Last night I received a very unexpected email from the Google Apps Team claiming that, in late 2010, they will start phasing out support for Microsoft Internet Explorer 6. From the email:
We plan to begin phasing out support of these older browsers on the Google Docs suite and the Google Sites editor on March 1, 2010. After that point, certain functionality within these applications may have higher latency and may not work correctly in these older browsers. Later in 2010, we will start to phase out support for these browsers for Google Mail and Google Calendar.
Google Apps will continue to support Internet Explorer 7.0 and above, Firefox 3.0 and above, Google Chrome 4.0 and above, and Safari 3.0 and above.
Starting next week, users on these older browsers will see a message in Google Docs and the Google Sites editor explaining this change and asking them to upgrade their browser. We will also alert you again closer to March 1 to remind you of this change.
This is obviously great news for designers and developers all over the world, as this kind of encouragement from a company as big as Google will help outmode the infamous browser a lot sooner than expected. As you may recall, some other popular online services have recently made similar announcements: YouTube, Orkut, MobileMe, 37 Signals (the makers of BaseCamp) and, of course, our very own Surreal CMS.