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Google Tells Users To Drop IE6 426

Posted by CmdrTaco
from the my-mom-still-won't-do-it dept.
Kelly writes "Google is now urging Gmail users to drop Internet Explorer 6 (IE6) in favor of Firefox or Chrome. Google recently removed Firefox from the Google Pack bundle, replaced it with Chrome, then added a direct download link for Chrome on Google and YouTube. Google's decision to list IE6 as an unsupported Gmail browser does not affect just consumers: Tens of thousands of small- and mid-sized businesses that run Google Apps hosted services may dump IE6 as well. What's especially interesting is the fact that Mozilla is picking up two out of three browser users that Microsoft surrenders."
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Google Tells Users To Drop IE6

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  • Makes sense (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday January 01, 2009 @10:59AM (#26291007)
    Makes sense, IE6 is just atrocious, most people need to upgrade! Although it does sound a bit anti-Microsoft on Google's part, telling users to switch to another browser, and not offering a direct link to IE7, which anyone on IE6 should really get anyway.
    • Re:Makes sense (Score:5, Informative)

      by Anonymous Coward on Thursday January 01, 2009 @11:01AM (#26291029)
      Unlike Firefox, IE7 doesn't support Win2k.
      • Re:Makes sense (Score:5, Informative)

        by Trashman (3003) on Thursday January 01, 2009 @11:11AM (#26291091)

        FYI, Chrome is unsupported on Win2k as well.

        • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

          by Anonymous Coward

          It would be nice to compile wine under win2k and thus make available some apps like Chrome.

          Iterate is human, recurse is divine :p

        • Re:Makes sense (Score:5, Insightful)

          by Firehed (942385) on Thursday January 01, 2009 @11:49AM (#26291347) Homepage

          Win2k is a decade old. Stable or not, you can't expect companies to go on supporting it forever. On the Mac side, there's a ton of software that's Leopard-only, dropping support for people who are using any OS more than 15 months old, and there's hardly anything wrong with Tiger. Windows has always had better backwards-compatibility than OS X, of course, but eventually the reason that you'll need to upgrade your OS is because all of your software requires it.

          Of course what you want to do on your computer is your business, not mine, but just keep in mind that developers are going to stop supporting you eventually if you don't stay at least reasonably current.

          • Re:Makes sense (Score:5, Insightful)

            by Anonymous Coward on Thursday January 01, 2009 @12:18PM (#26291517)

            Uhmm, the kicker is, I'm *STILL* running Win2k. And not only that, but I've got drivers from within the last year running on it for both my PCIe Radeon HD3650, and my Logitech Driving Force Pro. Nevermind that Realtek supports most of their chipset hardware all the way back to either Win9x or DOS, depending.

            And the kicker of all this? Basically any game that doesn't require Windows Live and/or have a hardcoded check for XP will run and play fine on it.

            WinXP for all intents and purposes was a rebadge of 2k with some additional eyecandy and a FEW interface changes. But the majority of said interface changes don't affect 90 percent of the applications out there.

            Forced obsolescence is fine if there's a reason, but if your 10 year old OS has everything that a modern app needs to support it, there's no reason to upgrade. (Nevermind that 2k is the last windows version without that annoying Windows Activation stuff, and in fact is the reason I spent 300 bucks on it well after WinXP was out.)

            • Re:Makes sense (Score:4, Informative)

              by recoiledsnake (879048) on Thursday January 01, 2009 @01:11PM (#26291829)

              Uhmm, the kicker is, I'm *STILL* running Win2k. And not only that, but I've got drivers from within the last year running on it for both my PCIe Radeon HD3650, and my Logitech Driving Force Pro. Nevermind that Realtek supports most of their chipset hardware all the way back to either Win9x or DOS, depending.

              And the kicker of all this? Basically any game that doesn't require Windows Live and/or have a hardcoded check for XP will run and play fine on it.

              WinXP for all intents and purposes was a rebadge of 2k with some additional eyecandy and a FEW interface changes. But the majority of said interface changes don't affect 90 percent of the applications out there.

