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Microsoft Announces Automatic IE6 Updating
December 15, 2011 1:16 PM   Subscribe

IE6 was released to the world 10 years ago. Now Microsoft is saying "Goodbye". (from the MSNBC Article) "To help expedite the farewell (or rather, the execution) of its ancient Web browser, Microsoft says next month it will start to upgrade Windows customers automatically to the latest version of IE available for their computer."

IE6 was released in 2001, and has been widely criticized due to its lax security and its lack of support for web standards. As early as 2009, major internet sites began to pull support for the software (previously). Finally, Microsoft will be automatically upgrading Windows customers beginning in 2012. Users will be upgraded to the most recent version of IE that their computer will support.

And there was much rejoicing.
posted by kellygrape (87 comments total) 5 users marked this as a favorite

 
Luckily, my company protects me from the danger that is Windows Update.
posted by tommasz at 1:18 PM on December 15, 2011 [8 favorites]


This is good news for my workplace, bad news for some of my students. Thanks for the post.
posted by jessamyn at 1:18 PM on December 15, 2011 [1 favorite]


I've seen this posted in a few places today, and I feel the need to ask: what's the big deal? Every organization I've ever worked for discontinued support for IE6 2-3 years ago, and I'd assumed most others had as well. Is there really still a large user base that web designers/developers are actively having to cater to? It's a buggy, non-standard, crap browser that anyone with any sense got rid of years ago....
posted by brand-gnu at 1:20 PM on December 15, 2011


About time, considering they've already had the funeral and everything.
posted by kmz at 1:21 PM on December 15, 2011


That faint roaring noise in the distance is a herd of pissed-off grandparents.
posted by dunkadunc at 1:21 PM on December 15, 2011 [6 favorites]


Is there really still a large user base that web designers/developers are actively having to cater to?

w3schools's stats say it's down to 1.2%, but it was almost 5% a year ago and over 10% two years ago. I suspect a lot of sites got designed with support for IE6 in mind and haven't yet shed the baggage. New sites probably aren't bothering with it, though.
posted by jedicus at 1:24 PM on December 15, 2011


brand-gnu: "I've seen this posted in a few places today, and I feel the need to ask: what's the big deal? Every organization I've ever worked for discontinued support for IE6 2-3 years ago, and I'd assumed most others had as well."

I know of at least one Fortune 100 company that still uses IE6 in-house, and they demand that all of their websites support it.
posted by brundlefly at 1:24 PM on December 15, 2011 [5 favorites]


Modifying software on a user's system without the consent of the user? Interesting ...

I've used a few pieces of hardware, recently, which use web management interfaces that only render correctly in IE6. This might suck.
posted by LoudMusic at 1:24 PM on December 15, 2011 [2 favorites]


Every organization I've ever worked for discontinued support for IE6 2-3 years ago, and I'd assumed most others had as well.

Corporate intranets. They love that shit.
posted by Afroblanco at 1:24 PM on December 15, 2011 [11 favorites]


The problem is legacy intranet applications that only work properly under IE 6. These sort of dependencies are keeping organizations from upgrading their browsers.
posted by el io at 1:25 PM on December 15, 2011 [4 favorites]


brand-gnu, you have obviously not worked at some of the places I have. The last place I worked (so, 3 months ago), my state of the art pentium 4 (with hyperthreading!!), win xp and ie6 was still standard equipment, I think they were finally rolling out some upgraded hardware and ie7 or 8 when I left! The joke was that windows was so locked down you couldn't install firefox or chrome (firefox portable worked though, as long as you brought it in on a memory stick!)
posted by defcom1 at 1:25 PM on December 15, 2011 [1 favorite]


brand-gnu: “I've seen this posted in a few places today, and I feel the need to ask: what's the big deal? Every organization I've ever worked for discontinued support for IE6 2-3 years ago, and I'd assumed most others had as well. Is there really still a large user base that web designers/developers are actively having to cater to? It's a buggy, non-standard, crap browser that anyone with any sense got rid of years ago....”

