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IE9 is out the door, IE8 is on the rise, and IE6 is deemed gone by the internet.

What is the future of IE7? Should I continue to support it if I am launching a product in 6 months? I am afraid it will become obsolete.

EDIT: Short question, is IE7 out the door?

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My company still encounters a lot of clients who not only need IE7, they rely on it -- old WinXP systems are limited to it. The bad news is that it requires a lot of custom CSS; the good news is that conditional comments and/or Modernizr make these easy to include. –  Blazemonger Apr 16 '13 at 13:16
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migrated from stackoverflow.com Apr 9 '11 at 17:56

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8 Answers

IE7 is obviously going to become the new IE6; however, it's not entirely out the door yet.

Whether it makes sense for you to support it, will entirely depend on your user base and other factors. The answers given on this webmasters. Stack Exchange question: should I bother supporting IE6? essentially basically apply to any version.

I'm in charge of a number of sites with a mainstream end-user audience, and I'm seeing to it that every one of them remains usable in IE7. The pain of doing that is arguably much, much smaller than the hoops you had to jump through to support IE6.

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It depends who will be using your product.
Even if IE6 is ages old and the alpha geeks say it's dead, there are still people who are using it.
Same with IE7, except that it's probably used by more people than IE6.

So, if your product is only for alpha geeks, drop IE7 support.
If everyone should be able to use it, you probably should support IE7 (and dare I say it, maybe even IE6?)

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Force Chrome Frame for IE with conditional statements. When the web breaks for enough for IE 7 users then they will upgrade and not until then. Remember the Ai, the three-toed Sloth of the Bradypus family, that is your IE7 user. Our Google Analytics showed 7% IE7 usage until Chrome Frame, now its 2%. There's no telling some people. Also, segment your data by geography. If users outside the US are important to you (not many people from Belarus are coming into the Alabama store with a coupon code), then you will lose many options. IE6 and IE7 usage is much higher outside the US. It comes down to common sense: If you are selling products online to the whole world then you have to cater to browsers that are a pain. Deal with it (and charge for it). There is a company in Australia that is charging an IE7 tax! Power to the People Brother! Peace!

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A fine philosophy as long as you're not trying to sell your users anything. As soon as they have to choose between spending time on your site and using a competitor who supports their current browser, though, they'll switch to the competitor. The question you must ask yourself is: Is the loss of those customers less than the cost of accommodating them? –  Blazemonger Apr 16 '13 at 13:30
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If your users still use it, you should support it. For example I developed an app for a medium sized company. Most of the computers at that company are winXP and still using IE6, so I must support IE6.

Also in my country IE6 is so popular. I have to support it or I may lose many users.

This also goes with IE7.

Short answer: If many of your users, use it, so you have to support it or you will lose them.

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The IE7 Countdown website reports that IE7 usage is now below 1% globably and suggests that support for it can now be dropped.

Google stopped supporting IE7 in June, 2011.

Facebook started phasing out support for IE7 in December 2011.

Here are some updated stats from March and April 2013. Out of over 6 million visits to my currency conversion website (a fairly wide audience that is not particularly technically savvy with a large number of business users) for that period, here are browser share of each version of Internet Explorer.

  • IE9 8.94%
  • IE8 8.86%
  • IE10 2.45%
  • IE7 1.55%
  • IE6 0.33%
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Support Chrome, Mozilla, Safari forget about IE. In time (with IE 9 for instance) IE is going to implement standarts right.

And also if you can use a library that supports browsers like jQuery for instance so you do not deal with them unless you are the one developing something like jQuery.

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Forgetting about IE is not an option for a normal site with a mainstream audience. –  Pekka 웃 Apr 7 '11 at 20:32
    
If you do something as simple as write css, you would know that there are significant differences between IE7 and more standard compliant browsers. In some cases, it's not necessary that IE7 reproduces the site the same way all other browsers do, but the site has to work in IE7 if a considerable fraction of your visitors use it. –  Osvaldo Apr 9 '11 at 19:05
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I think it's also worth pointing out that in April 2014, Windows XP will no longer be supported by Microsoft. Once this happens users will be exposed to a much greater level of risk by continuing to run Windows XP. That means anything Internet Explorer 8 and below is likely to see a more progressive decline on the run up to, and shortly after, the support ends.

I wrote a blog with some brief info about it here and there is a countdown site for it here.

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What does your Google Analytics say about the technology used for viewing your website(s)?

Mine currently states (average over 20 websites):

  • 0% are using IE6
  • 1.08% are using IE7

My conclusion would be to drop support for IE6 and still provide some styling for IE7.

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