              Forced obsolescence is fine if there's a reason, but if your 10 year old OS has everything that a modern app needs to support it, there's no reason to upgrade. (Nevermind that 2k is the last windows version without that annoying Windows Activation stuff, and in fact is the reason I spent 300 bucks on it well after WinXP was out.)

              Keep telling yourself that. But there are actually a lot of enhancements [microsoft.com]. And no, those are not UI enhancements(which there are a ton, like wireless stuff in xp sp2). Those are just kernel enhancements.

          • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

            by mrchaotica (681592) *

            On the Mac side, there's a ton of software that's Leopard-only, dropping support for people who are using any OS more than 15 months old, and there's hardly anything wrong with Tiger.

            Lots of software is Leopard-only because Leopard added a bunch of new libraries. Microsoft doesn't tend to add new libraries (except DX10 -- and people screamed bloody murder when it added that), which is why so little software is Vista-only.

            -

            • Re:Makes sense (Score:5, Informative)

              by shutdown -p now (807394) on Thursday January 01, 2009 @01:03PM (#26291781) Journal

              Lots of software is Leopard-only because Leopard added a bunch of new libraries. Microsoft doesn't tend to add new libraries (except DX10 -- and people screamed bloody murder when it added that), which is why so little software is Vista-only.

              Huh? There is a lot [wikipedia.org] of new libraries and APIs in Vista apart from DX10. A new audio stack, new printing subsystem (both have support for legacy APIs, of course, but also totally new APIs enabling new features), kernel transaction manager, etc.

              • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

                by Ilgaz (86384)

                Leopard (or any OS X) is really different from Windows in sense of programming. Even Firefox people which uses multi OS frameworks are forced to ship FF 3 as 10.4+. Opera uses a totally different concept starting with Trolltech Qt framework so they are happily shipping to 10.3.+ but if you notice, they had to drop pre 10.3.x support.

                That is the thing which pushes Apple ahead of everyone but same time creating problems in enterprise/business World. Of course nothing says a goodly written application without

            • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

              by Mad Merlin (837387)

              Microsoft doesn't tend to add new libraries...

              On the contrary, Microsoft churns out new libraries at a frightening pace, it's just that nobody uses them.

              • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

                by IntlHarvester (11985) *

                Microsoft doesn't tend to add new libraries...

                On the contrary, Microsoft churns out new libraries at a frightening pace, it's just that nobody uses them.

                Almost all of MS's libraries support XP and are distributed independently from the OS. MS generally does not use new programming libraries as an OS feature differentiation, DX10 being one of the obvious exceptions.

                Apple actually brags about tying new programming libraries to OS X revisions on their product pages, which is strange. (Ooo, a database API, can't wait to upgrade)

          • Re:Makes sense (Score:5, Insightful)

            by Don_dumb (927108) on Thursday January 01, 2009 @01:49PM (#26292083)

            Win2k is a decade old. Stable or not, you can't expect companies to go on supporting it forever.

            Why not? If there are enough users (especially large businesses) and people paying for support (i.e. licensed or bespoke software) then why cut off customers?

        • by ericvids (227598)

          ... which is probably why Google recommended Firefox alongside Chrome, because otherwise they would have recommended just Chrome.

          • Re:Makes sense (Score:4, Insightful)

            by h4rm0ny (722443) on Thursday January 01, 2009 @01:59PM (#26292157) Journal

            ... which is probably why Google recommended Firefox alongside Chrome, because otherwise they would have recommended just Chrome.

            I think Google's main aim is to get people off the IE series, they care less about which browser replaces it for the time being. After all, Google are major funders of the Mozilla project giving them a lot of say so in how it is set up and the direction it goes in (e.g. that Google is the default search option in Firefox is at their request).

    • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

      by tverbeek (457094)
      To many people IE6 is the WinXP/Office2003 of browsers. It may be technically inferior to its successor, but it works the way they're used to, and it runs on their current platform. Microsoft has shoved a bunch of unwanted UI overhauls down the throats of its users with IE7, Vista, and Office2007, and I know a fair number of people who are sticking with the ones before those because of that. And if they can't (as Google seems to be telling IE6 users), then that's a good time to explore other browsers, ot
      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        by Firehed (942385)

        Precisely what about IE6 work the way it's supposed to? The plethora of rendering issues aside, it is by far one of the most unstable pieces of software I've ever used. And unless you dig very deep into the Windows processes and force it to run in its own process, it crashes your desktop when it goes down.

