The IE awareness initiative logo

What is this initiative?

The point of the IE awareness initiative is to make users of Microsoft Internet Explorer aware that their browser is ancient, cumbersome and a pain to work with. They need to understand that by using it they do a big disservice to all web developpers, and that by doing so they are doing a disservice to the web.


Because IE is holding the web back, especially old versions. Since 2004, the innovation resumed in the web browser space, and Microsoft was the last editor to get into this bandwagon. As a result, all the web developpers around the world are for now forced to make their web sites work with IE6, because it is still used by so many people (10% to 20% as of October 2009). This severely limits the range of possibilities that we can use on our websites. Additionnally, IE is not standards compliant, making the development of a website a really cumbersome and frustrating job.

But the real problem is that our users don't know that. So they do use IE not knowing that by their sheer number they force us to spend insane amounts of time and effort to make things work for them. And how would they guess? Unless we tell them...

How does it work?

It works by putting the following piece of JavaScript on all the pages of your site:
<!--[if lte IE 7]>
<script src=""></script>
Read here for a detailed guide and options. People using IE6 or 7 that get to your site will see a popup that will inform them that they should upgrade to another browser. If you have an IE at hand, go to the sample page to get a feeling of what it looks like.

This code will then drop a cookie so that they don't see the popup for every click. For 30 days they will be popup free on your site.

All versions of IE!!??

Yes and No. By far, the worst browser out there is IE6. But since firefox became operational in 2004, innovation has restarted in the browser space. And all major players but Microsoft have been moving forward with what one can do inside a browser. While newer versions of IE are far less annoying that IE6, they still struggle to keep pace with the competition.

For this reason, we decided to make the version configurable. So it is you that choose which version of IE will view the warning.

Isn't that very annoying?

The point of the IE awareness initiative is to inform, not to annoy IE users. You still want them to see your site and to continue their journey on the web. But you definitely want them aware of the obsolescence of their browser.

Unfortunately, there is little we can do about the intrusiveness of this system. Getting a message to someone that doesn't care is always percieved as an annoyance.

What will it change?

We hope that it will inform people that browsing the web with their browser is bad as a whole. It may be a small step, but we believe it is a step in the right direction.

About corporate users that don't have the power to upgrade their machines, well, we're sorry. But if the initiative is successful, everyone up to the top of these corporations and their admins will see this message. It will inform them of the need to change. And frankly speaking, installing a Firefox on an old XP / 2000 install is easy and will keep the IE6 install for dedicated intranet apps.

Who should get involved ?

Short answer: everyone. If you own a website, please consider using this. If not, please pass the information to people that do.

Long answer: we don't expect everyone to use this. We understand that this initiative is intrusive and that people relying on their website for revenue are not interested in alienating 10% or 20% of their visitors. However, the more sites use this, the faster old versions of IE will disappear, and everyone will gain from this.

There are other initiatives similar to this...

Yes, there are. We decided to start our own because none of the ones we had a look at really seemed adequate. Some block only IE6, the others are very non-intrusive, to the point where it probably won't make a difference at all. But more importantly, none actually tries to explain the issue to their users. They just claim that the browser will soon be phased out, but nothing more.

If you feel the IE awareness initiative is inadequate for you but one of the others is, please use them.

Here are two:

Why doesn't this site use the IEAI code?

Well... This site is especially designed for IE users to see and to get some explanations about their antique browser. When they get there they'll get the message, so it would be redundant to add the popup.

If you want to see what it looks like, you can go to the sample page.

The name sucks! Weren't you able to get something better?

Well, we didn't. The acronym is not even better: IEAI. The way we say it however is ubber c00l: The «aye» initiative, or even better: The «aye-aye»!

ZOMG!!! lolz lmfao!!!!