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Am wondering if somewhere there is a list of industry "minimums" for browser support. My company release two "portals" over the past 6 months and did very little to support IE8 users, who at this time, according to my G Analytics makes up about 14% of all IE visitors. Amazingly enough IE7 is 25%...

Figured support for IE7 was out the window already, but figured 14% was significant enough to warrant some support.

Any arguments to support my side of wanting to support IE8?

Any arguments to NOT support IE8?

  • I think you need to look at the reason why you want to confirm to industry standard. Generally different companies deviate from the browser statistics, and you need to understand your user group better to make that decision. – Michael Lai Jun 10 '14 at 23:30
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The industry minimums are directly tied to the users of the particular web site in question and then balancing that against the pros/cons of supporting antiquated browsers.

14% certainly does seem like a large number of users, but that's a decision for business to make.

As for why to support or not support particular old versions of IE, arguments for it are pretty much your argument: 14% of people will be affected.

Arguments against it are that supporting <=IE8 often requires extra development time, testing time, and extra markup/JS and the like. This can affect timelines, budgets, and maintenance ease.

Finally, there's the issue of what 'support' means. Often a site may not 'support' IE8 but still 'work', albeit might be a bit ugly. :)

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You've really already hit upon the reason to support - it's your audience. If a significant amount of your business comes from people who are accessing your portal via an etch-a-sketch+3G duck-taped to a kangaroo, then you have to decide if supporting this use-case is worth doing - or if those users are just more trouble than they are worth.

The other side of the argument is the cost to support older/weirder platforms, and functionality that might explicitly not work or be possible for older browsers. As DA01 wisely points out, there is also a difference in "support" and "it will still work" - functionally or aesthetically. Google Drive/Docs does this with many IE explorers (all the ones my University has installed), where it claims that the site may not work properly with that old browser and suggestions you get a new one ...but I can still ignore it and do my business, with the understanding that some weird things might crop up along the way.

So as with so much in business, it's a matter of comparing projected costs and predicted income/benefits, and making a decision as to whether or not something is worth considering.

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