While Internet Explorer was once the reigning browser on the Internet, with a 90 percent share of the market, it has fallen so far out of favor that less than 10 percent of all Internet users browse the Web with it. In fact, Microsoft itself is encouraging users to stop using the most commonly used version, Internet Explorer 6. Though there are three more recent versions of IE, IE6 remains the one used by almost all Explorer users. Less than 2 percent of Explorer users browse with a version other than IE6.
For the small percentage of Internet users who do use Explorer, it’s important to ensure that a website can be viewed just as well in Explorer as it can in any other browser. Web designers who don’t take Explorer into account cause their clients to miss out on a number of potential customers who won’t be able to see the site well.
Internet Explorer Testing
To ensure that a site is compatible with various versions of Explorer, there are downloadable virtual hard drive programs that assist in the testing. Because there are several versions of explorer still in use, there are a large number of files that must be used to ensure the highest level of compatibility. With each version’s testing files, it is possible to see exactly how well a site will work for a user viewing it with each specific IE version.
Explorer was created during a time when website standards were different. There were no mobile versions of websites to be used on smart phones and tablet computers. Many large sites, including Google, Amazon, Facebook and YouTube, have removed their site’s support for Explorer completely because of this incompatibility. Many sites that are being started today don’t take the browser into consideration at all when the sites are created. However, there is still some support for the aging browser.
The official Microsoft website has versions of Internet Explorer available for free here
Who Uses Internet Explorer 6?
While most home users don’t browse with IE6, there are many large organisations that do. The British government is just one such example. Some portions of the U.S. government also use the browser. There are also regions of the world that favor Explorer over other browsers. Burgeoning economic powerhouse China largely uses IE6 to browse the Web. More than one-third of its Web users and almost a quarter of South Korean users still use IE6. Intel and other IT companies often use IE6 because of the expense of changing their technological infrastructure. With five years between IE6 and IE7, IE6 had plenty of time become firmly ingrained in some sectors of business and technology.
The way Explorer use currently stands, with the vast majority of its use being an outdated version more than 10 years old, it may be phased out in the next few years. Its use around the world is falling dramatically each year as organizations and individuals upgrade to better, more modern browsers. However, IE testing is still performed by Web developers who want to ensure a consistent viewing experience no matter what browser a reader may have.