We have to say that you know the end is near when entire countries advise their citizens to move on, but the final kicker comes when Google says that it will no longer support the browser that's been with us for nearly a decade.
Google-owned YouTube will end support for Internet Explorer 6 on March 13, just two weeks after ending support on Google Docs.We suspect that YouTube will affect a larger portion of IE6 users and may be a final tipping point.
Internet Explorer 6 was first released in Aug. 2001, and has since come pre-installed with Windows XP, which still accounted for over 60% of browsers worldwide in December of last year.
Ars Technica explains that Microsoft refuses to force its users to upgrade, even though it "has stated time and time again that it wants to see IE6 disappear as much as anyone else." Currently, IE6 accounts for about 20% of surfers worldwide, with IE8 currently the most popular version.
According to Google, users running IE6 and other old browsers will still be able to watch videos, but will be shown an interstitial every two weeks, as seen above, to remind them to upgrade. Some features will not be available to these users until they upgrade. Google considers "old" browsers to be anything older than IE7, Firefox 3.0, Chrome 4.0 and Safari 3.0.
In other news, we can only hope that this is a signal that we will be seeing some cool new features rolling out in the near future for YouTube. And perhaps more companies will come out against the now-ancient browser and help to put it out of its, and Web designers' everywhere, misery.Discuss