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I wish IE6’s days were numbered – I just checked the stats for a website with a worldwide and mainly corporate-only audience, and nearly 50% of the visitors are using IE6. Looks to me like corporations are very reluctant to upgrade their infrastructure. Which is one of Microsoft’s big problems. And for a website with a UK home audience, just over 25% are using IE6, down from 33% at the beginning of the year.
I see myself designing so IE6 looks and performs very similarly to IE7 for some time to come. I don’t see a time versus effort tradeoff usually being practical for IE6 just yet. Same goes for IE7 (which also has its frailties). Hopefully, IE 8 when out of beta will perform as well as the other web standards compliant browsers (which is what I state that I design for).
My experience with clients is the same as Paul Burgess’: they don’t know about the problems. And they aren’t really interested – they just want a website which reflects well on their business. So, along with as much education as the client will take, I’ve been trying to limit my risks, in writing, without making it into an issue.
Seeing what Malarkey uses contractually, I’m encouraged to be a lot more specific. Browser bug fixing can be a significant cost and time problem. I also include this line (I’m referring to web standards compliant browsers) “The website should be forward compatible, but as we have no control over browser makers, we cannot guarantee this.”