As of November, 1.2% of people on the internet seem to be using IE6. That may sound like a tiny amount, but it's about 5% of Internet Explorer users overall. And given that there are over a hundred million people in North America alone using the internet... well, 1.2 million people is still a lot of people.
posted by koeselitz at 1:26 PM on December 15, 2011 [1 favorite]


The "problem" is that the corporation doesn't care if you are using your work computer to go to a random website, as long as the websites that you need for work still function.
posted by smackfu at 1:26 PM on December 15, 2011 [1 favorite]


brundlefly: “I know of at least one Fortune 100 company that still uses IE6 in-house, and they demand that all of their websites support it.”

I know of at least one Fortune 100 company whose IT department is freaking out right now, wondering how it's going to get all the money and resources they need to do what the suits put off doing because they thought they were saving money in the long run.
posted by koeselitz at 1:28 PM on December 15, 2011 [8 favorites]


Only 0.4% of visitors to my university web site are IE6 users, but it's still nice to know that we won't have to write contingencies in our development plans to not break the site on their computers.

IE6 hasn't been a big issue for developers in a while, though; the real upside is that it looks like a vast majority of IE6 users who don't know any better will suddenly get a much improved browsing experience.
posted by moviehawk at 1:30 PM on December 15, 2011


The w3schools stats just show people using w3schools. Don't use those stats.

The MS countdown site shows stats worldwide and by region.

As of November 2011:

China: 27.9% of the population uses IE6. That's a lot of people.
Canada: 1.5%
U.S.: 1.0%
India: 6.0%

Worldwide usage is 8.7% (see pie chart at lower right), but when you break that 8.3% down, 4.7% is China, then "rest of world" is 2.6%, and everyone else specifically listed in the chart under 1%.
posted by maudlin at 1:32 PM on December 15, 2011 [3 favorites]


Modifying software on a user's system without the consent of the user? Interesting ...

It's just going to be part of Windows Update. You can always turn Windows Update off or set it to only installed updates that you allow. I'm not sure what the default option is on a new install.

I believe the main difference between this and previous IE upgrades through Windows Update is that the previous ones were not marked as critical/automatic updates. So even if you had updates set to install automatically, IE7/8/9 would have to be specifically selected by the user.

I haven't used a Windows box or Windows Update in a while so I can't say how sure I am on the rest of it, but I do know that if somebody really wanted to keep IE6 on their computer, they still can.
posted by kmz at 1:33 PM on December 15, 2011


Gah! Worldwide usage is 8.3% ...
posted by maudlin at 1:33 PM on December 15, 2011


What koeselitz said. For a lot of companies, the cost of continuing to support IE6 is less than the income they derive from those not-inconsiderable numbers of IE6 users. It's not a love of IE6 by any means -- it's just business.
posted by foldedfish at 1:36 PM on December 15, 2011


Is there really still a large user base that web designers/developers are actively having to cater to?

Well, my company has furnished me with state-of-the-art desktop using a Pentium 4 processor. My choices of browser are Firefox 3.6.2 or...IE6. Several of the web applications I use will only work with IE.

Fortunately, we are upgrading everything to more modern hardware switching over to Windows 7 (and presumably the latest version of IE) next year (I hope).
posted by VTX at 1:38 PM on December 15, 2011


I'm still baffled that Microsoft hasn't released a stand-alone version of IE6 for their Corporate clients. They've known for a decade now that in-house apps are the reason these companies haven't upgraded.
posted by Eddie Mars at 1:38 PM on December 15, 2011 [2 favorites]


Modifying software on a user's system without the consent of the user?

Welcome to the year 2000.

Chrome does the same thing; I didn't even notice until I thought "hrm, maybe I should get the latest version".
posted by Dark Messiah at 1:40 PM on December 15, 2011 [1 favorite]


IE8 is the new IE6, anyway. Shitty browsers will always be with us, unfortunately.
posted by fifteen schnitzengruben is my limit at 1:41 PM on December 15, 2011


Internet Explorer 6 has a MAJOR foothold in the Canadian government. Which isn't surprising, considering that the people responsible for I.T. and such things in the feds are stuck in the 70s (if we're generous about their abilities).
posted by Yowser at 1:41 PM on December 15, 2011


I know of at least one Fortune 100 company that still uses IE6 in-house, and they demand that all of their websites support it.

I know of at least one Fortune 100 company that needs to sack its CIO.
posted by Mister Fabulous at 1:43 PM on December 15, 2011 [1 favorite]


Are they doing the same thing for IE7 users? Because that shit sucks too.
posted by swift at 1:44 PM on December 15, 2011 [1 favorite]


My company just upgraded to 7.

