Forgot your password?
typodupeerror
Businesses Google Internet Explorer Microsoft Software IT News

Google Kills Apps Support For Internet Explorer 8 296

Posted by timothy
from the start-at-the-feet-and-kill-up dept.
An anonymous reader writes "Google today [Friday] announced it is discontinuing support for Internet Explorer 8 in Google Apps, including its Business, Education, and Government editions. The kill date is November 15, 2012. After that, IE8 users accessing Google Apps will see a message recommending that they upgrade their browser."
This discussion has been archived. No new comments can be posted.

Google Kills Apps Support For Internet Explorer 8

Comments Filter:
  • by maroberts (15852) on Saturday September 15, 2012 @12:54AM (#41343793) Homepage Journal

    I still have to support IE6 :-(

    • by siddesu (698447)
      What's the big deal? Someone I know has to support several COBOL business applications. A lot of the codebase he works with was probably written around the time he was still a youngling.
      • Re:Lucky bastards (Score:5, Insightful)

        by nedlohs (1335013) on Saturday September 15, 2012 @01:52AM (#41344037)

        The codebase he supports is supposed to work with a given COBOL system.

        Whereas said web crap that has to support IE6, also has to work with IE7, and IE8, and IE9, and Firefox, and Chrome, and Safari. And it has to "look good" in the recent browsers without looking like crap in IE6.

        • Thank you (Score:4, Insightful)

          by maroberts (15852) on Saturday September 15, 2012 @03:29AM (#41344389) Homepage Journal

          Couldn't have put it better myself, except you missed out supporting phone browsing too. :-)

          I can program in COBOL and its easier than supporting several generations of browsers.

        • by siddesu (698447)

          web crap that has to support IE6, also has to work with IE7, and IE8, and IE9, and Firefox, and Chrome, and Safari.

          Very doubtful. The only places I have heard of that still suport IE6 are legacy intranet systems, usually in banks or somesuch, where all the terminals use the same browser version, ie. the same situation you have with an obsolete COBOL system that is still working for various "business reasons".

          Outside of such intranet installation scenarios, everybody and their dog have dropped IE6 support long time ago. If they haven't, they should, as I doubt it has even 1% share these days.

    • Re:Lucky bastards (Score:5, Interesting)

      by toejam13 (958243) on Saturday September 15, 2012 @02:03AM (#41344093)

      Our company still supports older browsers such as IE5 - IE7, but we strip a huge amount of functionality away. No CSS, no images and as little scripting on the client-side as possible. It is basically provided as-is. And people use it.

      The next big thing for us is to switch from bitmap (PNG, JPG) to vector (SVG) graphics for static images. That means that IE8 and Android Browser 2.x are on the chopping block unless we want to use <object> tags to embed bitmaps as a fallback.

      We're aware that means the end of support for IE on XP. But the OS is over a decade old. Windows 7 is fairly reliable and can run on some fairly geriatric hardware (I've gotten to a W7 desktop with both P2/450 and K6-2/500 systems). The corporate sector is slowly being pushed to W7 kicking and screaming because XP driver support for new laptops is starting to wither. For home users, you have to wonder if they're just being cheap. If they can't fork out for an OS upgrade once a decade, how else will they be like on the consumer side?

      But then you have the Android issue. I'm using Cyanogenmod 7.1 on my own handset, but that's still Gingerbread 2.3.7. And I consider myself lucky to be even that far. There are some fairly recent handsets that are still using Gingerbread. So do we want to relegate them to the legacy site or keep Gingerbread support? Most of those devices are too small to take advantage of SVG anyways. The tablets could, and most of them run 3.x or 4.x which includes full SVG support in the Android Browser.

      Eventually it'll come down to numbers. Is SVG worth it? How much do we save by no longer certifying those legacy browsers? What other gains do we get from retiring support for legacy browsers? How many people are willing to use the legacy site? We just don't know yet.

      • by GNious (953874)

        For home users, you have to wonder if they're just being cheap.

        I bought a Win 7 Home Premium based PC - it is a decision I've come to regret; I'm not cheap, but that has been a waste of money and of a lot of time trying to get it to update, backup, get on network .. basically everything I've tried has resulted in messages that something unknown failed, or that it isn't supported in Win 7 Home Premium.

        Win XP works, works pretty well, and doesn't have a stupid UI that goes in circles when trying to get to network settings.

