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Windows 7: Microsoft backs long life for IE6

14 Aug 2009   #1

Windows 7 Professional 64-bit
Microsoft backs long life for IE6

Microsoft has underlined support for its Internet Explorer 6 web browser, despite acknowledging its flaws.

The software giant said it would support IE6 until 2014 - four years beyond the original deadline.

Critics - some of which have started an online campaign - want the eight-year-old browser mothballed because they claim it slows the online experience.

"Friends do not let friends use IE6," said Amy Barzdukas, Microsoft's general manager for Internet Explorer.

"If you are in my social set and I have been to your house for dinner, you are not using IE6," she said. "But it is much more complicated when you move into a business setting."

"It's hard to be cavalier in this economy and say 'oh it's been around for so long they need to upgrade,'" Ms Barzdukas told journalists in San Francisco..

Web monitoring firms estimate that 15-20% of people still use IE6 to browse the web.

Enough is enough

Among those speaking out against IE6 is a group of more than 70 developers who have banded together to form a project called ie6nomore.
"Enough is enough," they implore on their website.

"Microsoft Internet Explorer 6 was released in late 2001. For its time, it was a decent browser, but in 2009, it is still in use by a significant portion of the web population, and its time is now up."

"Web developers hate IE6," said Evan Solomon of, one of the backers of the campaign.

"We are passionate because we run a website and something like 10% of our users use IE6, but our web designers and developers have to spend a lot of time debugging for the platform.

"The other issue for us is that we have launched an API to let people build applications and while our goal is to make it as easy as possible for people to do this, IE6 is a barrier," Mr Solomon told BBC News.

In a blog post in response to such campaigns, the software giant said that while this issue is a simple one for technology enthusiasts, "the choice to upgrade software on a PC belongs to the person responsible for the PC".

"Many PCs don't belong to individual enthusiasts, but to organisations. The backdrop might be a factory floor or hospital ward or school lab or government organisation, each with its own business applications," wrote Dean Hachamovitch, general manager for the browser group.

"Dropping support for IE6 is not an option because we committed to supporting the IE included with Windows for the lifespan of the product."

"Best experience"

Despite the renewed commitment, Microsoft said it would prefer people to move to IE8, which it says comes with improved functionality and security.
"We want people to have the best experience they can have on Microsoft software," said Ms Barzdukas.

"If people get frustrated with that experience and they say 'Microsoft stinks and IE stinks' and they're basing that on technology that was designed nearly a decade ago, well yeah that is concerning."

Industry watchers believe, that despite Microsoft's backing, IE6's days are numbered.

"IE6 will just die away anyway," said Harry McCracken, editor and founder of tech news site Technologizer.

"I only have around 7% of people who visit my site using IE6 and it will just dwindle away no matter what anyone does," he said.


Microsoft's touting of IE8 comes as browser competition intensifies.
The most immediate threat to Microsoft's 68% market share comes in the shape of Mozilla's Firefox - used by 22% of browsers.

"The competition Microsoft has to worry about right now is Firefox. Not just from a market share perspective but from an innovation perspective because their plug-ins work really well," Ronald Gruia, a principal analyst with Frost & Sullivan told BBC News.

"In the future they have to look out for Google with its Chrome browser," he said. "The main concern there for Microsoft is the rise in cloud computing and software as a service. Google is becoming very effective at delivering applications in the cloud and therefore poses a huge threat to Microsoft."

"This is the best time to be a browser user because there is so much choice," agreed Mr McCracken.

"Almost anyone on the planet who uses the web uses Google and that gives them a powerful way to market Chrome. They started with the browser and now they have the Chrome operating system as an even more direct attack on Microsoft's core business.

"My guess is Mozilla is what it is and that battle is, in some way, over. Chrome doesn't have a huge market share at the moment, but if I was Microsoft I would be worried about Google making Chrome really big." said Mr McCracken.

Such issues did not seem to trouble Ms Barzdukas.

"IE is still the most broadly used browser in the world. We are focused and we are here to play."

"Clearly Google is a very strong technology company with a number of offerings across the internet space but beyond that, I don't have a comment on them as a browser vendor in particular," stated Ms Barzdukas.

My System SpecsSystem Spec
14 Aug 2009   #2

Windows 7 Home Premium x64 - Mac OS X 10.6.4 x64

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by swarfega View Post
lmao...IE6 is the reason why poor XP was beat like a red-headed stepchild back in the day. It pratically lets viruses walk right in
My System SpecsSystem Spec
14 Aug 2009   #3
Night Hawk

W7 Ultimate x64/W10 Pro x64 dual boot main build-remote pc W10 Pro x64 Insider Preview/W7 Pro x64

Not only viruses but just about every trojan, rootkit, adbot, spybot, keylogger, you name it slipped right past IE 6 mare! You should have seen my expression when finally taking a first look at IE 7! I told quite a few that I couldn't wait for it to be out of beta at the time!

"Be smart MS Dump IE 6 while you now have something good working for you!"!!!
My System SpecsSystem Spec

14 Aug 2009   #4

Vista/Windows 7

We still use Ie6 in work! And thats in a local public authority! LOL
My System SpecsSystem Spec
14 Aug 2009   #5

Windows 7 Ultimate x64

Heck, I'm usually amazed at how many people use IE in general with all of the advancements and cool features that the other browser players have developed in the past few years. But the fact that some are still running IE6 is just shocking.

How many if your guys are still using Netscape or Mosaic? Show of hands please !
My System SpecsSystem Spec
14 Aug 2009   #6
Night Hawk

W7 Ultimate x64/W10 Pro x64 dual boot main build-remote pc W10 Pro x64 Insider Preview/W7 Pro x64

IE 6 is the default browser included with XP prior to SP3. How many? Any clean install of XP using a pre SP3 disk will see IE 6 first. From there you update to IE 7 or 8.

As far as which browsers someone decides to use that still comes down to personal preferences on their own machine not businesses and public places like libraries that provided internet access. Those places however tend to use strong firewalls and other security measures the average user won't see.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
14 Aug 2009   #7

Windows 7 Ultimate x64

But won't most home users who run Windows update automatically get on a newer version of the browser. Don't spoil the illusion for me that people aren't keeping up to date on their patches.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
14 Aug 2009   #8
Night Hawk

W7 Ultimate x64/W10 Pro x64 dual boot main build-remote pc W10 Pro x64 Insider Preview/W7 Pro x64

Some people won't simply leave everything to automatic updates since an update may cause a problem when you already have the correct drivers installed for a hardware or addon device of some type.

Here I run manual checks using the optional method since the updates for individual items are looked over first. Shortly after Vista's release the update scan would actually download Vista drivers for sound onto the XP installation at the time!

With some system other types of updates may have to be blocked unless using the manual method to hand pick which ones will be downloaded and installed. Businesses and public institutions on the other hand generally have someone come in or on staff for maintaining things and may have blocks on all updates depending on circumstance.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
14 Aug 2009   #9
Wii Master 64

Windows 7 Home Premium

i don't get why people would hang on to such a sucky browser (especially since there are no tabs!) and that it's very insecure.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
14 Aug 2009   #10
Night Hawk

W7 Ultimate x64/W10 Pro x64 dual boot main build-remote pc W10 Pro x64 Insider Preview/W7 Pro x64

Insecure YES! Tabs? Not everyone prefers tabbed browsing. Even with Opera I have that set to "open in new window" not new tab there. MS made the decision to include that option in IE 7 as well as the then new antiphising filter.
My System SpecsSystem Spec

 Microsoft backs long life for IE6

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