We are totally redoing our web site and the eternal question of browser support came up. I am trying to push for IE5.5 and up NS6 and up (other older browsers will be directed to a pge asking them to download a web standards compliant browser). It seemed like the IT guy in the UK branch of our company agreed as well.
So I built a template as xhtml transitional, no tables at all, divs and styles – w3c validated. He replied back after quite some time saying that it doesn’t show up right on his boss’s computer. I asked what browser the boss has and it is IE5.0. The UK guy said he’ll “explore on this end” and let me know (meaning he’ll explore this end how we can modify the code), but he never did. I said that it is time for an upgrade. As far as I can remember, IE5.0 is from 1999 and we all know how web changed since then.
Now the UK marketing management is furious. As I found out this Friday, the entire UK office is still using 5.0 and “they have no problems viewing any other site” but mine. Their claim is that even though version 6 is available, not everybody has it.
I am trying to say that technology is moving forward and I wrote code that is web standards compliant, but not sure how convincing it is. My pages are also shorter because I don’t have the ridiculous amount of nested tables all over, so I say – they load quicker. From your experience, would you say that having standards compliant code saved you development time?
We don’t care about the UK users – they should not end up on our site to begin with (there’s always a “select your country” page that directs to appropriate web site), but we got to have our own sister company be able to view our site.
The biggest argument I can come up with for supporting IE5.0 is that Win2000 comes with it and many people have that OS. But is that enough?
What are your thoughts? Should I stop being “cool” with the web standards deal and support IE5.0? If we never stop supporting - peopel will never upgrade, but on the other hand we don't want to be turning the customers away.