        XP/Vista, fine. I prefer Office 2007's interface by far, but I've never had any memorable issues with any version of office, going back to at least the Win3.11 days (and for what I do, the functionality

        • by tverbeek (457094)
          Please read more carefully: I said "they way they're used to" not "the way it's supposed to". I'm talking about the UI. For example, IE6 has the same set of pulldown menus in the same place they've been since the first time the user encountered Windows. That's familiar. The toolbar is right underneath it left-aligned, where it's been found in most Win apps for years. Again: familiar. But IE7 (like Office2007) defies those long-standing conventions... maybe for the better, maybe for the worse, but it's
        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          by AndGodSed (968378)

          Precisely what about IE6 work the way it's supposed to? The plethora of rendering issues aside, it is by far one of the most unstable pieces of software I've ever used. And unless you dig very deep into the Windows processes and force it to run in its own process, it crashes your desktop when it goes down.

          That may be true, but I know that most users who are not tech savvy will relaunch a broken app repeatedly and just live with it thinking that is just the way it is.

          Yes these are real basic end users - as an IT manager I know of droves of our clients who still have IE6, XP Sp2 or older and ask us if we can still get Office2K3 since they are lost with the new interface.

          Familiarity weighs heavily for end-users.

    • Do they need a link? All they have to do is click on Windows Update in their start menu.
    • Re:Makes sense (Score:5, Insightful)

      by erroneus (253617) on Thursday January 01, 2009 @01:33PM (#26291967) Homepage

      IE7 isn't much better. I had always heard how much extra work was caused by Microsoft's non-compliant browser. The browser alternatives to MSIE are generally known well enough that it was about the right time to start pushing back against the defacto requirement to support the broken browser that has been holding back progress and innovation on the web for years.

    • Re:Makes sense (Score:5, Insightful)

      by ConceptJunkie (24823) on Thursday January 01, 2009 @03:38PM (#26292977) Homepage Journal

      Although it does sound a bit anti-Microsoft on Google's part

      So what. You don't think Microsoft wouldn't shiv them in the back every chance they get. They've only been doing it for 30 years and deserve much more than this little taste of their own medicine.

      And no, I don't consider this "being evil".

      Not only does Microsoft richly deserve this (i.e., real competition), but it's a service to users by helping to improve the Internet ecology as a whole, as the millions of users that are most likely to be pwned over are now being directly told to switch to software that isn't hopelessly insecure. If some people pay the price for allowing themselves to be locked in to the prison that is Microsoft software, well, hopefully they'll learn their lesson.

      "Works with IE" is perfectly OK, "Requires IE" is stupid and evil.

  • Ha (Score:2, Funny)

    by Chih (1284150)
    If you use IE6, the terrorists win. Use our browser instead!
  • by seeker_1us (1203072) on Thursday January 01, 2009 @11:00AM (#26291015)
    .... a chair is breaking.
  • YAY!! (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Anthony_Cargile (1336739) on Thursday January 01, 2009 @11:00AM (#26291021) Homepage
    I shall soon follow suite with a little browser sniffing on future sites I design! I can finally stop supporting that shitty browser after all!
  • by bitcastle (934210) on Thursday January 01, 2009 @11:07AM (#26291057) Homepage
    IE6 has been a curse on web developers for 8 years. Thats like 80 human years. It must die a swift death.
  • by Henry V .009 (518000) on Thursday January 01, 2009 @11:08AM (#26291063) Journal
    There is one very big reason for Google to do this, and it's not what many Slashdotters think.

    Anybody using Firefox or Chrome has Google as their default home. Anybody using IE has MSN as their default home.

    This is a war over who gets to propagandize you with their ads and collect your personal information. There is no good/evil dichotomy here if that's what you're looking for.

