Adblock Plus and (a little) more

Discontinuing support for Internet Explorer 6 and 7 · 2014-04-29 16:59 by Wladimir Palant

So far, Adblock Plus for Internet Explorer has been supporting every version Internet Explorer version still in use — including Internet Explorer 6 and Internet Explorer 7. This not only complicated development of Adblock Plus, our website and infrastructure had to support Internet Explorer 6 as well. This meant for example continuing to support the outdated SSLv3 protocol because the more secure TLS 1.0 protocol is turned off by default in Internet Explorer 6. After reviewing the current market share of Internet Explorer 6 and 7 we’ve decided that we should stop supporting them.

What this means in particular:

  • The next version of Adblock Plus for Internet Explorer will no longer install unless at least Internet Explorer 8 is present.
  • We will start removing hacks that were required to make our website display correctly in Internet Explorer versions before Internet Explorer 8.
  • SSLv3 protocol will be deactivated on our download servers, meaning that Internet Explorer 6 will not be able to connect unless TLS 1.0 is enabled manually.

In case you are interested, here are the statistics we looked at:

  • It seems that less than 2% of all Internet Explorer users hitting our website or filter subscription servers are using Internet Explorer 6 or Internet Explorer 7.
  • Netmarketshare currently reports Internet Explorer 6 to have 4.15% market share world-wide and Internet Explorer 7 0.80%. These comparably high numbers are mostly due to a very high reported marked share of Internet Explorer 6 in China: currently 22.2%. The reported market share for pretty much every other country is below 2%.
  • Baidu (the most popular search engine in China) disagrees and puts Internet Explorer 6 at 9.35% and Internet Explorer 7 at 2.99% in China — still a very high number but much more realistic.
  • Other statistics services report significantly lower market share for outdated Internet Explorer versions: W3Counter reports 0.3% and 2.9% for Internet Explorer 6 and 7 respectively, StatCounter 0.28% and 0.46%.

In addition to these numbers it is important to note that even Windows XP users have the option to update to Internet Explorer 8 — and they should definitely do that.

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Comment [4]

  1. jay · 2014-04-29 18:52 · #

    Removed: feel free to post your point of view again once you've learned to express it without using offensive language and ad hominem attacks.

  2.   · 2014-05-09 03:51 · #

    This is incorrect…. I am on IE6 and TLS 1.0 was enabled by default. (I DID NOT HAVE TO CHECK IT when i first got IE6)

    I wonder why all of a sudden you have a hard on for IE6 and 7… (Lots still use both versions)

    Reply from Wladimir Palant:

    If your computer is part of a domain (e.g. company network) then this setting might have been activated by the administrator. There are tons of sources confirming that this setting isn’t usually switched on by default.

    But even if you have TLS activated, this doesn’t change the fact that IE6 is outdated and not safe to use, you should really update to a more current browser.

  3. luis3007 · 2014-05-13 14:23 · #

    So this means yoou will be updating the plug-in now? It has sit still in the 1.1 reléase for a long while by now.

    Reply from Wladimir Palant:

    Yes, we are working on it – improving it simply takes time. The next release should be out soon.

  4. monger · 2014-06-04 23:43 · #

    Strange. the last beta update was about 8 months ago, how long does it actually take when new updates are being released for other browsers, must not take time for those ones, it not a fair share of resources is going into development for IE.

    Reply from Sebastian Noack:

    All of our other browser extensions are written in JavaScript and share a lot of code. However, extensions for Internet Explorer must be written in C++, which increases development efforts and makes it rather complicated to reuse our adblocking code. Also Internet Explorer is the only browser where you have to ship an installer for your extensions, which also requires a fair amount of additional work, in particular when supporting multiple architectures and languages. And on top of that supporting Internet Explorer 6 and 7 makes things even more challenging. So without supporting those outdated versions we will be able to move faster. But we are also looking for more talented C++ developers to work on Adblock Plus for Internet Explorer.

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