        • Re:Lucky bastards (Score:4, Interesting)

          by Hadlock (143607) on Saturday September 15, 2012 @08:47AM (#41345471) Homepage Journal

          Can you outline this in more detail? Everyone I know that was dragged kicking and screaming in to using Win7 stopped bickering within a day or so of using it. Win7 was the first Microsoft OS my linux buddy liked enough to switch back from linux to Windows for. Your experience is the complete opposite of every other story I've heard out there. I dislike Microsoft for the most part just as much as most people on this site.... but Win 7 is actually pretty nice... reliable even.

          • by GNious (953874)

            Sure - lets see what I still remember...

            Setting up network:
            Got into a new dialog in Windows, trying to change a setting (DHCP -> Fixed IP) on a NIC (dont remember if was wired or wireless).
            The dialog basically had various options, and in the bottom said something like "To do X, click here". This led me to another, similar dialog, which again ended with "To do X, click here". Clicking there led me to the 3rd dialog, similar to the last two, and with "To do X, click here". Clicking led me back to the first

      • by Calydor (739835)

        If they can't fork out for an OS upgrade once a decade, how else will they be like on the consumer side?

        Not nearly as consuming and more like using?

        Seriously, for most people Windows XP -just works- at this point, which is what is important to the average user. They see no need to upgrade so long as they can browse the net, write letters, send and receive email, play their favorite games, all of which XP does perfectly.

        That said I upgraded to Win7 myself just a few months back and I'm never returning to XP. I had no clue how big a difference DirectX11 made over DirectX9 in games - it's like a whole new experi

      • by Guppy06 (410832)

        Windows 7 is fairly reliable and can run on some fairly geriatric hardware (I've gotten to a W7 desktop with both P2/450 and K6-2/500 systems).

        Except the published specs for Windows 7 require at least a gigahertz. In fact, that right there is why I'm not using Windows 7 on my netbook; XP does more with less, and it shows.

        I find it funny that you suggest an unsupported OS installation as a solution to a lack of support for an application.

      • by MightyYar (622222)

        For home users, you have to wonder if they're just being cheap.

        I have an XP machine (mainly for my wife). Cost is not the issue - it's time. I'd probably have to dedicate about 8 hours to installing the new OS, moving the data, setting up all of the applications, verifying backups still work, etc. At that point, I might as well just get a new computer... which is exactly what I will do when the XP security updates keep flowing. Then I just have to make the age-old Mac vs. PC decision :)

      • Re:Lucky bastards (Score:4, Insightful)

        by vlueboy (1799360) on Saturday September 15, 2012 @10:31AM (#41345851)

        For home users, you have to wonder if they're just being cheap. If they can't fork out for an OS upgrade once a decade, how else will they be like on the consumer side?

        Home users do not differentiate an OS from their TANGIBLE hardware enough to care to upgrade it separately from their ancient machines; they just settle for whatever new one pops up with a new purchase. The fact is you rarely see noob users looking for an OS to buy in a software store anyway. Part of the issue is that OS's are *not* sold on TV --think of the I'm a Mac ads aimed at selling new machines and the Droid campaign, at selling NEW cell subscriptions. The few that upgrade the ancient Windows machines I mentioned up top see OS versions as akin to over-the-air IOS upgrades, and won't feel the need to pay a cent for change. They'll pirate only half-aware that the are supposed to go to a computer store.

    • by Moby Cock (771358)

      At work, I still have to use IE6. It's just dreadful. Practically no websites render correctly and it is painstakingly slow.

  • Another nail for XP (Score:5, Informative)

    by juventasone (517959) on Saturday September 15, 2012 @01:13AM (#41343877)

    The summary leaves out the interesting part: IE8 is the latest version available for Windows XP. And there's no place that XP exists more than business, education, and government. This is Google's way to get sysadmins comfortable with Chrome in the workplace.

    • by mkraft (200694)

      Or Firefox or Safari.

      Most businesses are starting or have already switched to Windows 7 since support for XP officially ends in 18 months.

      • by pspahn (1175617)

        Yeah, but what is support anymore? In a world where your device is not much more than a dumb | smart client (browser as OS, essentially), the device is replaceable. Simply. No more worrying about an entire hardware stack, all you care about is the browser and the web.