    Further, I'll end with a categorical statement in order to offend people: Anybody with strong feelings about which web browser is the best is probably spending too much time surfing the web, and is in fact suffering from an internet addiction. IE 7, Opera, and Firefox are all pretty similar from a normal end-user perspective.
    • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday January 01, 2009 @11:16AM (#26291115)

      IE 7, Opera, and Firefox are all pretty similar from a normal end-user perspective

      The gall! We are not normal end users!

    • by sakdoctor (1087155) on Thursday January 01, 2009 @11:17AM (#26291117) Homepage

      Er yes, "internet addiction".
      Is it also possible that you are a web designer or at least the guy who got lumbered with getting the company site to "work on most browsers".
      Designers worry about browser bugs and quirks, so the end user doesn't have to.

      • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

        by loconet (415875)

        Designers? Developers? What are these? I thought websites were made out of magical pixie dust! There couldn't possible be people who really care about factors that affect their day to day job (such as browsers) .. they must all be "Internet addicts"!

    • by meringuoid (568297) on Thursday January 01, 2009 @11:20AM (#26291149)
      Anybody with strong feelings about which web browser is the best is probably spending too much time surfing the web, and is in fact suffering from an internet addiction. IE 7, Opera, and Firefox are all pretty similar from a normal end-user perspective.

      IE7 has an Adblock Plus equivalent? News to me. Whenever I have to use IE to browse the web, it's a nightmare. With effective filtering, I've lost my ad-blindness, so now when I go online unprotected I actually see all that crap. Horrible.

      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        by gad_zuki! (70830)

        >IE7 has an Adblock Plus equivalent?

        A lot of people just install a hosts file that has many ad servers pointing to 127.0.0.1. This is a cross platform solution.

        • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

          by Anonymous Coward

          Ad servers? What is this, 1996?

          Seriously, many sites don't even host ad banners in directories like /ads/ anymore since it's too easy for people to block that, and most also use innocent-sounding generic filenames for ads now. Adblock still works fine since you can use CSS selectors, though, so if a site puts ads in a <div class="adcolumnwrapper"> or so. (This also works for many text ads, BTW.)

          If you think you can block ads by slapping some server name in your hosts file, though, you'll be in for a r

          • by gad_zuki! (70830) on Thursday January 01, 2009 @03:31PM (#26292927)

            It works fine and well enough for a large % of ads. Its better than nothing when I have to use something other than firefox. As good as adblock is its still limited to one single browser. Ive been using the hosts file method for ages and I havent noticed an increase of ads lately. I disagree that anything has really been changed in ad delivery since 1996.

            The fact is that a large majority of ads really do come from 3rd parties who use their own servers. Thats how syndication works. You dont host the ads, caselmedia does. Block casel and youre done.

            I also build hosts files to block server names of malware and other unsavory destinations potential spyware might call.

            >so if a site puts ads in a div class="adcolumnwrapper" or so.

            Thats presentation/formatting. The image or flash object still needs to be loaded from the ad server.

            >(This also works for many text ads, BTW.)

            Blocking google text ads takes one line in the hosts file.

            >I'm not saying that NOONE does that anymore

            Just about everyone who does ad blocking in IE uses this method.

      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        IE7 has an Adblock Plus equivalent? News to me.

        Well, it may be news to you indeed, but IE7 has a full-fledged open extensibility system, which does of course mean that there is a [ieaddons.com] number [ieaddons.com] of [ieaddons.com] ad [ieaddons.com] blockers [ieaddons.com] available.

        On the whole, with IE7 add-ins, it's quite possible to get IE to roughly the same level as FF or Opera, including all the nicer stuff such as saving/restoring tabs, inline search, and so on. The only thing that can't be changed is the crappy renderer, but that's a headache for the web designers, not

    • by unity100 (970058) on Thursday January 01, 2009 @11:23AM (#26291163) Homepage Journal
      if it was, google would drop 7 support and tell them to switch too.

      the fact is that, IE6 is WAY outdated now, is not supported anymore, is a gift from heavens for anyone writing exploits, doesnt even support tabs.

      excuse me pal, ie6 is early 2000s.

      its like the tech world equivalent of saying "dont drop 1930 model cars, even if its 1980s".
      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by Ilgaz (86384)

        They should suggest to upgrade their default OS browser (Safari for OS X, IE 7 for Win) and put Safari, Firefox to list of alternatives with Chrome as last option. That is what ethics require.