There is another reason besides corporate intranets. We have VB apps that use controls, such as the ReBar control, that shipped with IE3. Who the fuck knows what upgrading will break.

This does not apply to corporate environments, most of whom use WSUS and do not apply random updates. You only have to break all 500 of your asp.net servers once to learn never to make that mistake again.
posted by Ad hominem at 1:46 PM on December 15, 2011 [1 favorite]


jessamym: "This is good news for my workplace, bad news for some of my students."

Why is it bad news for some of your students?
posted by jcreigh at 1:48 PM on December 15, 2011


<!--[if lte IE 6]>Aw, that's too bad... end of an era.<![endif]-->


<!--[if gt IE 6]>MUAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA<![endif]-->
posted by Mr. Anthropomorphism at 1:48 PM on December 15, 2011 [7 favorites]




I'd like to hate on IE but Firefox engaging bi-weekly plugin disabling and Chrome's awful 'streamlined' UI are not making me a fan of alternative browsers these days.

Everything I used to like just seems to be accelerating towards dumb without my permission.
posted by srboisvert at 1:49 PM on December 15, 2011 [5 favorites]


I'll give you my copy of IE6 when you take it from my ...



Wait a minute. You can have it.
posted by mazola at 1:49 PM on December 15, 2011 [3 favorites]


Luckily, my company protects me from the danger that is Windows Update.

I hope by that, you mean you have absolutely no internet access whatsoever. It's a scary and brutal world out there for the unpatched PC....
posted by samsara at 1:52 PM on December 15, 2011


I've seen this posted in a few places today, and I feel the need to ask: what's the big deal? Every organization I've ever worked for discontinued support for IE6 2-3 years ago, and I'd assumed most others had as well. Is there really still a large user base that web designers/developers are actively having to cater to? It's a buggy, non-standard, crap browser that anyone with any sense got rid of years ago....

OK, here's the kicker. IE6 was the cutting edge Windows browser of the moment during the coming-of-age period for web applications. There are lot of bespoke internal applications designed for big companies that basically use IE6 as their runtime, and have been sitting there humming along doing boring business-critical crap for a decade or so. Back in 2001 I helped build one in my first job for a large consultancy: a major international chemical company uses an IE-only web application that took two years to build to keep track of all of its global chemical shipping and application data. It's ridiculously complex and I would be staggered if it ran on newer browsers. It required custom ActiveX plugins, for crying out loud.

Now, you can say that it should've been built with web standards and should've targeted more browsers. Remember, though, that Firefox was released three years after IE6. The mix of browsers we consider 'normal' for cross browser targeting and web standards checks didn't even exist yet. AJAX hadn't been named: it was called 'XML Data Islands' and it required you install special browser plugins. My friend has a child in elementary school who was born after this software was released.

...And all of that software, that first-generation of corporate web-apps? It cost ridonkulous money to build. It was in the middle of the first tech bubble and programmers were demanding lego desks and Baristas were moving out to California to become web programmers and so on and so forth, just because there was such a huge land rush going on and everyone needed web devs and prices were climbing appropriately.

What does that mean today? None of those giant companies are going to spend a penny to rewrite those multimillion dollar apps just so some hipster who likes node.js and coffeescript can run their accounting app in Chrome. Those are the holdouts with old versions of IE; the companies that have old crufty first-gen web apps that would cost huge amounts of cash to update, but won't work with today's generation of standards compliant browsers.

That's why this is news: Microsoft is telling its juiciest clients, 'Look. Screw you, we're not supporting a decade old web browser that everyone hates.'
posted by verb at 1:54 PM on December 15, 2011 [25 favorites]


As a web developer I still get people suggesting I support it from time time to - the more times it dies and the deader it gets the better. Fucking zombie thing will rise from the grave after this anyway though, mark my words. We gotta go for the nest - wipe out Windows XP.
posted by Artw at 1:54 PM on December 15, 2011 [5 favorites]


Why is it bad news for some of your students?