        I think it has been highly insightful of Googoo to develop the apps they have. I use them fairly often, and mostly because of the convenience. And hey, if it enlightens some M$ drone to the benefits of an alternative back office, the all the b

        • by Bert64 (520050)

          Support is required because even tho you might be using the device as a dumb client, it's really an extremely complex piece of equipment with plenty of places where security holes could be found, and with no support from the one vendor capable of supporting it those holes will never be fixed.

          On the other hand, if that's what you're using it for them it's ridiculous to run such a complex system... Run something as simple as possible which is still being actively updated, plenty of lightweight linux distros,

      • Or Firefox or Safari.

        Most businesses are starting or have already switched to Windows 7 since support for XP officially ends in 18 months.

        The ending of support is irrelevant. What "support" could you possibly need for XP? Anyone who is currently running XP will continue to do so until their last computer dies and cannot be repaired.

        Businesses are switching to Windows 7 only because all the new computers they buy come with Windows 7 installed. If they could still get new computers with Windows XP installed, they would buy them.

        • by viperidaenz (2515578) on Saturday September 15, 2012 @02:06AM (#41344101)
          Businesses don't tend to use the OS install that comes with the machine, they load their own builds they have made and tested themselves.

          Support = security fixes.Come 11 April 2014, no more security fixes for XP. Good luck getting Office 2014* that will install on XP as well.

          * or 2015, 2016, 2017....
          • by Grishnakh (216268)

            Depends on the business. A company with 20,000 to 200,000 employees? Yes, they have their own custom builds. A mom-n-pop retail shop? No, they use whatever comes installed on the machine, or whatever the IT business they've contracted with installs on it.

        • by repvik (96666)

          Businesses are switching to Windows 7 only because all the new computers they buy come with Windows 7 installed. If they could still get new computers with Windows XP installed, they would buy them.

          What kind of business would do that? The brand new Dells we purchase are reimaged with a ready-made XP-image. We don't care about what OS the computer comes with. This is pretty common, and you apparently know nothing about enterprise management.

          • by jimicus (737525)

            Depends on the size of the business. You can't do that (roll out a standard image) without buying a separate license for Windows, which means that it's pretty much limited to larger businesses. Small businesses tend to take what the computer comes with.

        • What "support" could you possibly need for XP?

          Continued repair of kernel and system library defects that could lead to security compromise.

    • The summary leaves out the interesting part: IE8 is the latest version available for Windows XP. And there's no place that XP exists more than business, education, and government. This is Google's way to get sysadmins comfortable with Chrome in the workplace.

      Having read the FA (hanging my head in shame (which is stressing my youvh yypinh dkilld) ), it looks like this is only touching upon the web-access apps.

      Does anyone know if there are Google Appliance apps, similar to Google Search appliances? I know that I've run across Google search appliances on small & large scales (various gov-controlled, closed networks), but I've not seen (or recognized) any implementations of their apps on these aforementioned appliances.

      It seems to me that affecting _those_ ne

    • ... to make sure corporates thinking of moving to web applications actually decide to stick with Office.

  • by gQuigs (913879) on Saturday September 15, 2012 @01:21AM (#41343913) Homepage

    whereas I am quite positive about this move. It was Microsoft's choice to not port their more recent browser to XP in an attempt to kill it.

    It's quite amazing how much marketshare IE has lost over the last 4 years (http://gs.statcounter.com/#browser_version_partially_combined-ww-monthly-200807-201209). Firefox has lost somewhere in the neighborhood of 4%, while IE has lost 30%+ mostly to Chrome.

    It's moslty the US, Australia, and China holding up IE usage (http://gs.statcounter.com/#browser_version_partially_combined-ww-monthly-201209-201209-map)

    *Note all of this is according to statcounter, while other sources give different results, still with the same trends though.

  • by Tony Isaac (1301187) on Saturday September 15, 2012 @01:23AM (#41343921) Homepage

    It takes a LONG time for big businesses to move to new versions of anything. They are just now moving off of Windows XP and IE 7. Many major software systems used by big companies (such as GE Centricity) still don't even support IE 9, so customers of such software can't move forward even if they wanted to!

    It looks like Google is taking a page out of Apple's book. It's stunts like this that keep Apple out of the office (for the most part). Microsoft, on the other hand, has a reputation for supporting legacy software just about forever...lots of old DOS programs still work! Microsoft has been rewarded by businesses in a big way.

    Is this an opening for Yahoo?

    • by tangent3 (449222)

      Or you know, they could just install Firefox or Chrome to access Google Apps and retain the obselete IE to access the obselete services.

