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Jerry Sherman

The Beginning of the End for IE6

Announcements, User Experience

Several days ago, we started communicating to our customers that we intend to end official support for Internet Explorer 6.0 (IE6) at the end of 2010.

Why are we doing this?  Well, for several reasons:
  • IE6 is less secure.  Multiple security vulnerabilities in IE6 have been exploited over the years.  The most recent attacks against Google, Yahoo, and other companies specifically targeted vulnerabilities easily accessible in IE6 but much more difficult to exploit in IE7 and IE8—leading Microsoft's own Security Response Center to recommend that users of IE6 upgrade to a newer version of Internet Explorer.
  • IE6 is slow.  Of all of our supported browsers, IE6 provides the slowest and least rewarding user experience for our customers.
  • IE6 is a “last generation” browser.  IE6 was first released in August 2001.  As an obsolete, non-standard platform, IE6 is a difficult browser on which to develop and support the rich internet applications our customers have come to expect.
Back in January 2009, we first proposed that our customers start looking at alternatives to IE6 for use with Salesforce CRM and custom Force.com apps.  And during the past year we’ve seen that our customers are moving away from IE6 on their own.

Below is a table showing browser usage statistics on our service since January 2009.

Salesforce Browser Usage - Jan 2009 to Jan 2010

You can see that IE6 usage has been slowly but steadily dropping throughout the year.  At the same time, usage of IE8 (which Microsoft released in March 2009) has grown quickly since its release, stealing users from both IE6 and IE7.

These stats tell us that our customers are facing the same facts:  Today there are a variety of faster, more reliable, free browser alternatives.  IE8, IE7, Mozilla Firefox, and Apple Safari all offer a much faster, more secure, more reliable experience than IE6.

We understand that many of you have no choice about the browser you use at work—and upgrading browser versions for tens of thousands of users in a multi-national corporation is no simple task.  Thus, we’re giving ample notice that we will fully support IE6 through 2010.

However, starting with our latest release—Spring ‘10, which has already started rolling out to customers—you will begin to see new opt-in features and enhancements that will not be supported on IE6.  (Please refer to the "Supported Browsers" section of the online help for complete details.)   And in 2011, we intend to end official support for IE6.

We want our users to have the fastest, most reliable experience with our service every day.  A substantial portion of that experience relies on technology beyond our control:  the browser.  We’re pleased to see that our users are already moving away from IE6.  Our goal this year is to accelerate that migration, and reach a point one year from now where all of our customers are using browsers that provide a fast, secure experience that takes advantage of all the features and enhancements that we deliver.

Share and Enjoy.

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