akamike (2007-2010)

In the battle against IE6, the tricks are getting dirty

The gloves are off. For some time now, the push to do away with the pains of developing for IE6 has been getting more aggressive. With companies dropping support, campaigns such as Bring Down IE 6 and IE Death March, it would seem IE6's days are numbered. Now, the tactics get more devious with IE6 Update.

IE6 Update is like most of the anti-IE6 scripts out. It delivers a helpful message to encourage IE6 users to update, linking them directly to where they can do so. However, the sneaky part of this script is it displays the message as if it was a built-in IE6 message. These messages are often used to alert users to missing ActiveX plug-ins, and fresh installs of IE will use the same message style to notify the user of things like turning on and off auto-complete or the use of a security certificate.

It's a clever idea and it may be enough to sway users to upgrade, possibly because they will believe it is absolutely necessary even though that is not completely true. While I don't agree 100% of this tactic, it could help to diminish the IE6 user count even further. I am far from alone in thinking that is a good thing ;)

Scripts that encourage IE6 users to update, or even scripts and css rules that change a page to a lo-fi version, are not new. Each provide subtle, or not so subtle, nudge to users of this ancient browser to either get IE7/8 or even switch to Firefox, Safari or Opera.

I don't support IE6 on my own site, as I said in my previous post, and since I don't get a large amount of IE6 traffic I don't see the need in adding one of these scripts here on akamike. However, I support most movements that push to get rid of that pain-in-the-ass browser that has plagued our industry for so long.



How foolish of me! Give me 5 minutes, I need to completely rewrite this post! ;)


I am pushing management to allow our studio to finally drop support for IE6. I hope that day comes sooner than later. In the meantime I am using this IE6 Upgrade notification script to help dissuade people to upgrade. http://code.google.com/p/ie6-upgrade-warning/ I dig the underhanded nature employed on the IE6 Update site. That is clever!


Most of our clients at Lift still need to support IE6, so we'll continue on until the numbers are reduced further. If I could I would use an upgrade script on certain sites. People who are uneducated on this matter need to learn, and corporate networks need to invest a bit of time/money and get their IT team to arrange for IE6->IE7 upgrades (at least). The pressure to do so is only going to increase!

Jack Osborne

I'm in the same boat as you Mike. Unfortunately in work we have to accomodate for IE6. However, I like to think that since I came on board I've changed their opinions on the matter and we now try to include scripts and other things within the site, where possible.

On my own site, I've pretty much dropped all support for IE6. If a problem requires only a small amount of code I'll probably fix it.


Anti Explorer is a small piece of code you can place in your site's HTML which stops Microsoft Internet Explorer (MSIE / Explorer) from rendering your page. Along-side this, a notification alerts the user he / she is using MSIE and prompts him / her to download Firefox instead.

We've all been there. We design our site with Internet Explorer in mind, only to find we have to resort to numerous hacks and complicated code to get our site looking like it should in MSIE. Numerous Web Citizens have written hacks and workarounds for MSIE, only to be dismayed at all the extra effort they had to put in to get their designs cross-compatible with MSIE.