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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."
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Google Kills Apps Support For Internet Explorer 8

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  • 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 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.

  • 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 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: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.

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