One of the little-discussed problems on the Internet is that of “legacy” browsers. Anybody who runs a website knows all too well the pain of getting an email from a customer wondering why your site doesn’t work with their rusted-out jalopy of a browser. And one website did the math of keeping its site compliant with Internet Explorer 7, and came up with a novel solution.
NursingJobs is a website that pairs nurses with the people who need nurses, who are usually older and thus perhaps not entirely up-to-date with this “Internet” thing. So they’re just buying their customers new computers:
IE7 users make up 1.22% of our traffic right now, and this will decline as more computers are upgraded and can use modern browsers. However, we know that some of our clients are still stuck with IE7 so we decided to make a bold offer, one that initially seemed crazy to us but now makes a lot of sense.
We are offering to buy a new computer with a modern browser for any of our customers who are stuck with IE7. We determined that it would cost us more to support a browser from 2006 in 2014 and beyond than it would to help our clients upgrade their legacy hardware.
Either that 1.22% is tiny, or more likely supporting a dinosaur well past its sell-by date is just so damn expensive buying a bunch of desktops is cheaper. These are probably not going to be Alienware PCs, but it’s still an interesting move, and it illustrates a problem that’s only going to get worse as the Internet works itself more and more into our lives and a connection becomes a basic necessity. A lot of people are going to start accessing the Internet on hand-me-down machines or dirt cheap hardware that they will never, ever upgrade, and not all of them are senior citizens afraid of change.
Well, OK, most of them are, but you know what we mean. There’s going to come a point where your computer sucking is going to be just as much of a problem as your car breaking down. And it might come sooner than we think.
(Image courtesy of Shutterstock.)