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I just received a letter from the Google Apps team on how their suite of applications will phasing out support for older browsers like Internet Explorer 6 in the coming months.
I made the switch to Google Apps a few years ago, and even though it’s still missing a few “power-user” features I became used to with Microsoft Outlook and the Office Suite, I’ve never looked back. I’ve even helped and supported many of my corporate clients to make the switch as well, and have yet to come across anyone within their quarters who missed Outlook enough to switch back. On the contrary, most comments I hear are about praise to the efficiency and mobility they gained in their work.
What caught my attention about this letter is how well thought out is their approach. First there was an official Blog post about it, and now this letter (I included the full version below) stating clearly why they are doing it, when it’s happening and which Applications are being affected. I also like the fact that they are providing a note within their apps for users of these older browsers, so that they are reminded of the change.
As we move forward with innovation in the Web industry (and we do it fast!), most of us will be faced with similar situations, and as much as we believe in the innovation, it is still important that we take our users and customers into consideration. Not every one is as fast at keeping up with the pace for multiple reasons, and we need to ease them into change and show them how to do it. This way we avoid facing rejection or losing customers.
Here’s the full letter in case you’d like to read it:
Dear Google Apps admin,
We plan to begin phasing out support of these older browsers on the Google Docs suite and the Google Sites editor on March 1, 2010. After that point, certain functionality within these applications may have higher latency and may not work correctly in these older browsers. Later in 2010, we will start to phase out support for these browsers for Google Mail and Google Calendar.
Google Apps will continue to support Internet Explorer 7.0 and above, Firefox 3.0 and above, Google Chrome 4.0 and above, and Safari 3.0 and above.
Starting this week, users on these older browsers will see a message in Google Docs and the Google Sites editor explaining this change and asking them to upgrade their browser. We will also alert you again closer to March 1 to remind you of this change.
In 2009, the Google Apps team delivered more than 100 improvements to enhance your product experience. We are aiming to beat that in 2010 and continue to deliver the best and most innovative collaboration products for businesses.
Thank you for your continued support!
The Google Apps team
1600 Amphitheatre Parkway
Mountain View, CA 94043
Have you “gone Google”? What do you think of their approach?