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SharePoint 2010 lacks IE6 support: Implications for the enterprise?

As someone involved in all types of Web development, I do my best to stay up to date with new technology advances. There is plenty to keep track of these days with Web 2.0, Enterprise 2.0, HTML5, and CSS3.

Start including the various JavaScript libraries, Adobe AIR, and Google Gears, and the technology choices and advances over the last few years seem endless.

While many of these technologies have been around for a couple of years, there is always one issue that hinders their widespread adoption. Browser support.

Many of these technologies require the use of the latest and greatest version of a browser, and the browser developer has to build in support for rendering these technologies.

This is not unlike what we manage here at Inmagic, as we develop an enterprise product that has to work in multiple environments. Many of you have also experienced the delight of creating a beautiful website, only to find it does not work on a certain browser. (When I say "certain browser," I primarily mean Internet Explorer!)

So what does this mean for E2.0 applications? It presents an interesting dilemma: Build a product with the latest technologies, but restrict who can use it. Or build a product that is compatible with older browsers, and compromise on the technology used.

Most large corporations are still standardizing on IE6, since it originally came with Windows XP. This will be with us until 2014 when Microsoft "end of lifes" Windows XP.

At Inmagic, we make certain technology choices for the sake of our product, which can be used by almost anyone in almost any organization. Many other technology vendors follow a similar path, which is why I was surprised to learn that SharePoint 2010 has no support for IE6 whatsoever. You can read more about it on Microsoft's website.

I'm guessing this is going to cause some issues for corporations excited to deploy SharePoint 2010. We'll be keeping our ear to the ground and pass along any feedback on this discrepancy as organizations roll out their SharePoint deployments. Are you in this situation with your organization? How are you managing it?

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