Every year the federal government wastes tens of millions of dollars a year, possibly hundreds, supporting old versions of the Internet Explorer browser (below version 9).

Web development teams typically use 30%-40% of their time (or more) adapting sites to display properly in these browsers.

There is no good reason for the US to waste time and money supporting this old, flawed technology. Alternatives such as Firefox or Chrome, which render pages properly, are available at no cost and are easy to install. Citizens with older computers can be redirected to use these.

By publicly stopping support for these browsers at the federal level, it will be easier for state and local governments, and business, to do the same, saving hundreds of millions of dollars a year for all involved

Stop supporting old versions of Internet Explorer and save tens of millions a year, up to 40% of federal web budgets

Sign the petition HERE

Comments

  1. #1 Richard Chapman
    August 6, 2013

    I was number 7. Who started this thing? You? It’s a good idea anyway. It’s about time IE was shown the door. We (the World) don’t owe Microsoft anything.

  2. #2 Symbiatch
    August 6, 2013

    Any references to this claim? Because as a person working in the field I must say that if this is true, they better get other people do the work since those people are clearly incompetent. IE doesn’t need special handling any more than Firefox for example.

  3. #3 Dunc
    August 7, 2013

    IE doesn’t need special handling any more than Firefox for example.

    The older versions most certainly do, because they simply don’t work properly. They are not standards-compliant. Current versions are OK.

  4. #4 Greg Laden
    August 7, 2013

    Symbiatch, you’re just some guy on the Interent making a specific claim, with no “references” and at the same time demanding that others produce references. What are your references for your claim?

  5. #5 weirdnoise
    August 7, 2013

    Not sure what “field” Symbiatch is working in, but prior to IE8, Internet Explorer was notoriously buggy and non-compliant compared to Gecko- and Webkit-based browsers (e.g. Firefox and Safari, respectively). The 30%-40% figure sounds like a bit of an overestimate, but given that most web development now uses CSS (Cascading Style Sheets) which weren’t even supported before IE8 (and such support was still quirky as all hell before IE9), it’s conceivable the additional development required would be that high.

  6. #6 joncr
    August 7, 2013

    A rather large cottage industry has grown up around the need to find workarounds for IE deficiencies, bugs, and non-compliance. The 30-40 percent estimate has to be be just that, an estimate, but if you want to build a modern site that displays in IE6 more or less as it does in any contemporary browser, you have a lot of work to do.

    IE10 on Windows 8 is really pretty good. The problem there is the astoundingly awful font rendering that afflicts Win8 and IE10. In 2013, Windows seems to reverted to the rendering engine used in Windows 3.1. OS X, Ubuntu, and any Ubuntu derivative put it to shame.

  7. #7 keithmur
    August 8, 2013

    I’m no Microsoftie, but I couldn’t let this pass:

    “CSS (Cascading Style Sheets) which weren’t even supported before IE8″

    CSS was supported in IE *4*. And it was better, in my experience developing a web site, than that found in Netscape.

    Maybe you’re thinking of CSS3, don’t know.

  8. #8 weirdnoise
    August 9, 2013

    My bad; I spoke with one of our web developers, and the biggest issue wasn’t with CSS — though Trident (the IE engine) has plenty of idiosyncrasies there, as do the other browser engines. Each browser does tend to render CSS somewhat differently, with IE essentially needing no more hand-holding than others but supporting a somewhat different feature set. For sophisticated use of CSS this means that each browser family requires customization, especially older releases. No one wants to maintain these as web sites are updated, but that’s not just an IE/Trident issue.

    The greater problem with Trident was idiosyncrasies in its support for the DOM model (the programmatic representation of a rendered web page). This wasn’t an issue when it was released, but as dynamic HTML was increasingly used on the web it became more of a problem. Common techniques used in AJAX-style rendering (where components of a web page are transmitted and rendered separately, often in response to user action) required extensive work-arounds or (in the case of IE6) simply couldn’t be made to work. By IE8 most of the issues were worked out. These days Trident is as standards-compliant as any browser engine — perhaps more so. My source says that limiting things to IE9 and later seems a bit arbitrary, and that maintaining compatibility with older browsers in general, not just IE, is a headache.