In the process of creating a new design for my personal website this month, I realized that it didn't really looks all that spiffy in Internet Explorer 6 (IE6). In fact, it looked abysmal. But I thought “oh screw it, only 2% of my readers are still using IE6…but what about over on HIF?”
So I logged into my stat tracking software and proceeded to have a massive stroke. 20% of y'all are still using a browser that hasn't been updated in almost two years. That's 14 dog years or 90 gazillion technology years. IE6 is like a horse-and-buggy. Why ride around in that when you can drive a car? It's slow, it makes websites look weird (like HIF!), and most importantly, it's rarely updated. So if a new security exploit is found tomorrow, sucks for you, because Microsoft isn't patching it anytime soon.
There are far better alternatives. There's Internet Explorer 7, which has been out for almost two years. It's made by Microsoft, has the same feel as IE6, and comes with far better security. At the absolute least, you should upgrade to that. Heck, IE8 is already out in beta.
Then again, I'd suggest skipping over IE entirely and going straight to Firefox. I know, it has a weird and possibly even intimidating name, but I promise it doesn't bite. Firefox is like the filet mignon of internet browsers, while IE6 is the Slim Jim. It's easier to use, much more secure, and all-around better. When you install it for the first time, it even has a little step-by-step tool that will bring all of your bookmarks and favorite links over into Firefox from IE.
I know some of you are forced to use crappy browsers, either by your workpalce or maybe school. But if you haven't upgraded simply because you're afraid, then now's the time to do it. Before long, old browsers won't even work as more and more websites stop coding for them.
So please, join me in allowing IE6 to die the peaceful death it deserves.