This is one question that you cannot simply ask a product manager or a developer.
Product managers want to achieve the greatest customer coverage and it’s natural for them to choose to support, if possible, all browsers.
Developers want to use the most cutting edge technologies and they do not want legacy code to support the older browsers.
Each time this question is posed, the two groups frown at each other’s decisions. I generally go with supporting the latest 2 versions of Safari, Firefox, Chrome and Internet Explorer. That means I support Internet Explorer 10 and 11 only, and once Internet Explorer 12 is released, I drop support for Internet Explorer 10.
There’s significant test effort involved in testing over multiple browsers and if we need a product to ship fast, we need to work to simplify the implementation process. Let the QA testers have lesser to test so more features can be tested. Modern day browsers are more closely aligned, the chance of CSS not working is lower.
Developers benefit from having to write lesser code, more importantly, they maintain lesser code. I can’t reiterate the hidden effort of having the maintain the code that is written. Code don’t just stay there are work for till the end of product lifeline; it needs to be kept up to date to the latest browser. Having legacy code coexist with current code requires developers to be really disciplined in maintaining.
Smaller file delivery size
What about customers who are using an old browser
Customers are important. We need to identify the customer that is using the older browser.
The questions to ask are:
- Can we afford to lose the customer to make product development go faster?
- Can we help the customer with upgrading to browser that is more modern?
If the answer to question 1 is a straight no, you may need to reconsider dropping support your customer’s favorite browser. To gently push the customer to upgrade, one way is to invite them to upgrade to use the newer features. For example, the product team plan for a new Live Analytics page, you can make that exclusive to modern browsers and urge your customers to upgrade. This way you can support the customer through the upgrade path while implementing the feature quicker.