        Also if you keep IE 6 on your machine while IE 7 exists as a free update and use Firefox,Chrome, Safari you are still under big risk. Nobody has option to keep insecure default browser on their system since that is what 3rd party apps and system parts use. It is same deal on OS X. Whether use it or not, keep Safari (so

    • and they are both what /.ers think. IE6 is slower than watching diluted gloss paint dry in sub-zero temperatures, and lots of quite ordinary stuff just doesn't work properly. This is enough for me, I don't also need conspiracy theories. Anybody who is using IE6 nowadays is probably on a corporate network and MSN isn't their default home any more, or they are so clueless that they don't even know what MSN is.

      You also missed in your list a last class: software developers writing reasonably modern code whose a

    • by timeOday (582209) on Thursday January 01, 2009 @11:40AM (#26291285)

      Anybody with strong feelings about which web browser is the best is probably spending too much time surfing the web, and is in fact suffering from an internet addiction. IE 7, Opera, and Firefox are all pretty similar from a normal end-user perspective.

      Just a few short years ago, Linux users such as myself were becoming decidedly second-class citizens on the web, with many pages not working at all or not working right. Microsoft-specific extensions were polluting the web and making it hard to enjoy without paying Microsoft. I'm not talking about something that could have happened, that did happen. The fact that Firefox came through and won enough market share to make web developers take notice so it doesn't matter so much which browser you use is a HUGE victory. Thanks Firefox!

    • I agree! (Score:5, Funny)

      by tkrotchko (124118) * on Thursday January 01, 2009 @11:53AM (#26291373) Homepage

      "and is in fact suffering from an internet addiction. "

      Internet Addiction users probably also suffer from sex addiction, money addiction and food addiction.

      I personally suffer from addictophobia, so let me assure everyone that internet addiction is real. So all of you stop snickering out there. In fact, if you're reading slashdot, you're probably an internet addict. Here are the symptoms:

      1) Constantly have a browser window up in your computer
      2) Check your email more than once a day
      3) Know browser shortcut keys. You know what cntl-D does, alt (or apple) backspace does, how to quit your browser without using the mouse.
      4) Understand the importance of metatags
      5) Knows how to spell URL
      6) Users Ad Block Plus

      This is a serious addiction.

      Next week, we'll be covering work addiction (a tragic state where most of your waking hours are spent at a business doing stuff that some person tells you), water addiction (heart breaking... you require water every time your mouth gets dry. You end up in a condition known as "thirsty").

      Finally, we'll be covering sleep addiction. Some of those addicts are known to spend 1/3 of their day in a completely motionless catatonic state. Tears are staining my browser as I type.

    • by owlnation (858981) on Thursday January 01, 2009 @12:05PM (#26291433)

      IE 7, Opera, and Firefox are all pretty similar from a normal end-user perspective.

      No. Here's why. Two words: adblock, flashblock.

      No other single innovation on the web has changed my whole experience of the web. Casual user or not. The web is truly awful without these essential tools.

    • by thetoadwarrior (1268702) on Thursday January 01, 2009 @12:31PM (#26291609) Homepage
      Yeah it has nothing to do with the fact all web developers hate IE6 because it's horribly broken and should have died ages ago.
  • Interesting. (Score:5, Interesting)

    by haeger (85819) on Thursday January 01, 2009 @11:18AM (#26291125)

    At my previous job (fairly large company) they've standardized on Win2k on the clients. In fact they're still running it. Guess what browser is included? The client is heavily modified so rolling out a new one isn't an easy task.
    From what I've heard they're little above 1 year in planning to switch to Vista, but since there are quite a lot of migration issues I don't see that coming soon. I'd say it's atleast 6 months away, probably more. The company uses some very specific programs written by people that might not be with the company anymore, and all those need to work for business to continue as usual.

