Since the ranks of Windows XP will not be diminishing any time soon, this means that IE8 support in websites will be around for a very long time to come. This is not a bad thing actually. In fact, IE8 does a pretty good job being standards compliant.
I do hope that this move in some way accelerates the decline of IE6 market share. IE6 support is being dropped by many large players in the web application space these days, most notably, YouTube. But, many developers like me don’t have a choice of what browsers we support.
In an ideal world, I would only like to support the latest version of any web browser for a particular operating system (IE8 for Windows XP, Safari 3 for Mac OSX 10.4, etc). In a very straight forward way, this makes an incredible amount of sense.
Why then, do we all worry about IE6?
Simple really. There are lots of corporate users who are not allowed to upgrade the browsers on their computers. So, they are still using IE6. So, though I am not a Windows user, every day I hope for a faster Windows 7 adoption rate. Every person who realizes that 7 is not the new Vista, potentially reduces the ranks of IE6 users.
Get it right this time Microsoft, make IE9 just irresistible. Help bury the IE6 monster that you created.