Google Reader Latest To Kill IE6 Support; Also Axes Offline Support, But Simplifies Social

Back in January, Google announced it was removing Google Docs and Sites support for older browsers such as IE6. Starting June 1, it’s doing the same for its popular Google Reader product. And that’s not the only thing they’re removing — gone as well is Gears support. But to make up for those loses, they have added something in their “Spring Cleaning” — a simplified social structure.

To be clear, IE6 isn’t the only browser getting the axe. Firefox 1.0 and 2.0, Safari 2.0 and 3.0, and even Chrome versions 1, 2, and 3 are all being pulled. “This will allow us to spend our time improving Reader instead of fixing issues with antiquated browsers,” Google writes. Again, this will happen June 1.

That’s all understandable, less-so may be the removal of Gears support. Google announced it was killing off Gears support earlier this year mostly because HTML5 has similar capabilities. But those capabilities aren’t ready yet. So instead Google is telling users to download a few different third-party clients.

Google is also opening up commenting a bit further. Until now, you had to be in a sharing group to be able to comment on a post. Now if you can see a shared item, you can comment on it. For users who share publicly, you’ll now get a choice between continuing to share publicly and allowing anyone to comment on your shared items, or switching to protected sharing.

But, as I said, we are getting something in return. A better social experience.