Website buys users new PC rather than support IE7!

Browser support is a day-to-day issue in the digital world. Trying to ensure that your website is compatible with as many browsers as possible isn’t easy. With technology moving on older browsers simply cannot handle the demands of a modern website.

US website NursingJobs connects nurses to the people who need them. Many of these users are of the older generation and as such will not have access to the latest technology. NursingJobs recently updated their website and from Google Analytics could see that 1.22% of users were still accessing their website via IE7.

Unfortunately the new website is not 100% compatible with IE7 and as such the user experience will be below expectations. So, with this information NursingJobs on the face of it would have two options – make the website compatible with IE7 or simply ignore the users and force them to upgrade. However, some bright spark decided to offer a third… give away free computers!

NursingJobs stated that:

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.”

The questions is how they can this be financially beneficial? What’s the small print? Even if they offer to supply these users with a Chromebook or basic laptop they would be looking at £200 per user – this cost is going to spiral well into the thousands if not, tens of.

However, think of the positive PR – this story has spread across the web like wildfire. In addition, the vast majority of stories will link to their website – another tick from an SEO perspective. So lots of positive PR, lots of new backlinks – and all they have to do is buy a few hunred PC’s.

Sounds like it’s not just the users who are onto a winner.

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