter browser versions April 2013 – April 2014. (Other stats sources show even lower IE8 usage)
  5. Google dropped support for IE8 in 2012 (and IE9 in 2013) across their range of products (Gmail, YouTube, Analytics).

What does ‘ending support’ mean?

It means that we can’t guarantee that websites we build will look or function perfectly on Internet Explorer 8 (or earlier versions of IE). 

I still use IE8 – what can I do?

Download a new browser – you’ll probably be surprised at how much faster and easier to use it is. Update to the latest version of Internet Explorer or try Firefox or Chrome (our pick).

If you’re in a corporate network environment and aren’t able to do this yourself encourage your network administrator to either upgrade your version of IE or add Chrome or Firefox to your machine. If your corporate network is still running Windows XP your administrator should be taking steps to upgrading and doing so soon.

“If you continue to use Windows XP now that support has ended, your computer will still work but it might become more vulnerable to security risks and viruses.” – Microsoft

Steve is Go4's fearless leader. He designs, codes, project manages and wrestles with his inbox.

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