Try visiting this site in IE8. Go on, I dare ya. Alright, I'll tell you - it's an ugly white page with black writing. Oh except for a banner at the top telling you to upgrade your browser.
In recent years we have said goodbye to widespread support for first IE6 and then IE7.
Google dropped support for IE8 back in November, 37signals also. There are a plethora of articles out there imploring people to drop support for Internet Explorer.
According the theie8countdown.com, global usage is at 24%. On this blog, it's at 1.5%, and on my company's website, Arena Blinds, (used by much less tech-savvy people) it's at 15%.
So if you were bold (like this site), you could probably drop support completely and effect less than 1/5 of your visitors. And those visitors would quickly upgrade their browsers.
Dropping comes with significant advantages:
- Use practically all of the CSS selectors
- Use HTML5 semantic elements without a shim
- Use much more of HTML5 confidently
- Use WOFF format exclusively - making it easier to use Data URLs
These four points will effect your debugging time for front-end development dramatically.