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The Deliberate Sinking of IE6 by a Desperate Web Developer: The Stress of Backwards Compatibility!


Join me for a weird and interesting story of a tired web developer pushed to the brink and his work to quicken the demise of IE 6. Crazy stuff!!


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Join me for a weird and interesting story of a tired web developer pushed to the brink and his work to quicken the demise of IE 6. Crazy stuff!! MORE: Blog or code: Signup for my newsletter and more: Connect on Twitter: Check out my book on Amazon Grow Your Web Brand, Visibility & Traffic Organically Article: Transcript The Deliberate Sabotage of IE6 by a Disgruntled Web Developer This happened in 2009 but its only surfacing now, or being admitted to now, ten years after the fact. This is from an article in ZDNet by Liam Tung published a few days ago and is a fascinating revelation on so many levels. A web banner appeared on YouTube warning that supports for IE6 would be ending and recommended visitors on that browser to upgrade to other another brand or a more modern version of Internet Explorer. But, heres the clincher, this happened in July 2009, 6 months before Google officially announced that it wouldnt support IE6 anymore! For context, Google already owned YouTube, as it acquired it in 2006 for 1.65 billion dollars. So what happened, well the story is as good as it gets! Welcome to another ViralML show, my name is Manuel Amunategui, author of many videos and books including this one -Grow Your Web Brand where I walk you through how to start your own online brand as I go through my own experience with my data science blog getting some 10k sessions a month with very little work. Find it on Amazon along with my other books. Please signup for my newsletter on the front page of and subscribe to the channel and give it some big fat thumbs up!! I have done my fair share of web development, like a lot of you I imagine. And boy, what I hated the most was supporting many browsers and dumbing things down for the dogs. Yeah, IE6 was in that category. The original story was posted by former YouTube web developer, Chris Zacharias on his blog So, Chris Zacharias and his team were working for a company that just changed ownership where things are in flux, probably a bit messy, and still working themselves out - so, when something really bothers you, and you are in that situation, you have the keys, youre the gatekeeper - well you can try to go rogue. You never know, interesting things could happen. This group, sick and tired of supporting IE6, pushed out the banner in question through a few backdoors to bypass normal release procedures and get it in production. So through luck, legacy systems, confusion of being newly acquired, it went thru! And the story doesnt end there. Other groups at Google like Google Docs according to the article saw the banner and were like wow - finally, its official, lets put our own banner up too - we dont want to support IE6 - lets go. And they put theirs up, and others followed. Sheer luck and happenstance! And that desperate drive to limit the number of versions to support. And look at the chart - the drop is phenomenal - it tanked from 25 to 10% in no time after their rogue banner went up. I work with Google all the time, and nothing gets pushed out into the public without going through a stringent set of legal, branding departments, content validation, even code review departments to make sure all the is are dotted and the ts crossed. But when Google purchased YouTube just two years before this incident, that process was obviously still being ironed out. Im guessing that today, that this same scenario wouldnt have seen the light of the day. Show images of IE6.. The comments on Reddit related to this story are brilliant and I want to highlight my favorites: most unnecessary conspiracy ever I die a little inside every time I have to tell a user that a company app only runs on IE Dont fall into the MS trap. ActiveX, Silverlight, etc But this also shows how Google had a dangerous level of power over browsers, even all those years ago. Dear Ex-YouTube developer, thank you! Also thanks to Apple for killing Flash. and finally - my favorite: These people are true heroes but MSFT is having the last laugh - Microsoft is now more valuable than Google Microsoft is now valued at $753 billion, while Alphabet (Googles parent company) is valued at $739 billion. -and look at that stock!! Go ahead, subscribe and give this video a bunch of thumbs up! CATEGORY:StateOfIndustry