Earlier this week CNET reported that Microsoft will be pushing Internet Explorer 7 as a high priority update to Windows XP users once the new browser is released. This was noted by Dave Shea over at mezzoblue, his main point being that if you are not testing websites in IE7 yet, you should. I certainly took note of this and have acquired my copy of IE7 beta 3. However, that isn't the point of this post. I was rather worried by the rejoicing amongst the comments of Dave's post that support for IE5.X and even IE6 could be dropped soon after IE7 is released. Surely this is a little premature. For a start, if a user is using IE5.X then they have not upgraded to IE6 and will almost certainly not be upgrading from version 5 to version 7. So, if IE5 is considered significant enough to be supported before IE7 is rolled out, then it will remain significant afterwards too. It's down to your audience. However, support for IE5.X does not bother me too much. IE6 on the other hand has approximately 85% share of internet browsers at the moment and is the most significant browser out there. If IE7 were to completely replace it, then web designers would never have to worry about supporting IE6 again! Will this happen? No, no it won't. Allow me to point out all the reasons why we will not be getting rid of IE6 in the very near future:
- "Although IE 7 will be pushed out over Automatic Updates, people will be able to choose whether they want to install it or not" - CNET
- The IE7 blocker toolkit for those not ready to upgrade straight away.
- Windows Genuine Advantage.