Internet Explorer is still a topic of conversation amongst professionals, and I truly still believe it’s appropriate. It’s too easy to just huff and puff at the problems we’ve got to deal with concerning IE, but at the end of the day the stuff we’re working on is seen and used by people. I try to keep that in mind when gracefully degrading the experience on a site. I try to stick as close to the plan as possible, but it’s not always feasible.
You could justifiably argue that IE7 users should upgrade their damn browser. But that same argument doesn’t really hold for IE8 if the user is on Windows XP: IE8 is as high as they can go. Asking users to upgrade their browser is one thing. Asking them to upgrade their operating system feels different.
This is a huge deal we need to keep in mind. The Windows XP is bigger than we can comprehend if we’re honest and in many cases upgrading the OS isn’t even possible. The suggestion alone to do so with the simple goal of viewing your website is egregious. Alternatively you could tell users to switch browsers, but again that’s a bit invasive. I guess my take-home message is to keep in mind that what we’re working on is hopefully being used by a very wide spectrum of people, not simply colleagues we’re trying to impress.