On Friday the mighty Google announced it would cease support for Internet Explorer 8 in two months time. This is not a surprise but it does have quite an impact for users still clinging on to Windows XP
Google openly state they will always support Chrome (obviously) and the most current and previous versions of Firefox, Safari and Internet Explorer. Using this rule IE8 becomes the third newest version of IE in October when IE10 is released.
I think we all agree it makes sense to be on the latest version of software, however IE8 is the last version of IE to run on Windows XP.
Window XP is old (launched in 2001) and since then Microsoft have churned out Vista, Windows 7 and now Windows 8 in the hope that we will all move on. Sadly this seems not to be the case, certainly in the corporate environment, with around 40% of machines globally still running Windows XP.
Microsoft recognise the challenges faced by corporate XP installations and have extended the support life cycle many times, however they now say XP support will end in April 2014.
We should commend Google for sticking to their own rules and ending support for IE8 in their products -- every web developer knows that IE is very fickle between versions so maintaining a site to support several is not easy. However, there is a huge audience still on XP and Google could be alienating a lot of people.
IE8 is not the monster that IE6 was, and to some degree IE7, so perhaps Google could have been a little sympathetic to the masses.
Luckily users will only receive a warning banner when using Google services on IE8, and in theory can continue to use their favourite Google apps. However as time marches on Google will add new features not available using the old browser.
What do you think?
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