    So they will continue to surf the interweb with IE6 for quite a while. Other browsers can be installed but that is unsupported and might result in a call from the security department on why you use unauthorized software on your machine. You probably don't want that. And none of the internal applications work with anything but IE6 (IE7 is being tested with the vista change) anyway.

    Large organizations are fun.

    But you shouldn't read gmail from work anyway so that's not a big problem. As long as most other sites still work. Or perhaps they should use an "external browser" and one "internal" one. Hehe.

    • Re:Interesting. (Score:4, Interesting)

      by xdroop (4039) on Thursday January 01, 2009 @11:29AM (#26291221) Homepage Journal

      Or perhaps they should use an "external browser" and one "internal" one.

      You offer this solution in jest, but in fact it is what I advocate to my users.

      When Chrome came out, I tried it, and was impressed enough that my personal browsing is now done almost exclusively with it.

      However, I still have a bunch of old, stupid network devices and other random corporate applications that either insist on, or just plain work better with, IE as a browser. So my "corporate" browsing is done through IE.

      It also makes things easy to separate out visually; ie the IE window is safe to leave up when the boss/customer unexpectedly looks into my cube. :)

      Interestingly, this meant that for me, Firefox was the browser left out in the cold -- between IE and Chrome, I no longer need it. I still have it installed, for the one-in-a-$BIGNUM site which insists on it, but it practically never gets started. My usage of it is so infrequent that it seems every time I start it up I have to almost immediately restart it because of some upgrade it has done.

    • Re: (Score:2, Funny)

      by RCanine (847446)
      Having an external web browser and internal one isn't so bad an idea. Our ridiculous CMS supports only FF2 and IE6, our bug tracker doesn't work in Webkit. So I have three browsers: one for work apps, one for development, one for surfing / docs. Keep crashes from ruining your day too.
    • by timeOday (582209)

      perhaps they should use an "external browser" and one "internal" one. Hehe.

      Not a bad idea, at least as a stopgap. Does MS support parallel installations of IE6 and IE7?

    • by arkhan_jg (618674)

      IE7 isn't even available for windows 2000, it's XP and vista only, so you're right they're stuck with IE6.

      That said - Windows 2000 is in extended support now, and IE6 has unpatched security holes that likely never will be fixed.

      Or perhaps they should use an "external browser" and one "internal" one.
      That's pretty much what they should be doing, from a security point of view. Keep the buggy and vulnerable modified IE for their internal apps, and switch to something else which actually gets security fixes for

    • Re:Interesting. (Score:5, Insightful)

      by similar_name (1164087) on Thursday January 01, 2009 @12:26PM (#26291577)
      I will never understand why companies will spend so much time, money, rewriting code, testing, and training to migrate from one version of MS software to another and then use the excuse that they can't switch to Open Source because of the cost of migrating.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday January 01, 2009 @11:23AM (#26291165)

    That's right Microsoft, you heard me well.

  • No addons, No chrome (Score:4, Interesting)

    by egnop (531002) <{gro.sovegad} {ta} {todhsals}> on Thursday January 01, 2009 @11:28AM (#26291201)

    As long as there are no addons like adblock possible i'll be sticking to firefox...

  • by HaloZero (610207) <protodeka.gmail@com> on Thursday January 01, 2009 @11:31AM (#26291227) Homepage
    I work for a Very Large Company. Unfortunately, this particular company has built quite a bit of business process around Microsoft's tattered and broken products. For starters, the client engineering group requires that you use a build of IE6. Without several security patches. Why? Because a lot of the web portal applications do not run on anything but IE6. Upgrade to IE7? Unsupported. Chances are, the app won't work, or won't display correctly. For most of the apps that have forms, upgrading to IE7 means you'll never see the 'Submit' button, either because it's not there, or was rendered off of the page (and there's no horizontal scroll). Worse, most of these rely on stupid IE6 javascript tricks that don't quite work right in Firefox or Chrome or Safari. Firefox is semi-usable for most things, though you will eventually hit a page that just won't "Work". Unfortuantely, this corps makes up a not-insignificant chunk of the population. It's groups like that that would need to take care of in-house breakware before an adoption of Firefox or Chrome can be taken seriously.
    • by jfengel (409917)

      When you standardize on something, it continues to work, at the cost of being unable to integrate anything new.

