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Oftentimes, when we’re building out web sites, factoring in time for IE6 amounts to a lot of extra time, blood, sweat and tears. Entire societies have crumbled as a result. Financial markets have been thrown into irreparable states of  turmoil. Lives have been lost.

We’ve often stated that we’d drop support for IE6 when its browser share drops to 10%, a time for which we have waited with baited breath, anxiously watching Google Analytics reports as they inch ever closer. Alas, it’s  been hovering around 20%, which is not yet there.

However, we recently read an article that put it all into perspective for us: IE6 is holding back the progression of the web. There. I said it. IE6 just isn’t a good match for your web site anymore. You see, in order to support IE6 so your web site doesn’t look like a discarded pile of yesterday’s images and text, we have to hack your web site’s code to do things it was never meant to do. Degrading things. Demeaning things. Things your web site will forever regret like the haze of a night on the town gone badly.

The biggest stumbling block is the dreaded Windows 2000, which will not run IE7 or greater. How do we support these users? How do we keep your web site intact when someone using IE6 wants to use it? It’s easy: Warn them that they will have a much better experience with another browser. After all, Firefox is free and it’s fantastic.

All hacks aside, the fact is, the big boys are starting to drop support for it, too. Google, Facebook and 37 Signals have all announced and/or provided lessened user experiences for IE6 users.

This is the beginning of the end for IE6 support, and at Workshed in particular, it is the end. As of April 1 (this is not a joke, either) we will no longer support IE6 for web sites we build without additional hours built into the project budget.  There are far too many exciting things happening in the world of Web Development (embeddable fonts!) to have to dumb down the experience for a browser that’s 8 years old and counting.

It’s time to move on.