Effort to urge people to drop old browsers

Google has announced it is phasing out support for older browsers as from August 1st, with those using IE7, Safari 3, Firefox 3.5 and their predecessors to view Gmail, Google Calendar, Talk, Docs and Sites losing some functions.

Eventually, Google has warned, these web services will stop working for those continuing with older browsers and it is part of a trend to stop the use of ageing, insecure browsers which are not sophisticated enough to handle the latest web technologies.

As new versions of these are released, Google will get its web services working with that and then drop support for the third-oldest version, support being that Google will only do compatibility testing with more up-to-date browsers.

Mozilla, makers of Firefox, has started to try and get the 12 million or so people using version 3.5 of its browser to update.

Microsoft’s campaign to stop people using Internet Explorer 6 is one of the longest running upgrade efforts and it has been using its automatic update system to get newer versions of its browser out to many users.

Globally about 11% of browsers are IE6 according to Microsoft. About 34% of Chinese still use the ancient and insecure IE6 browser, as do 22.3% of South Koreans and 11.6% of Vietnamese.

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