Goodbye IE8! No Longer Supporting Microsoft’s Old Browser

Detailed Image IE8

If you visit the Detailed Image home page today using Internet Explorer 8, it’ll look like the screenshot above, including the message about how we no longer support the browser. This is a big deal for us, because prior to today we were still supporting IE8.

It’s been almost three years since Google stopped supporting IE8. Many other businesses followed suit around the same time. IE8 was released in 2009. By 2012 it had outlived it’s useful life, but since Microsoft refused to produce a newer browser for Windows XP people still continue to use it to this day.

We desperately wanted to stop supporting it before launching the new Detailed Image design in 2013, however we had this pesky problem: customers were still using it, and not just to browse, but to make purchases. It was certainly a small percentage, but it wasn’t insignificant. So we buckled down and spent an disproportional amount of time writing hacks and workarounds to support a browser from a previous generation that has almost no support for the modern HTML5, CSS, and javascript that powers the web.

Every 6 months or so we re-evaluate what browsers, operating systems, and resolutions we’re officially going to support (I outlined our process for browser and usability testing a few years ago). A few weeks ago we noticed that IE8 usage had fallen off to well under 1%, which gave us the confidence to finally be able to confidently stop supporting it.

We’ve developed a persona for our long standing IE8 users. They’re older car guys, with a 10 year-old Windows XP computer, 1024×768 CRT monitor, and no need to upgrade because they just use their computer for email and occasionally some shopping. We still hope that they’ll order from us, but starting today they’ll need to download a free version of Chrome or Firefox to do so.

As a business owner and developer, this makes me very happy. We’re able to devote our resources to making our website a better experience for the majority of our users. Features will absolutely be released faster, with less programming time and less testing time. Hopefully with the way browsers now auto-update, this is the last time a legacy browser will stick around like this. IE6 and IE8 were enough for one lifetime!