      • Since when did Mozilla or Google offer SLA's for Firefox or Chrome? Microsoft supports IE as its part of the OS.
        • by sjames (1099)

          Apparently not on XP any more. The latest IE won't even install. At least Firefox and Chrome will install.

          Granted, XP is ancient now and I don't really blame MS for not supporting it anymore, but it seems they are now actively sabotaging it.

        • by Bert64 (520050)

          Microsoft offer no guarantee whatsoever with IE, they will offer "best effort" support, where the level of effort is directly related to how much you pay them.

    • I think that if they are so change-resistent that they can't even deploy Chrome, Firefox, Safari, Google Chrome Frame or Google Apps Sync for Outlook (all of the supported options) then what chance is there that they would even move to Google Apps at all.

  • by mosb1000 (710161) <mosb1000@mac.com> on Saturday September 15, 2012 @01:37AM (#41343983)

    Anyone still using IE 8 deserves to be left out in the cold. Modern browsers are free, and work much better than that ancient piece of crap. If your IT department doesn't have it's shit together enough to let you run a real web browser, you can't expect most of the internet to work for you either. Don't complain to Google, you should seriously be considering replacing whoever it is who is making your IT decisions for you.

    • I'm no fan of Internet Explorer, but that's just complete bullshit. IE 8 isn't that old and not that bad. It isn't as good as Firefox or Chrome, but it's not that bad.. I really wonder if there is any legitimate technical reason for not allowing IE8, or if it's just anti-Microsoft bias -- sort of the reverse of what used to happen back when IE was the dominant browser.

      For example, years ago when Firefox was just starting to become popular, there were some bank and credit card websites that would not all

      • by mosb1000 (710161) <mosb1000@mac.com> on Saturday September 15, 2012 @02:01AM (#41344087)

        You are wrong. There are a number of HTML 5 technologies (especially canvas objects) that IE 8 doesn't support. Many special concessions must be made to support IE 8 from a modern web-based application. It often means writing two versions of you code, one for IE 8 and one for everything else. Supporting IE 8 means limiting the functionality of you application while adding complexity to your code. I'm sure there was a collective sigh of relief among web developers when they heard Google was dropping IE 8, it means their employers will soon follow suit.

        They aren't blocking IE 8 users, they're just dropping support for the browser. That means some features won't work correctly or at all, and as time goes on the whole site will stop working as the continue to roll out new features that aren't supported in IE 8.

      • by KingMotley (944240) on Saturday September 15, 2012 @02:57AM (#41344273) Journal

        Off the top of my head:
        Opacity (real opacity, including opacity on PNGs with an alpha channel).
        Being able to define colors using RGBA
        CSS3 transforms
        Fully supporting @font-face for real web fonts
        HTML5 video support with H.264/MPEG4 so we can drop flash video players finally
        WOFF font support instead of the EOT (IE-only font format)
        Box shadows
        multiple backgrounds on a single object
        CSS3 selectors (:last-child, :nth-child, etc)

        Stuff even IE9 doesn't support:
        text-shadows
        3d transforms
        aync on script tags
        web sockets
        Filereader API (Smarter upload buttons)
        CSS3 transitions
        CSS3 gradients
        HTML5 form elements (date picker, range, integer, etc)

        Yes, those are all things that we use on our web site, or wanted to use and either had to write custom fallbacks just for IE, rewrite to use a different (more difficult, less efficient, larger) technique, or just let IE look like crap.

      • It's not the worst IE but yeah you'd have to be a bit of a moron to prefer that over the varitey of better choices that are out now.
    • by repvik (96666) on Saturday September 15, 2012 @03:46AM (#41344459)

      I think you'll find it's a bit more complicated than that.

      So we deserve to be left out in the cold, because we have a need for applications that have yet to be upgraded to support IE9+? Our IT department employs 260+ people, and while you may claim that they "haven't got their shit together" I know these people pretty well, and they're pretty competent. IE8 is three years old. That isn't stoneage. And since IE breaks compatibility every single release, that means that more than 600 of the applications we provide (most external, some internal) have to be updated, re-tested and pushed. Almost once a year. Are you f*cking kidding me?
      Chrome with their incremental upgrade model is a complete no-go. We can't have the browser suddenly upgrading and breaking a critical system either. Firefox has major revisions every other week, which is even worse for an enterprise setup.

