Google phasing out support for older browsers

I just received this email from Google and I must say I’m applauding to their decision!

Dear Google Apps admin

In order to continue to improve our products and deliver more sophisticated features and performance, we are harnessing some of the latest improvements in web browser technology. This includes faster JavaScript processing and new standards like HTML5. As a result, over the course of 2010, we will be phasing out support for Microsoft Internet Explorer 6.0 as well as other older browsers that are not supported by their own manufacturers.

We plan to begin phasing out support of these older browsers on the Google Docs suite and the Google Sites editor on March 1, 2010. After that point, certain functionality within these applications may have higher latency and may not work correctly in these older browsers. Later in 2010, we will start to phase out support for these browsers for Google Mail and Google Calendar.

Google Apps will continue to support Internet Explorer 7.0 and above, Firefox 3.0 and above, Google Chrome 4.0 and above, and Safari 3.0 and above.

Starting this week, users on these older browsers will see a message in Google Docs and the Google Sites editor explaining this change and asking them to upgrade their browser. We will also alert you again closer to March 1 to remind you of this change.

In 2009, the Google Apps team delivered more than 100 improvements to enhance your product experience. We are aiming to beat that in 2010 and continue to deliver the best and most innovative collaboration products for businesses.

Thank you for your continued support!

Sincerely,
The Google Apps team

In short Google Docs & Google Sites will only support the following browsers from March 1st, 2010 (with Google Mail & Google Calendar following later that year):

  • Internet Explorer 7.0 and above
  • Firefox 3.0 and above
  • Google Chrome 4.0 and above
  • Safari 3.0 and above

Let’s hope this move creates enough momentum to get people to stop using those shitty old browsers that always give me hours (or even days) of headache, whenever I have to make sure a site is cross-browser compatible. I might even predict that this dreaded term of “cross browser compatibility” may soon be only a distant memory from the past, as all the latest browsers pretty much agree on how to render HTML and treat the DOM (and therefore JavaScript) :)

About Florian Beer

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1 comment

  1. This is great news! I know that trying to keep web development projects on track that can support older browsers can be a nightmare for developers. I know people don’t like change but it’s time everyone followed Google’s lead and got everyone to jump on the upgrade bandwagon.

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