Is it time to stop IE8 support?

28th July 2013

Short answer

Try to stop supporting it. If your client will let you.

Long answer

Google no longer support it (see this post), at least not on their apps (docs, mail, etc) and Facebook don't support it either - you get an old design rather then the new timeline.

The main reason IE8 is still being used it because of windows XP, as it only supports up to IE8.

The main reason I want to drop IE8 support is for media queries. But if you no longer support IE8 you can use some of these awesome things in CSS.
:last-child
::after
::before
border-radius
box-shadow
rgba colours

IE8 only supports the single-colon CSS 2.1 syntax (i.e. pseudo-class). It does not support the double-colon CSS3 syntax (i.e. pseudo-element), see caniuse.com.

Still not swayed? Want some pretty graphs and numbers?
On four of the busiest sites that I have built, the usage stats for IE8 are: 7.6%, 6.9%, 5.4% and 3.2%

According to the global stats counter:
June 2012 to June 2013 IE8 had 8.04% worldwide usage.
April 2013 to June 2013 IE8 had just 8.04% worldwide usage.
In the last month (June 2013) IE8 had 7.59%.

And in addition to these, browser stats from w3schools also show low numbers (4.9% in June 2013).

So you can see that the usage of IE8 is dropping (thankfully). But due to windows XP not supporting better version of IE I don't see it dropping at the rate IE7 dropped.

But the client insists on IE8, how can I talk them out of it?

Step 1:
Ask them if there is a particular reason why.

Step 2:
Show them the usage stats and then ask them why again. If possible look at the stats for their current site.

Step 3: 
Tell them it's going to take longer to develop the site, therefore it'll cost more. If you were to build in IE6 I bet you would either refuse to do the job or charge a lot more to support IE6. Do the same for IE8.

Step 4:
Man up and just get on with building it with IE8 support. At the end of the day, its not as bad as supporting IE6 or IE7.