Why We Shouldn’t Support IE8 Anymore

If you’re wondering why my Creative Cube Company website looks strange, it’s probably because you’re using Internet Explorer 8, the bane of any web developer.

Now, I like Microsoft. All my computers have run Windows, and I recently updated my phone from an Android to a Microsoft Windows Phone 8. Like all companies, they make some spectacular products, and then there’re areas where they pitfall. What Microsoft does to the internet with Internet Explorer is a pitfall that goes straight into the center of the earth. Not only are they slower at updating to the newest in W3 standards (the people who dictate what the internet should be), but they don’t offer continuous support of their products after the “shelf life” is expired. In particular, Internet Explorer 8 is a browser past it’s shelf-life and should be discontinued.

w3counter2Internet Explorer 8 still has 8.76% of the marketshare according to W3 Counter even though Microsoft doesn’t update it to follow new standards and protocols. This is a great stat because it was slated to have 28-33% of the marketshare in 2011. It was released in 2006 and was used by many for 5 years before Internet Explorer 9 was released in 2011. If your computer runs Windows XP, you most likely still use IE8 because IE9 is only for the newer operating systems.

For Windows XP users, it’s ludicrous that Microsoft decided that the newer IEs don’t run on previous systems. There are reasons you can find online for Microsoft not pushing IE9 onto XP, but really, it’s all just bad marketing mumbo-jumbo. There are other modern-browser solutions for Windows XP including Firefox, Safari, Chrome, Opera, and Maxthon (which I never heard of until I began to write this post). Other companies are creating browsers that work on previous generation machines, so Microsoft has no good reason that they don’t update the Internet Explorer on every Windows computer to the newest version.

So for XP users to see the Internet in its current version, they have to use a different browser instead of IE8, which is why I believe IE8 should no longer be supported. It’s antiquated software, which Microsoft should have just updated. But they didn’t, so here we are. IE8 does not use a lot of the new HTML5 Tags that other browsers can relate including the SEO important Nav/Section/Article tags, so building your site to be IE8 compliant actually hurts your internet rating! Woo! IE8 doesn’t support the new CSS functions, which allows you to decorate your website without having to add in images that slow down the load time, which also hurts your internet rating… so really, I don’t see why we should continue to support IE8 especially when it’s losing marketshare so quickly.

You can see just how compliant IE8 is with HTML5. It’s pretty much last next to older versions of IE.

html5-compliancy
From the HTML5 Test

I do build my client websites to be IE8 and HTML5 compliant if they want to support IE8, but I would advise that they don’t. Who knows what W3 will state in a bit, and having the extra tags in there to support IE8 may cause damage in the future.

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