IE 8 is the new IE 6 | Infrequently Noted.
I neat reminder about what all of these semi-standards-based versions of Internet Explorer are all about. We know all too well that IE browser support is an activity unto itself, and when we’re forced to deal with numerous partially-acceptable standards implementations, we’re still going to have headaches.
Alex touches on a new angle to this problem though. We’re using all of the latest and greatest tools in our favorite browsers while IE is trying to keep up with the press surrounding it all. Things have finally trickled down to the ‘general’ public to a certain extent, but is it too late? Are we going to be dealing with the same problems we ‘dealt’ with when it came to IE6?
This, to me, is something really interesting to think about. Have we reached a time where, once someone has upgraded from IE6 they’re more likely to upgrade again? And again? And again? The biggest issue I saw with IE6 was the fact that people didn’t know to upgrade. Heck, many people aren’t completely sure what a browser is, let alone that you can (and should) upgrade it. By no fault of their own, computer users have been conditioned to use what’s available. There’s often the mindset of “If it’s not broken, don’t anger the computer!”
I already need to mentally prepare myself for working with the crazy balance of IE-necessary techniques, I’m just glad things are on their way to getting better. Do you think we’ll be grinding our teeth about IE8 as much as we did about IE6? Will it eventually come down to the same solutions of giving blatant notice to upgrade, or will we eventually decide that it’s time to drop support?
I dunno, I can’t see myself running into nearly as many problems with IE8 as I did with IE6 for one big reason: IE8 doesn’t suffer from the rendering bugs that IE6 does.
Sure, it may not support the new hotness in web technologies, but what it does support isn’t horribly broken. That leaves us the option of progressive enhancement, which is far and away a better situation than the horror of CSS hacks to fix “hasLayout” issues.
Although IE8 will be something to overcome in the future, with it being the last option for XP users that stick with IE, that population is shrinking pretty rapidly. IE is down to 50% user share globally (see http://gs.statcounter.com).
I have a feeling that we won’t again experience the hardships that IE6 brought, not as long as there’s competition to push innovation in the browser space.