Google recently announced its decision for Google Analytics to stop IE 8 support by the end of 2013. As a result, Google Analytics users will only be able to use Microsoft’s browser if they are on IE9, IE10, or IE11. If you are on a Windows XP, the alternative would be to start using other modern browsers like Chrome and Firefox, as most likely you will not be able to install windows 9 and above on your machine.
Before we get into the details of why Google is taking this step, let us pause and understand why the browser you use is so critical to your online experience.
Why your Browser is so important for your online experience?
While you are checking your friend’s pictures on Facebook or reading your favorite blog, you seldom give attention to the browser in which you access all your sites. Did you know that the browser you use determines your online experience on parameters like safety, security, speed and ability to take advantage of multiple features today’s websites offer you?
Old browsers (especially Internet Explorer versions 6, 7, and 8) are less stable, and much more vulnerable to viruses, spyware, malware, and other security issues. Those are obviously big problems to be concerned about—especially for people who shop online. So security alone is a very good reason to upgrade. But there’s more to it than that.
Firstly, old browsers are very slow. Every Web page that loads in a browser has to perform a number of different tasks. One of those tasks is the process of loading different files. These files include images, programming scripts, and other resources that help improve the look and functionality of the website you’re visiting. Old browsers do not perform these tasks with the same speed as new browsers. This makes your experience on the Web considerably slow, and can sometimes cause your browser to crash or freeze.
The other problem that old browsers have is that their display capabilities are very limited. Old browsers do not support new Web technologies (like HTML5 and CSS3) which serve as a foundation for many websites and Web apps today. By using an outdated browser you are missing out on all these features these sites offer.
Why is Google stopping its support for IE8 ?
Google, of course, has long been a proponent of modern web standards, and it said its main reason for launching Chrome was to push web development forward. Old browsers, however, simply don’t support the features that modern web apps need in order to provide the kind of desktop-like experience Google and other developers want to achieve.
Here is what Google said in its official blog
We decided to do this to both accelerate the pace at which we can innovate new product features, and to facilitate adoption of newer web technologies in the design of the Google Analytics product. Our ultimate goal is to provide a superior user experience for every GA user. As a note, we’ll of course continue to measure traffic from IE8 browsers to your website.
IE8 currently has a worldwide market share of just over 8 percent and is dropping rapidly.