At least some of them are still using dial-up and in a position where I've been encouraging them to get Windows Update going somehow. They may find the different UI of IE8 [and all the stupid questions it asks you before you can use it] confusing and off-putting. They'll lump it and deal with it, certainly, but there will be some adjustment for people who are bad at adjusting.
posted by jessamyn at 1:56 PM on December 15, 2011


Now, if Microsoft could somehow do a global replace on document.all in every crappily written semi-abandoned intranet application in the world it would wipe out 99% of the reason for people insisting they are stuck with it.
posted by Artw at 1:56 PM on December 15, 2011


Canada: 1.5%

I'm a little surprised the numbers for public servants are so small.
posted by bonehead at 1:56 PM on December 15, 2011 [2 favorites]


Good riddance.

Of course, to please everybody, they'll have to ditch windows as well.
posted by run"monty at 2:00 PM on December 15, 2011


Now, if we can get MS to retire the 1997-vintage HTML renderer in Outlook, then we'll really be getting somewhere.
posted by adamrice at 2:02 PM on December 15, 2011 [5 favorites]


And the NCSA still refuses to release a new version of Mosaic. Assholes.
posted by Rock Steady at 2:06 PM on December 15, 2011 [3 favorites]


I'd like to hate on IE but Firefox engaging bi-weekly plugin disabling and Chrome's awful 'streamlined' UI are not making me a fan of alternative browsers these days.

I would switch over to Chrome in an instant if they fixed one horrible design decision - putting tab bars above the address bar. I understand the rationale, but I like my UI to be ordered with the most used bits closest to the browser window: menu, address bar, bookmarks toolbar, tabs. The fact that it's not even an option? Bah, Chrome.
posted by Paragon at 2:09 PM on December 15, 2011


Now, if we can get MS to retire the 1997-vintage HTML renderer in Outlook, then we'll really be getting somewhere.

Ohpleaseohpleaseohpleaseohplease ...
posted by maudlin at 2:12 PM on December 15, 2011


That would be nice. HTML shouldn't be in email, anyway.
posted by koeselitz at 2:13 PM on December 15, 2011 [6 favorites]


bi-weekly plugin disabling

Not saying there may not be valid reasons to not want to use Firefox anyhow, but I fixed this in my about:config and things are basically working fine.
posted by jessamyn at 2:14 PM on December 15, 2011


Speaking of incomprehensible giant Corp. Decisions. We just ditched outlook for gmail. Gmail just rolled out a new version that seems not to work in our supported version of IE at all. I load up gmail and I can't fucking scroll, or reply. I have to use chrome to use my corporate email, but that isn't an option for 99.9% of our employees as they are not allowed to install software.

We are going to have to go back to handwritten memos and faxes and shit. Work has slowed to a crawl, the only groups that can send email are IT and developers.
posted by Ad hominem at 2:18 PM on December 15, 2011 [1 favorite]


Those are the holdouts with old versions of IE; the companies that have old crufty first-gen web apps that would cost huge amounts of cash to update, but won't work with today's generation of standards compliant browsers.

Yes but in most ways, who cares about those people? Those people still won't upgrade. And people who work there increasingly won't be able to use the actual internet on their mandatory IE6, which may or may not even matter to any of them. If it does, they'll find a way to sandbox the IE6 runtime and get the rest of the machine updated. If not, they won't.

The important thing here is that web shops will take this as official MS blessing to say "Nope, we don't support IE6. If it's broken on IE6 that is not our bailiwick. Sorry." And well we should.
posted by rusty at 2:20 PM on December 15, 2011 [1 favorite]


IE6 sucks. But IE7 is the really broken one.
posted by Benny Andajetz at 2:34 PM on December 15, 2011


Ad hominem: “Speaking of incomprehensible giant Corp. Decisions. We just ditched outlook for gmail. Gmail just rolled out a new version that seems not to work in our supported version of IE at all. I load up gmail and I can't fucking scroll, or reply. I have to use chrome to use my corporate email, but that isn't an option for 99.9% of our employees as they are not allowed to install software. We are going to have to go back to handwritten memos and faxes and shit. Work has slowed to a crawl, the only groups that can send email are IT and developers.”

You're right – working on IE7 is a spectacular corporate blunder. It makes sense to me, however, that Google only supports the current and previous versions of browsers at any given time.

