IE8 support dwindling

How long will we need to fully support IE8? It’s about 10% of our traffic now but with no media query support, and our push for responsive designs, we’d like not to (we’re not using respond.js). I had thought IE8 would die a slow death like IE6—since you can’t upgrade IE8 on Windows XP (still a large market share) and it got into installs of Windows 7—but other factors may speed it’s demise. One is . Another is in less than a month, on 11/15/2012, Google will discontinue suport for IE8 for all Google Apps services. With Google leading, others may follow. Google is recommending Google Toolbar for IE which includes Google Chrome Frame (GCF).

We’re already supporting GCF via our htaccess () and we should be seeing GCF activity increase in our Google Analytics. On a related note, back in June, jQuery announced v.2 would not support OldIE (IE6/7/8) then clarified v1.9 would, and would be supported “As long as oldIE is a significant factor on the web.” Time will tell.


  1. Sadly there are “web-based” enterprise applications that are slow to move forward with IE. One example is Banner. Banner is not certified yet to work with IE9. Our version on campus is the most current stable release in most modules but does not work with beyond Java 6 update 30 (Java 7 came out a few months ago). So the challenge (imho) isn’t the info-chock full and attractive web sites being tethered to a few IE 8 user holdouts on campus, it is the current cost of doing business with mainstream higher ed technology vendors. Collectively schools may need to put more pressure on vendors to keep up…..maybe…but quick updates to a browser sometimes invites new security holes to persistent (God Bless ‘Em for trying each and every day) hackers. — My 2 cents Great homepage image today :)

  2. Julia, that’s a good point. Web-based software usage on-campus is a factor and is one of the reasons we’ve had to extend our support of older versions of IE. Being device/browser agnostic is how we code our sites and the same should hold for web-based applications—and what’s the difference between a site and an application these days? Traditional software developers come from a world where they control the environment or can force users into a particular interface. Times have changed and these vendors need to catch up and I agree that pressure should be applied. Advances in web technologies like HTML5 and less reliance on proprietary plugins in favor of native capabilities means it’s easier to have one code-base deployable in most any environment.

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