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Jaime RiosCourses Plus Student 21,100 Points
Why should I care about IE8 and older edition compatibility? Is it really useful nowadays?
Why should I care about older versions of web browsers?
Kevin Korte28,148 Points
Andrew really gave a good response. General browser usage stats are almost useless, because most sites of a client base, and their browser usages stats are usually skewed one way or another.
It comes down to what type of site are you building. Are you building a tech blog for cutting edge technology? You probably don't care much about IE8 because most of your readers are probably using updated browsers and systems.
Writing a website for a service that business owners might use? You might be surprised how many corporate client computers are still running Windows XP, and because of that limited to IE8. They're not fast to update because of the sheer amount of time, expensive, and risk of unexpected hiccups that come with updating computers on a network.
What if it's your personal blog/portfolio? Could be hit or miss. But no guarantee that the first look by a recruiter or someone in HR that might not be tecky doesn't come from IE8 browser.
The best thing to do is to try to gather real world user states from your own viewership. Google Analtyics is free and will tell you browsers usages and versions even, so you can drill down, and figure out over time if supporting legacy browsers is worth it, and how far back you should support.
My last nugget of though. Graceful degradation. Your website to an IE8 or older user doesn't have to behave or look quite like the user running the latest version of Chrome, but it should still be usable and legible.
It's about the usage of the browser. Take from example two countries: Romania and USA. In USA IE is seldom used and population don't care so much about it, but here in Romania people keep using old versions of IE and we can't stop them. They have old computers which they don't want to change and they keep on with IE.
Now if you create a site for the USA you shouldn't care so much about IE, because it so rarely used, but here in Romania things change. We need to optimize everything, so everyone can see and use our websites as we created them. I now it's a hard work, but developers and designer can't just ignore the population. We build websites for them, so they can use them. We don't build those just for our computers where we only use Firefox or Chrome.
Just take in consideration your needs, if there are not so many people using a type of browser don't bother so much.