As of January 12th 2016, GForces will no longer be supporting the Internet Explorer 8 (IE8) web browser. This planned change is being implemented in order that we can concentrate on improving our software’s performance over more relevant, modern browsers.
Why are we no longer supporting IE8?
There are a number of factors that have come together for us to make this decision. Significantly, less than 1% of the traffic to NetDirector-based websites comes from users of IE8 so impact on visits will be almost imperceptible. Perhaps most importantly, however, numerous large web companies are also no longer supporting the browser.
- Microsoft itself ceases security updates for IE8 on January 12th, so we can no longer guarantee the browser’s security.
- MSN, Yahoo, YouTube, Google, eBay and Amazon will no longer develop for the platform.
- GForces partners such as iVendi and Codeweavers will no longer support IE8.
How might this impact businesses?
Some businesses have in-house systems that were designed specifically to work on IE8, and this does include some manufacturer-provided programs. Despite this, there are numerous other web browsers out there, such as Google Chrome and Mozilla Firefox, which are available for free and with IT support, can be downloaded to get around any issues relating to browser compatibility.
Overall, we don’t foresee that there will be any significant impact to the vast majority of our clients.
What are the benefits of dropping support?
The biggest benefit for users of NetDirector is that we will be able to move our platform design to ‘mobile first’. This means that on the frontend of sites we can focus our design on mobile – the most difficult format to design – and reduce the page sizes.
In the past, to cater for IE8 we have had to put numerous ‘hacks’ into websites to ensure they displayed correctly, which would detect a desktop site first before scaling down to tablet and mobile. This increased page size and slowed down load speed. By dropping IE8 the move to mobile first is possible, so browsers detect a mobile page first (smallest page size) then scale this up to tablet and desktop, thus significantly increasing load speed.
Future development of NetDirector products is also enhanced as without IE8 to cater for, we can work with browsers that offer more flexibility, speed and the possibility to add more features without detriment to function.