I'm not sure I see the issue here. If someone convinced me that jQuery 2.1+ will get great new features (not available for those forced to use 1.9) then maybe I'd feel differently. What's more likely is that innovation on 2.+ versions will be specific to modern browser features not supported by IE <= 8 anyway. If feature envy hit critical mass, I'm sure there'll be a new OSS project to port these features anyway. Also, months/years from now when Chrome 30 is released (for example), these 1.9ers will still have a library that supports both Chrome 30 and IE6! Maybe jQuery is a lib that has hit its API and performance limits for IE <= 8.