IT could fix this if they'd just upgrade everyone at your company to IE8. That can be more or less difficult, depending on the infrastructure, but it would (a) solve the problems and (b) be more user-friendly (IE7 is a user-unfriendly mess) and (c) be a heck of a lot more secure.
posted by koeselitz at 2:39 PM on December 15, 2011 [1 favorite]


IE 7 will probably never get traction, everyone will probably jump to IE8, and then get stuck there FOREVER because IE9 is not available to XP. Oh, and IE8 checks doctypes and depending what they are tries to render your page in the same broken way as IE7 anyway.
posted by Artw at 2:40 PM on December 15, 2011


Google only supports the current and previous versions of browsers at any given time.

So for Firefox that's this weeks and last weeks.
posted by Artw at 2:40 PM on December 15, 2011 [3 favorites]


... oh, I meant to say – Ad hominem, if you want a workaround so that you can access your gmail at work in a serviceable fashion, here is a portable version of Chrome that you will probably be able to use on your work computer. I say "probably" because it doesn't require admin or installation privileges; just download, run the exe to unzip it, and it will work.
posted by koeselitz at 2:42 PM on December 15, 2011


I'm still baffled that Microsoft hasn't released a stand-alone version of IE6 for their Corporate clients. They've known for a decade now that in-house apps are the reason these companies haven't upgraded.

Because IE and Windows are too closely tied.

(me: worked on IE3)
posted by victors at 2:43 PM on December 15, 2011 [1 favorite]


When I lived in Korea (Uh, 6 months ago!), everyone lived and died by IE6. The idea that there was a browser other than IE, and that IE had versions beyond 6, was like some strange sort of science fiction. I had to keep IE6 installed just to use my online banking and government websites.

They are gonna MELTDOWN.
posted by GilloD at 2:45 PM on December 15, 2011


I have local admin so I am fine I. It has been kind of a welcome respite as nobody can send me bug reports. I think I got 1 email today.
posted by Ad hominem at 2:47 PM on December 15, 2011 [1 favorite]


The thing about this is not so much that IE6 and IE7 sucked (and they do, the former worse than the latter, of course); it's that the people who have websites built absolutely cannot figure out how to rationally spend their money. For years, I advocated that if you must support IE6, do so by offering a clean, minimal site to IE6 users which doesn't even try to mimic the complex design of your "real" site, and give them a polite little note explaining why they're seeing the version they are.

Most users are only after information in any case, and as long as you serve that up, you're likely to satisfy them.

Instead, we'd spend 30% or more of the budget making sure the site looked like the designer's comps for 5% of the audience.
posted by maxwelton at 2:48 PM on December 15, 2011 [9 favorites]


Yup, I've lost that argument every fucking time.
posted by Artw at 2:50 PM on December 15, 2011 [2 favorites]


On the bright side, now this graph will be more accurate instead of wildly optimistic.
posted by fifteen schnitzengruben is my limit at 2:51 PM on December 15, 2011 [1 favorite]


Luckily, my company protects me from the danger that is Windows Update.

I hope that's sarcastic - Windows Update works flawlessly for millions of people every day.
posted by GallonOfAlan at 2:51 PM on December 15, 2011


GallonOfAlan: “I hope that's sarcastic - Windows Update works flawlessly for millions of people every day.”

It's pretty obviously sarcasm, I think.

The point of the joke is that thousands of companies around the world hear about updates like this and say, "oh, no worries, we'll just turn off Windows Update, and then everything will be fine!" Which is... well. It should be clear how wrong that is.
posted by koeselitz at 2:55 PM on December 15, 2011 [1 favorite]


"Must... preserve user access to... shitty 1999... intranet app... MANUAL OVERRIDE!"
posted by Artw at 2:58 PM on December 15, 2011


(and, like I say, 9 times out of 10 it will be document.all)
posted by Artw at 2:59 PM on December 15, 2011


koeselitz: brundlefly: “I know of at least one Fortune 100 company that still uses IE6 in-house, and they demand that all of their websites support it.”

