Ever since I first started developing websites there has always been one constant obstacle that won’t disappear, that obstacle is Microsoft’s Internet Explorer 6. If I am going for full cross browser compatibility for a website, then Internet Explorer 6 always causes a few extra hours of work going across the site fixing the various things that it can’t do, or gets wrong.
A couple of particular annoyances include its inability to correctly display a PNG image with a transparent background (it replaces the transparency with a nice grey block); and also it’s incorrect interpretation of the CSS box model, which often causes layouts with columns to not sit next to each other as they should. Fortunately though, things appear to be looking up, as a while back Google announced they would be ceasing full support for the archaic browser as of March. So now Google say that users viewing services such as Google Docs, and also YouTube in Internet Explorer 6 will miss out on any new features they implement, plus it may not even display 100% correctly! Even now with Microsoft’s current Internet Explorer 8, it is still lacking in a lot of the nice CSS3 features such as rounded corners, drop shadows etc that Google’s Chrome browser and Mozilla’s FireFox browser have implemented. With Internet Explorer 9’s release not too far away (public beta is expected in September 2010), it will be interesting to see both how much they will have caught up with their competitors with new features, and also how much they’ve nailed down the older features they’re still not 100% on.