      GMail was invented more recently than whenever this company standardized on W2K and IE6. It's a new feature of the web, and you guys can't have it. It's up to management to decide what the cost of doing business is worth to them.

      It sounds in this case like the cost is pretty considerable, unfortunately. Old apps don't upgrade cheaply.

    • by catmistake (814204) on Thursday January 01, 2009 @12:16PM (#26291499) Journal

      [webapps.... only supports IE6]

      I had the same situation in a department at a university... right around the time IE7 was force-deployed by Microsoft. I saw it coming, so I broke Software Update. I made a proposal that was accepted to mothball ALL the Windows XP Pro workstations for OS X iMacs. I purchased a site license for Parallels, and created a custom VM with that "stripped to the bone" edition of XP Pro off TPB (reserialized with our XP site license using keyfinder). Basically the VM was a kiosk... all it would do/could do is run IE6, and the ONLY site it could load were our webapp sites. The VM was never updated, never patched, never installed any anti-spy/anti-malware/anti-virus... so the VM booted in 15 seconds on these Core 2 duo iMacs. Every evening a cron ran to DELETE the VM, and unzip a fresh VM (that brought everything back to my zeroed original custom VM). All the user saw was clicking a dock icon that would launch the VM, which was set to auto launch IE6 in kiosk mode and bring up their webapp. It works like titties, absolutely beautifully for over 2 years now. When Microsoft's grip gets tighter, I don't understand why more IT hasn't just said "fuck you Microsoft! and fuck this!" and sandboxed the precise function they need... the solutions are legion once you realize a VM can do everything real HW can do.

    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by MPAB (1074440)

      My bank's page works in IE7, FF and Opera; but I cannot log in if using Chrome.

  • It's the sound of nobody moving to Chrome.
  • 50%? IE needs to be relegated to windows update only.
  • by Temujin_12 (832986) on Thursday January 01, 2009 @11:50AM (#26291355)

    Maybe the web developer pie chart [tinypic.com] will shift.

    I'm all for dropping IE6. It is now nothing more than a bane to web developers and the advancement of web pages in general. But to stop accommodating IE6 in your websites simply becomes someone else says to do so is naive. You should support whatever your site's visitors need.

    For my wife's site, I can drop support for 800x600 since they comprise of less than 2% of my visitors, and falling (hurray!). Yes, I know fluid design can accommodate all, but sometimes needs necessitate static widths.

    However, IE6 still accounts for ~20% of my visitors, so no matter what Google/Yahoo/Microsoft/etc. says, until that number drops well below 10%, I will still support it.

    • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

      by Anonymous Coward

      Not being able to create a website that degrades gracefully is the weakest form of web development.

      You are one of those people.

  • All is fair (Score:5, Interesting)

    by fermion (181285) on Thursday January 01, 2009 @11:52AM (#26291369) Homepage Journal
    Netscape did not play tough, and look what happened to them.

    Google is becoming a company that we should all be worried about, but they are playing a predictable games. MS grew because it offered the cheapest product on the block that more or less worked. Google is doing the same thing. The problem is that MS is now that inefficient behemoth with a business model that assumes a cut of every PC sales and aftermarket revenue. This is an environment where all Google needs to survive is a fraction of penny from every hit.

    Google now offers cheaper products than Microsoft, read free to the user, and few people seem to worry about the opportunity costs in terms of privacy and all that. This is in the same way that no one worry about the issue with MS in terms of being assumed a pirate rather than a paying customer.

    Beyond all this, why would any sane person with a competing product want to have anything to do with MS. MS could come up with an update to IE tomorrow that would break google apps. We all know that MS has the motive, and the will to break other peoples software is well documented. This justifies asking people to move away from IE because the day that MS does break Google is the day that google will lose a lot of good will. People will blame Google and not MS.

