As of today, Microsoft is no longer supporting older versions of Internet Explorer, including IE10. Today is a good day.
At its peak in 2002-03, Internet Explorer has a 95% usage share, meaning that for many people, IE was the internet. But with the launch of Firefox in 2004 and Google Chrome in 2008, IE’s share began a serious decline.
The reason it began losing users is simple: those other browser delivered innovative features and a better user experience, Microsoft did not, while failing to keep up with the new standards set by the younger browsers.
At Hightail, engineering and development teams work in small, independent groups. Not only do we have a lot of autonomy in what we build and develop, we’re also responsible for a lot of our own quality assurance (QA) testing. So when the time came to test all my team’s hard work on the new Spaces website, I took on the task of ensuring it worked perfectly across the major browsers.
I breezed through the likes of Chrome, Safari and Firefox, but when I got to Internet Explorer, it became a painful experience involving many fixes and workarounds. Here are some of the issues that I’m looking to no longer having to deal with:
- IE10 did not follow many coveted CSS rules, like no !important CSS rule, no way of overriding inline CSS rules and incorrect positioning and scaling of SVG’s
- Abhorrent versioning schemes for ECMAScript 5
- Having to use compatibility mode to use all of JS features
- Microsoft Windows OS / IE did not handle CPU resources efficiently enough to render more complex experiences
- Slow adoption of new innovations in HTML5 (new Input types, -data concept, new attributes, WebSQL, WebGL, WebSockets, etc.)
- In IE’s Inspector tool, objects – an important part of our data driven app – did not appear on the console while errors were output with error codes that are meaningless to humans
- Forced Caching for images, unless “no-cache header” was provided in response call for images
- Running stress tests or casually outputting content to the console and getting the infamous “Internet Explorer is not responding” window
Microsoft new browser Edge replaces IE in all Windows 10 operated devices. It promises to be the browser that embraces the new standards IE neglected. Though user uptake remains low, hopefully this will change with the retirement of IE10 and we developers can treat all browsers equally.