We feel that you need to have a good reason for supporting IE8. It doesn’t understand CSS3 and Media Queries and in a mobile world this becomes a real problem. Also, you cannot take advantage of the new CSS3 properties that enable us to create beautiful user experiences.

If you want us to use the latest approach and techniques to build highly interactive websites then please don’t ask us to make these work in older browsers such as IE8 – because they won’t! IE8 simply doesn’t allow us to create slick interfaces using jquery or css transitions because the technologies were not around when IE8 was launched 5 years ago.

This means that if IE8 needs to be supported then IE8 specific interfaces need to be developed. This takes time and effort and increases costs – sometimes significantly. If IE8 support IS required then it’s important that we understand this at the outset. Either the websites interface needs to be compromised or additional costs will be incurred due to us spending hours trying make nice interfaces degrade gracefully in old browsers.

Note: All newer browsers (IE9 onwards) have an automatic update functionality, which translates to “latest browsers”. This means that IE users will get automatically upgraded to the latest version (like with Chrome, Safari and Firefox).

Links:
http://windows.microsoft.com/en-GB/windows/end-support-help
http://theie8countdown.com
http://zurb.com/article/1265/ie8-is-going-the-way-of-the-dodo-so-why-so

Further reading on ie8

Explorer 8 is the latest IE browser supported on Windows XP, which Microsoft officially stopped supporting in April 2014. IT departments are finally forced to upgrade to an OS that supports newer versions of IE.

Most of today’s popular browsers automatically upgrade themselves, including Chrome, Firefox and Explorer — starting with IE9. Microsoft has adopted an automatic update process that will force most IE9 users to auto upgrade to IE10, resulting in a shorter life cycle for IE9. Before, designers had to wait for users to update their own browsers, which was unreliable at best. Automatic updates means less of a need to design for older browsers, as new browsers’ lifecycles get shorter and shorter.

After considering these points you should start to see that IE8 is something that is very close to the end of needing support. Your time could be better spent developing mobile-friendly sites than supporting browsers that fewer people use as time goes on.

Some stats

Supported Browsers (Global Usage Percentage -November 2014)

Chrome: 42.7%
Firefox: 16.4%
Internet Explorer: 15.8%
Safari: 15%
Opera: 3.3%

Source: http://www.w3counter.com/globalstats.php

IE8 has a 4.42% market share in the UK (November 2014).

So do we not support ie8?

We would love to stop supporting IE8. Professionally, it’s just not realistic. As a business, we consider as many factors as possible for each project when deciding this, including budget, client priorities, user demographics, devices and context, and overall browser marketshare. A quick way to make a decision would be to look at your analytics and determine that amount of traffic you get from ie8 users. Then decide if you can justify the additional costs associated to making your website ie8 friendly.