    Not supporting IE is a gutsy move. It shows that Google is willing to play hardball. It shows that google is no longer the feel good get along with everyone company, but a company that is willing to dominate and create monopolies. Good for those that want a competitor to MS. Bad for those of us that want a quality product delivered by a company that treats the end user as a customer, not just a proxy to earn third party money.

    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by bledri (1283728)

      Not supporting IE is a gutsy move. It shows that Google is willing to play hardball. It shows that google is no longer the feel good get along with everyone company, but a company that is willing to dominate and create monopolies...

      I think you are reading way too much into this. MS doesn't support IE 6 anymore, why should Google? From TFA:

      The page offers direct download links for Firefox 3 and Chrome. IE7 and Apple's Safari are listed as supported Gmail browsers.

      They dropped IE 6, not "IE." Google wants fast, preferably standards compliant browsers that are not a total nightmare to support. Well that and every scrape of data about you...

  • Because I don't use Windows for anything serious, except personal online banking, and my bank doesn't support Chrome. So I use Firefox from work to access my bank, where I run Linux.

    Chrome for Linux, if you're serious, Goog. This wanking around with Windows-only is making you look like another me-too outfit.

    • by cdrguru (88047) on Thursday January 01, 2009 @12:07PM (#26291445) Homepage

      Obviously, market share has nothing to do with it. Any business that is serious is going to just use Linux and develop all its software for Linux, right?

      Dream on. Windows has what, 90% market share? Followed by OS X with maybe 7%. Linux is last with perhaps 3%. And if you just count end-user machines and not servers it is probably more like 92%, 7% and 1% for Linux.

      Sure, maybe it will change in the future. But for now the reality is that Linux commands such an incredibly small number of end-user machines that it isn't worth paying attention to for packaged software development.

  • by assertation (1255714) on Thursday January 01, 2009 @12:07PM (#26291439)

    For me, this isn't about IE in general. IE 6 is a large and costly inconvenience for both web application and web site developers. IE 6 doesn't work in exactly the same way as IE7 & IE8. A person doing web development not only has to make sure that an application or site works in the Mozilla based browsers and IE, but that it works in multiple versions of IE. IE 6 is typically the browser that breaks when new code is developed when that code works in all of the other browsers. Even other versions of IE. Organizations and people are hanging onto IE 6. It is past time for those with muscle to begin nudging people away from IE 6

  • by Keyper7 (1160079) on Thursday January 01, 2009 @12:18PM (#26291511)

    So far, I think none of Google's actions contradicted my personal opinion on their intentions with Chrome. I still believe their main objective is to force the use of web standards by evenly distributing the browser marketing between Gecko, WebKit and... whatever IE's engine is called. From this point of view, it makes sense that they are still funding Mozilla and chose an engine supported by default on Macs.

    And no, they don't want standardization because of some altruistic ideals. It's just easier to develop web applications that way. And getting rid of the anomaly called IE6, which behaves differently from 7 and 8 to the point of being considered a different engine, is a very logical next step.

  • Only IE6? (Score:5, Funny)

    by Hurricane78 (562437) <deleted@slashd o t .org> on Thursday January 01, 2009 @12:58PM (#26291755)

    Everything using that hellhole of I rendering engine called Trident should be shot, quartered, fed to dogs, burned, buried, dug up, defiled, burned again, and spread to all four quadrants of the galaxy wherever there are evil aliens to extinguish. In that order.

    I wish, users would experience the horrors that Trident puts us trough themselves. But for this, every major site would have to code to the standard and ignore all quirks and bugs in it. I bet, if the top 10 sites on the net would put a message on their front page, to make it clear, that the bugs that the users see, come from their Browser being a load of crap, IE would be gone in hours.

    But they seem to like more, to rant all day long, that their users don't switch. Idiots.

    I, for one, have sworn, never to write Trident workarounds again. Ever! Even if I am shot, quartered, fed to dogs, burned, buried, dug up, defiled, burned again, and spread to all four quadrants of the galaxy while still being alive in some way.

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