With the roll out of stat global figures for September, general Explorer 6 usage is just a bit of over 5%. If you don’t believe me, check here and here. While the fall-off rate slows down as the percentage gets less (typical in x-y graphing in that we’ll never truly get to zero) it’s still losing about 0.5% each month which will probably put IE6 usage at 4% or less by January 2011. Many people have wanted to blame the browsers of those outside the US and Europe for keeping IE6 around, which quite some time ago, it became apparent to me that this was not the case. This group of hangers-on are all in big business and organizations (I’m looking at you, United Nations.)
Just in case you wanted more proof, Twitter looks like hell in IE6 and isn’t the sharpest in IE7. This comes to my next point that you should even stop developing for IE7. I know, I know, that’s maybe a bit harsh as it would mean cutting out another 10% of users to your site, but here’s the thing in that if you build for IE8, the majority of that will look just fine in IE7. Also, I’ve been contracting as of late for a very large, global organization with tens of thousands of Windows machines running XP and IE6. By the end of the year, they will have upgraded to Windows 7 with IE8. They’re not even bothering with IE7 and I would venture a guess that most groups will be like this as Windows 7 is a worthy upgrade.
Obviously, do what you want, but if you keep catering to those clinging on to IE6 (I’m looking at you Allstate Insurance) you’ll just allow them to keep that pile of junk around longer. It’s a brave new world out there and IE6/7 ain’t part of it. And use browscap.ini if you want sniff out and deal with old browsers in a nicer fashion.