With Google reporting this week that they from August 1st they are no longer going to be supporting IE7, Safari 3 and Firefox 3.5 and their predecessors (news article) and the Mozilla Foundation annoucing recently that they are going to be forcing people to upgrade from Firefox 3.5 (article) are we seeing a major shift in the browser arena? Over the past however many years, browser compatibility is something that has plagued web designers and developers. They have constantly had to check their sites in a range of browsers and make significant code improvements to get their code working in IE6 for example. Whilst this has got easier over recent years with sites like spoon, it is still a headache and chews up a significant amount of time.
Now that some of the large organisations such as Mozilla and Google have come out and actively said they are moving forward, is this all going to get easier for us? Unfortunately, I don’t think this is going to be a quick win as the likes of Microsoft have said they are still going to be supporting IE6 until 8 April 2014. Microsoft / IE still command over half the market and until they get back the removal of all support for IE6 etc, I don’t think that the industry can move forward. Having said that, Microsoft’s market share is falling, with a 68% marketshare 2 years ago to a 54% market share today. Only 10% of the market currently use IE6 however with 51 million internet users in the UK that still represents 5.1 million potential customers. Can you afford to not make your site accessible to them? Google think they don’t need those users…what do you think?