Earlier this week, the UK government posted their reply to a petition, stating that they will not upgrade their systems away from Internet Explorer 6 (IE6) anytime soon. The online petition, created in February 2010, encouraged all government departments to upgrade their browsers. More than 6,000 UK citizens signed the petition.
The petition explains its reasoning: “Most creative and software development companies are forced by government department clients to build websites for IE6 when most of the industry has moved on.”
We at Sauce Labs feel for the citizens of the UK, and we’d like to help. Unfortunately, in its reply, the UK government cites the high cost and time involved in testing an upgrade as the reason it will not upgrade IE6. The official government response states: “Upgrading these systems to IE8 can be a very large operation, taking weeks to test and roll out to all users. To test all the web applications currently used by HMG departments can take months at significant potential cost to the taxpayer. It is therefore more cost effective in many cases to continue to use IE6″
Sauce Labs is kindly offering Her Majesty’s Government some help in upgrading, and a free evaluation of Sauce OnDemand, which will save development time and cost the citizens of the UK far less.
With the Selenium cross browser testing tool, any UK government department can test their site in IE6 and IE8 in one shot. Since Selenium is free and open source software, licensing fees won’t be an issue for UK taxpayers. And with cloud computing services like Sauce OnDemand, there’s no need to invest in expensive and labor intensive test lab infrastructure. Instead, Sauce Labs provides a low-cost cross-browser testing service in the cloud.
We challenge the UK government to create an account at saucelabs.com now and try Selenium today. To back this up, we’re offering any UK government department a free trial account to try out the service to test their department websites in IE6 and IE8.
All in favor, petition your parliamentarian directly and Demand Your Sauce!