      In a small IT shop with Office and little else, being stuck on XP and IE8 would be gross incompetence. For a large company supporting more than 3k applications, it's not so much a choice. And it's not as easy as switching to other applications either, since many of these are specialist apps for which no alternative applications are available.

      • Re: (Score:2, Flamebait)

        by mosb1000 (710161)

        HTML5 has been coming down the pipeline for quite a while now. There're no excuse for not being ready for it. If you're picking external applications, don't pick someone using ancient technology. If you're developing internal applications, future proofing is even easier. If you already know that IE breaks compatibility with every new release, and that they have a great deal of difficulty keeping to standards, so you shouldn't have been using IE in the first place. There has always been a better, more standa

        • So where do you work? How large is the company? How many staff does it have in the IT department? How many applications does your IT department support? Any legacy applications that have worked fine for 10 years and would require a lot of money to replace?

      • by Pieroxy (222434)

        So we deserve to be left out in the cold, because we have a need for applications that have yet to be upgraded to support IE9+?

        No, you deserve to be left out in the cold for refusing to install either Chrome, Firefox or Safari.

    • Like you know what you're talking about fuckwit. Insightful my arse.

  • just load chrome or firefox on XP

    I really wonder if MS knows it lost that battle, you have the IE6 crowd using their slow janky, hard coded 640x480 database front ends, and then people like my parents, where "fox, ... fire" has been a part of their everyday existence for over a half decade

    IE? whats that, a sporadic TV commercial with nearly 2 decades of pure SHIT to remind us of why we dont use IE in the first place?

    • Oh yeah, it's really that easy. Hey clueless guy, sorry, our CRM software (Oasis CRM) at work doesn't accept form data correctly from Firefox 15.0 so it's unusable. I'm not going to test and made a new deployment pack every month either and their CSM versions suck. Since 95% of the systems are XP, IE8 is it. I guess I can cross google off the list for competitive products. You go your workplace and "just switch" to Firefox and let me know how that goes.
    • by eWarz (610883)
      Funny you mention fox...fire. Everyone i know calls it that...why?
      • by Grishnakh (216268)

        There was a bestselling magazine called Foxfile [wikipedia.org] back in the 70s and 80s that had something to do with Appalachian folklore and traditions. Maybe all the people who know who call it that are older and remember that magazine.

        • by game kid (805301)

          That, or maybe "Fox 5" [wikipedia.org] if in the New York metro area.

        • by abirdman (557790) *
          For the record, it was called Foxfire, not Foxfile. It was quite interesting, mixing text with graphics. It's what a lot of people were reading while we waited for the internet.
  • by rueger (210566) * on Saturday September 15, 2012 @02:38AM (#41344207) Homepage
    Just occurred to me that I honestly have no idea what the current version of IE might be. I think I've used it maybe twice in the last year?
    • by dkf (304284)

      Just occurred to me that I honestly have no idea what the current version of IE might be. I think I've used it maybe twice in the last year?

      Woah! IE still exists? Really?

    • by DarkXale (1771414)
      Both IE9 and IE10. IE9 is still the latest on Windows Vista and 7, but Windows 8 (which is released for MSDN and others) uses IE10.
  • I can't wait. Hopefully this will help put the final nail in the coffin for non compliant browsers and we can all move on with our lives. Do you know how much time and effort it takes to get a site working on IE6-8? The answer is: too much.
  • by olau (314197) on Saturday September 15, 2012 @05:58AM (#41344933) Homepage

    IE8 users accessing Google Apps will see a message recommending that they upgrade their browser.

    Oh, just like the ugly box I occasionally see on google.com when I'm visiting with any other browser than Chrome?

    As a web developer, it's good that Google is moving people off of the old browsers. While IE 8 does have much better selector support than IE 6 and fixed a lot of bugs, some of the really convenient styling stuff didn't show up until IE 9.

    Although, it's also a bit ironic, as I gather the stock browser on all but the most recent Android have a bunch of issues. And I'm not seeing Google stepping up to fix that by some kind of semi-forced upgrade - it's actually a very similar situation.

  • Now Microsoft is getting what it used to dish out to others. But still, I wish Google would just say something like:

    Google apps will work on all browsers that support the following web standards. [list]. Google will test its features in the last two versions of the popular browsers for bug fixes, regressions and security issues. Users using older versions or untested browsers can still use the apps, but performance is not guaranteed.

    This is what I would call not-evil. Waiting for someone to change the

Life would be so much easier if we could just look at the source code. -- Dave Olson

Working...