37 Signals Change Management for IE6 "Phase Out"

5 Sep 2008 - 9:54am
5 years ago
3 replies
505 reads
Nasir Barday
2006

37 Signals decided to pick August 15th, no wait, October 1st, as the day
when they would "phase out" IE6:
http://37signals.blogs.com/products/2008/07/basecamp-phasin.html

They must have been barraged with e-mails from angry users (probably already
angry at Basecamp's extraterrestrial interface ...), because they posted a
clarification:
http://37signals.blogs.com/products/2008/09/further-clarifi.html

Whoops, "phase-out"? Probably a stronger phrase than they intended. And
nothing is going to happen on that day-- no features that are compatible
only with the latest browsers, nothing to break current functionality-- so
why make an announcement like this? With no concrete incentive to upgrade,
the decision for the user to upgrade is arbitrary, and most people will put
it off until it actually matters. This announcement strikes me as premature.

Maybe I'm just being whiny on a Friday morning ...

Happy Friday,
- Nasir

Comments

5 Sep 2008 - 12:08pm
Jeffrey D. Gimzek
2007

I think we would all like to "phase out" IE6, but corporate america
refuses to allow their minions to upgrade or change browsers due to
the immense amount of IE6 optimized software they run.

Rather than spend the cash on upgrades, they hobble the entire network
with their 'requirements'

I can't see how it can be cost-saving in the long run, but
perpetuating mediocrity is one of corporate america's core principals.

jd

On Sep 5, 2008, at 7:54 AM, Nasir Barday wrote:

> 37 Signals decided to pick August 15th, no wait, October 1st, as the
> day
> when they would "phase out" IE6:
> http://37signals.blogs.com/products/2008/07/basecamp-phasin.html
>
> They must have been barraged with e-mails from angry users (probably
> already
> angry at Basecamp's extraterrestrial interface ...), because they
> posted a
> clarification:
> http://37signals.blogs.com/products/2008/09/further-clarifi.html
>
> Whoops, "phase-out"? Probably a stronger phrase than they intended.
> And
> nothing is going to happen on that day-- no features that are
> compatible
> only with the latest browsers, nothing to break current
> functionality-- so
> why make an announcement like this? With no concrete incentive to
> upgrade,
> the decision for the user to upgrade is arbitrary, and most people
> will put
> it off until it actually matters. This announcement strikes me as
> premature.
>
> Maybe I'm just being whiny on a Friday morning ...
>
> Happy Friday,
> - Nasir

--

Jeff Gimzek | Senior User Experience Designer

jeff at springstudio.com | www.springstudio.com

7 Sep 2008 - 5:11am
Craig Pickering
2007

John Gruber doesn't support IE on his Daring Fireball blog either. Although he doesn't use as much corporate speak as Jason:

"If Daring Fireball looks like shit in your browser, you%u2019re using a shitty browser that doesn%u2019t support web standards. Internet Explorer, I%u2019m looking in your direction. If you complain about this, I will laugh at you, because I do not care. If, however, you are using a modern, standards-compliant browser and have trouble viewing or reading Daring Fireball, please do let me know."

http://daringfireball.net/colophon/

5 Sep 2008 - 11:13am
Andrew Jaswa
2008

Being a web developer I think this is a very good thing. IE6 is old
(~7 years?) and broken in a lot of ways. While it might not be the
best way to go about announcing discontinued support for IE6, it is
progress in the right direction. Think if we still had to support NS4
or IE4 (*ducks* I'm sure someone out there still has to. Sorry.)? I've
been waiting for announcements like this for a while now.

If 37signals has the data to back up their decision I don't see this
as a problem. I'm sure they have been looking at their webstats and
have found that IE6 users have been dropping off left and right. I
figure they found the magic number at which to stop support.

The web is about change. When was the last time you used a piece of
software for 7 years without upgrading?

Andrew Jaswa

On Fri, Sep 5, 2008 at 8:54 AM, Nasir Barday <nasir at userlicious.com> wrote:
> 37 Signals decided to pick August 15th, no wait, October 1st, as the day
> when they would "phase out" IE6:
> http://37signals.blogs.com/products/2008/07/basecamp-phasin.html
>
> They must have been barraged with e-mails from angry users (probably already
> angry at Basecamp's extraterrestrial interface ...), because they posted a
> clarification:
> http://37signals.blogs.com/products/2008/09/further-clarifi.html
>
> Whoops, "phase-out"? Probably a stronger phrase than they intended. And
> nothing is going to happen on that day-- no features that are compatible
> only with the latest browsers, nothing to break current functionality-- so
> why make an announcement like this? With no concrete incentive to upgrade,
> the decision for the user to upgrade is arbitrary, and most people will put
> it off until it actually matters. This announcement strikes me as premature.
>
> Maybe I'm just being whiny on a Friday morning ...
>
> Happy Friday,
> - Nasir
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--
Andrew Jaswa
andrewjaswa.com
wsuug.org

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