I know of at least one Fortune 100 company whose IT department is freaking out right now, wondering how it's going to get all the money and resources they need to do what the suits put off doing because they thought they were saving money in the long run


No need for them to panic:
Respecting Customer Choice and Control
While the benefits of upgrading are numerous, we recognize that some organizations and individuals may want to opt-out and set their own upgrade pace. One of the things we’re committed to as we move to auto updates is striking the right balance for consumers and enterprises – getting consumers the most up-to-date version of their browser while allowing enterprises to update their browsers on their schedule. The Internet Explorer 8 and Internet Explorer 9 Automatic Update Blocker toolkits prevent automatic upgrades of IE for Windows customers who do not want them. Of course, we firmly believe that IE9 is the most compelling browser for business customers, and we want them to make the decision to upgrade at their convenience.
posted by moonbiter at 3:15 PM on December 15, 2011 [1 favorite]


Look, let's just all pretend we heard anything about that, right?
posted by Artw at 3:21 PM on December 15, 2011


Heard what?
posted by ZeusHumms at 3:23 PM on December 15, 2011


NOTHING.
posted by Artw at 3:24 PM on December 15, 2011


GilloD, Korea is much less IE6-centric than it used to be.
posted by vasi at 3:30 PM on December 15, 2011


Valve should just build a browser into Counterstrike and they'd be sorted.
posted by Artw at 3:34 PM on December 15, 2011


Another reason why these corporate apps are so IE dependent: Remember, Microsoft was big on tying everything into their own systems, and a lot of web apps were written using Active Server Pages (In VB6!) or ASP.net which uses, obviously, .net. You could use the GUI designer and make web forms just as easily as you could VB6 native apps. That was probably really helpful for a lot of corporate programmers who didn't really know how to do anything other then drag buttons to a form.

It didn't work that well in terms of layout. Some of the ugliest web pages I've ever seen were made that way.

But I do know the forms didn't render properly in firefox, you had to use IE for it to work. I think it worked in later versions of IE, but basically a lot of this is the fact that these apps were written using tools that came up with 'special' MS-flavored versions of HTML/active-X etc
Speaking of incomprehensible giant Corp. Decisions. We just ditched outlook for gmail. Gmail just rolled out a new version that seems not to work in our supported version of IE at all. I load up gmail and I can't fucking scroll, or reply. I have to use chrome to use my corporate email, but that isn't an option for 99.9% of our employees as they are not allowed to install software.
Hahahahhaah.
Because IE and Windows are too closely tied.
Not like they couldn't release an 'emulator' or something.
posted by delmoi at 3:53 PM on December 15, 2011 [3 favorites]


I'm not a developer, but maybe someone could make something to convert these legacy apps into something that could be rendered by a modern browser via a plugin like Shockwave.
posted by snofoam at 3:59 PM on December 15, 2011


Nopbody wanst to touch those apps, or fix them, or convert them or anything. The original teams that built them were killed and their bodies pushed into ditches to better preserve their secrets. The bets you can hope for is new apps be built over the top of them, in the manner of the housing estate in Poltergeist.
posted by Artw at 4:02 PM on December 15, 2011 [3 favorites]


Not like they couldn't release an 'emulator' or something.

Like they did in Windows 7, with XP mode?
posted by jacalata at 4:11 PM on December 15, 2011


but maybe someone could make something to convert these legacy apps into something that could be rendered by a modern browser

Time for the Browser Emulator to update its version of IE.
posted by hangashore at 4:11 PM on December 15, 2011


Remember, Microsoft was big on tying everything into their own systems, and a lot of web apps were written using Active Server Pages (In VB6!) or ASP.net which uses, obviously, .net. You could use the GUI designer and make web forms just as easily as you could VB6 native apps. That was probably really helpful for a lot of corporate programmers who didn't really know how to do anything other then drag buttons to a form.

Heh. Webforms in asp.net does a ton of stuff I don't approve of, especially if you use the drag and drop designer thing, which nobody should use. It's use shouldn't automatically break non IE browsers though, unless you really are incompetent. The problem there would be the people using the tool, not the tool itself. That said, if the horror that is Active X gets involved then your site is indeed doomed - but I think by the time of .net nobody was doing that.
posted by Artw at 4:12 PM on December 15, 2011


> I'm not a developer, but maybe someone could make something to convert these legacy apps into something that could be rendered by a modern browser via a plugin like Shockwave.

Seriously? There's going to be better money in COBOL software than in doing this.

IE 6 has traction because for many people, for many reasons, it is the path of least resistance. Moving to another browser, even if it incurs infrastructure costs, is the next path of least resistance. Moving to another browser, paying a handsome per-seat license for an emulator of an old browser, and then incurring infrastructure costs anyway, as it gets increasingly expensive to maintain old code and the obsolete hardware it runs on, is not the path of least resistance.

