Google Apps to Stop Supporting Older Browsers

Google Apps to Stop Supporting Older BrowsersEveryone from Microsoft itself to your average, security concerned IT professional (and any so-called IT professional who’s not concerned with such matters is probably better suited to another profession) has said that you shouldn’t be using IE7 anymore. But if you ever needed a better reason than words from your wisers to stop using IE 7, here’s a very good one: beginning August 1st, Google Apps will only support the latest version of modern browsers. Many apps, such as desktop notifications for Gmail and drag-and-drop file upload in Google Docs, require advanced features that support HTML5, and older browsers — such as IE7 and its predecessors — don’t have the ability to provide this function.

Google notes on its Enterprise blog that its team wants “Web applications to spring even farther ahead of traditional software” but Google needs to “make use of new capabilities available in modern browsers.” It is for this reason that Google Apps will soon only support the current and prior major release of Chrome, Firefox, Internet Explorer, and Safari on a rolling basis. Google explains that each time a new version is released, Google begins supporting the update and stops supporting the third-oldest version.

As of August 1st, Google will discontinue support for the following browsers and their predecessors: Firefox 3.5, Internet Explorer 7, and Safari 3. Google warns that in these older browsers you may have trouble using certain features in Gmail, Google Calendar, Google Talk, Google Docs, and Google Sites, and eventually these apps may stop working entirely.

Google does not note in its announcement on the Enterprise Blog what level of support it will offer for Opera, but likely the latest version of this browser would also be supported. Any other browser — like AOL or Netscape (I won’t ask) — probably won’t be supported, so take this as an opportunity to upgrade to another browser of your choice for a better experience. You might even get to then use Google Apps.