Should I drop support for older versions of IE? YES!!
As long as I can recall the problem child that is Internet Explorer. Has always been the special exception to headaches, bugs and focused hacks. Fixes to get things working in a somewhat consistent manner.
From conditionally loading stylesheets (even targeting different versions of IE!), user agent sniffing, applying polyfills, shivs. And a laundry list of other “workarounds” to properly support Internet Explore (especially versions 7 and 8). Versions 9 and 10 seem to get a little better with adding support for media queries. But there were still many setbacks to what you could easily do with more modern browsers like Chrome, Safari, and Firefox.
Our agency until very recently would only support as far back as Internet Explorer 9. Meaning anything we develop we tested and ensured that our work rendered in a reasonable fashion. And had proper falls backs to situations. Where the browser didn’t fully support something more advanced that we had developed.
A recent project I really started to spread my wings by using the flexbox CSS property. Which is the future of modern web layout syntax. I have been reluctant to use it as much in the past. Because of this pesky support for older browsers such as IE9. IE10 has partial support and even then has different syntax expectations which means yet again. Having to pay that extra special attention to one uncooperative browser!
What should you do?
Now depending on the client, requirements and true 100% compatibility my suggestion may not appeal to you BUT in the interest of pushing our industry, modern web techniques and educating others on why it is time to move, we have made the decision to fully drop support for legacy browsers, specifically IE9 and IE10. Hooray!!
We could easily justify this by viewing the latest browser stat usages. According to w3schools.com, only 1.0% of all users are viewing the web from IE10 and only 1.4% using IE9.
We couldn’t justify holding back on our potential for that 2.4% of the user base. I still encourage you to leave some sort of fallbacks and ‘outs’ so that these users at the very least can navigate and digest the information but also encourage you to not bloat your workflow with hacks, “fixes”, poly fills and shivs to cater to the 2.4% that is becoming more of a minority with each passing day.
It seems like even Microsoft can’t disagree with the current state of things and has recently announced a new browser codenamed “Project Spartan”. The court is still out BUT I hope this is the beginning of the end for Internet Explorer and PRAY this new browser doesn’t ask the development base to give it that extra special attention we have begrudgingly become accustomed to.[efsflexvideo type=”youtube” url=”https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nc5GK0UFjKY” allowfullscreen=”yes” widescreen=”yes” width=”420″ height=”315″/]