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The Life, Times (and Death?) of Internet Explorer 6 (Comic Strip)

In recent years Internet Explorer 6 has become the browser web designers love to hate. Security issues, JavaScript errors and inexplicable CSS rendering quirks have made it the brunt of many jokes. With IE6 in its twilight and big companies like Google dropping support1, it seems like a good time to take a fond look back at our old foe. In this post we’re looking at what Internet Explorer 6 used to be and why its image changed over the years. You can also see the comic in a larger version2.

Do we need to review our projects in Internet Explorer 6? Can we stop supporting IE6? If not, how do we handle those users who are still using IE6? And if yes, how can we prompt IE6 users to upgrade? Or how do we convince those who don’t allow their employees to get rid of the legacy browser to upgrade? What do you think? We are looking forward to your opinions in the comments to this post!

Part 13

Part 24

Part 35

Part 46

Footnotes Link

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  6. 6

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Brad Colbow is a web designer living and working in Cleveland Ohio (USA). He is also the creator of the weekly web comic "The Brads" about two web designers trying to start a small company. You can follow him on twitter here.

  1. 1

    I’d like about 120 minutes of my life back.

  2. 23

    This is great! Finally I have a way to explain IE6 to non-techies. I will just forward this link.
    @ Brad I used to follow your strip. Good to see you are back, I really like your work. You should, if you haven’t already, publish a book. I would buy one!

  3. 24

    Nice comic strip. I wish IE6 will be history for webdesigners in about a year. Even MS stops support for ie6 in their new server products like e.g. Sharepoint 2010.

  4. 25

    I like this site a lot and come here everyday during work to get some inspiration…but that was plain boring. Sorry!

    • 26

      Are you kidding me, Chorts? :) I found it funny and clever – nice work, Brad, nice to see the comic here, at Smashing Magazine!

  5. 27

    Basically the coolest comic strip ever.

  6. 28

    I hate when my Internet Explorer 6 sits at home all day and watches TV and gets hairy. He doesn’t even like to be taken out for a walk anymore if it is around newer websites because he is too old to keep up. My Firefox goes so much faster due to the flames coming out of his rear end.

  7. 29

    Love it!

    It was a great comic to read.

  8. 30

    Brilliant comic, Brad!

  9. 31

    nice work brad!

  10. 32

    Design Informer

    February 11, 2010 2:06 pm

    Excellent comic Brad! Thanks for explaining to us the history of IE6. I didn’t know most of that and it was a fun and interesting read.

  11. 33

    Beautiful comic strip! And it is time for IE6 to stay home and never come out again :-)

    • 34

      If I had it my way I wouldn’t develop for IE6 at all, Unfortunately the market share is too large to deny. The result? We spend far too much time catering to IE6 when we could spend that time productively.

  12. 35

    IE6, scourge for mankind… or… web developers at least.

  13. 36

    I think it’s time for Mr IE6 to retire. He’s had a good and long life, but he’s getting very old now. But because I am nice, I will still lend him a hand in rendering my webpages, so long as he doesn’t mind a little bit of graceful degradation.

  14. 37

    Brad delivers as usual. Awesome cartoon once again, Brad.

  15. 38

    Really? Bush jokes over a year after he’s been out of office? Even Olberman and John Stewart have moved on. It’s just tired.

    • 39

      I was enjoying the comic until the unnecessary Bush joke. Can’t I read anything without politics creeping into it? Give me a break, dude. The Bush-bashing is getting old.

      • 40

        Especially since the chart fits Obama better.

        • 41

          You’re a bunch of crybabies. Go shoot some elks with Sarah. I though it was funny.

          • 42

            Daniel Buchner

            February 12, 2010 7:54 am

            Yeah, gee golly, it sure is nice to have Bush out of office huh! Obama has done us a solid by replacing that chart with a new, multi-purpose one with exactly the opposite curve and a new name: The Inflation–National-Debt–Broken-Promises Chart!

            Yesss! I love stagflation and interest on a national debt that is soon going to exceed our entire yearly GDP! You Demz sure iz smartz!

      • 43

        Come on people, the point is all about how old IE 6 is, it is of the Bush and even earlier era. You guys not following what’s being said or something?

        • 44

          yeah to everyone that whines about the politics can suck my D. its a comic get a fkn life.

          and to all designers/devs it’s your responsibility to stop using ie6 and educate your users if you are going to require them to upgrade. I refuse to support it and have a laundry list of reasons why and I use some JS to alert those on ie6 that they need to upgrade. to all the large companies that can’t see a site in ie6, you need to update your IT policy and get with the fkn program.

          Great comic, thanks!

          • 45

            Ditto. I too put in JS alert that sends folks to upgrade to a nice selection of better browsers. I remember when people didn’t want to upgrade from a DOS interface in the late ’80s!
            Change is good.

            Death to IE6!

    • 46

      Exactly. It was a nice comic until the Bush bashing. There was no need to bring politics into this.

      • 47

        Whether or not you dislike Bush or his administration, it’s a fact of the matter that his popularity declined. Isn’t it always that way, especially in second terms? The president burns himself out from too much campaigning and a ridiculously high-profile, hectic life. Poor guys! Don’t you think we should just fire our presidents as an act of mercy? :o Then they’d have a high-satisfaction but very short term. :D Now everybody’s happy: the people get the high point of the administrations, and the president doesn’t burn himself out completely and leave office in disgrace! I think I’m the best politician on the planet to have come up with that idea!

      • 48

        It was such a nice touch to it that it’s indescribable.

  16. 49

    i love the coach-potato-ie6

  17. 50

    Giorgio Sironi

    February 11, 2010 2:22 pm

    A note: it was not IE6 fighting the browser war with Netscape, but its previous versions 4 and 5.

  18. 51

    Another solid comic/article Brad. Great job!

  19. 52

    Its time is over we should stop designing for it as we had seen in past what developers did with the Win98 after the arrival of WinXP. They stopped developing software with support for Win98.

    I’m not designing anymore for IE6. Its my personal stance and I’m standing on it, already started working on it.

    NO MORE IE6 !!!

  20. 53

    I NEVER comment in Smashing Mag.
    I dont agree smashingmag dropping the support for IE6, cause in my work station this is the only stupid browser i can use.
    But i understand why.
    This is the most AWESOME post in SM history, the only post i can count that bring something to think about.
    I still cant reply to that question, if i should drop or not the support…And thinking about this is a nightmare i cant stand =/
    Wish microsoft did things right just one time..

    Things change…I think everyone should embrance the change and slowly drop the support. Hybrid layouts are still the better choice.


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