Microsoft pooched it when it oversold IE as the ultimate, final browser, the last web browser they intend to make and the only one you'll ever need. Too many gullible or corrupt people with authority over a lot of corporate capital believed Microsoft, and now here we are and even Microsoft regrets having done it.
posted by ardgedee at 4:20 PM on December 15, 2011


Seriously?

No, I was kidding. If they were seriously going to bother updating those legacy applications it would make much more sense to stream the applications with RealPlayer.
posted by snofoam at 4:35 PM on December 15, 2011 [1 favorite]


Presumably in 5-6 years time MS will do the same to IE7.
posted by Artw at 4:43 PM on December 15, 2011


John Resig creator of jQuery dressed as IE 6.
posted by cjorgensen at 4:44 PM on December 15, 2011


Someone asked him about 6 at MIX when I was there - he said that 7 actually caused more headaches for him as it actually *introduced* bugs.
posted by Artw at 4:50 PM on December 15, 2011


Heh. Finally the feature I added to IE6 (and removed from IE7) as an Intern will be removed from the face of the earth.
posted by jeffamaphone at 5:08 PM on December 15, 2011 [1 favorite]


I work for one of the largest Korean companies -- hell, one of the larger companies in the world -- and we're still forced to use XP/IE6.

I'm pretty sure a massive buttload of internal browser-based stuff would simply kark it if they moved off, because (amongst other things) the whole IE-centric web development culture here in Korea shielded them from the idea that considering any alternative to clinging to a decade-old broken piece-o-shit browser might be a good idea.

Worrisome. But they've policy-blocked Windows Update, of course, so who knows when we'll see anything less horrible.

Anyway, good on MS for finally kicking it to the curb. FINALLY. (Not, as mentioned above, that IE7 is all that much better. Sigh.)
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 9:45 PM on December 15, 2011


Valve should just build a browser into Counterstrike and they'd be sorted.

Heh. Actually, I think it was just a year or two ago that Valve replaced the IE renderer they used for the internal Steam overlay browser with webkit...
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 9:46 PM on December 15, 2011


GilloD, Korea is much less IE6-centric than it used to be.

Those stats appear to have been compiled by tracking visitors to a large number of websites globally. However, the majority of Koreans visit mostly Korean sites (remember Google has a tiny market share there) and so the figures will be skewed towards users in Korea who visit non-Korean sites. These users are, I suspect, likely to be Koreans who have lived abroad, who work for foreign companies and non-Koreans, all of whom are more likely to use other browsers than the majority of average Koreans.
posted by Busy Old Fool at 2:59 AM on December 16, 2011


moviehawk: IE6 hasn't been a big issue for developers in a while, though; the real upside is that it looks like a vast majority of IE6 users who don't know any better will suddenly get a much improved browsing experience.

Speak for yourself. It wasn't that long ago that I was in charge of several web-based software projects that were all coded exclusively to IE6. I tried to sell the idea of writing the apps to be cross-browser functional, but most of the developers doing the work only knew how to code for IE6 - they'd had zero experience coding for cross-browser compatibility, or even coding anything to work in any browser other than IE6. These were apps for insurance companies, banks and hospitals, mostly.

maudlin: The w3schools stats just show people using w3schools. Don't use those stats.

I'll go you one better and recommend that everyone ignore w3schools, completely. See w3fools for additional details.
posted by syzygy at 3:01 AM on December 16, 2011 [3 favorites]


But if Microsoft gets rid of IE6, what will web designers bitch about now?
posted by smackfu at 6:19 AM on December 16, 2011


Pretty sure we already know the answer.
posted by Artw at 7:04 AM on December 16, 2011


All browsers are nonstandard and therefore they all suck. It's only the browser with measurable userbase and which exhibits the most egregious violations that's going to be the target of ire.

I'm saying this as somebody who remembers having to support the pre- and post- 1.0 versions of Netscape, when the team kept whacking in features that our clients wanted yet without breaking compatibility with Mosaic et al.
posted by ardgedee at 10:58 AM on December 16, 2011


The horrors of Netscape 4 were legion... and there were so many versions of it, all different...
posted by Artw at 11:00 AM on December 16, 2011


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