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Businesses Google Internet Explorer The Internet Technology

Google To End Support For IE6 272

Posted by Soulskill
from the enough-is-enough dept.
itwbennett writes "Google announced Friday that it will be phasing out support for Internet Explorer 6, more than two weeks after the attacks on Google's servers that targeted a vulnerability in IE6. In a blog post, Rajen Sheth, Google Apps senior product manager, said that support for IE6 in Google Docs and Google Sites will end March 1. At that point, IE6 users who try to access Docs or Sites may find that 'key functionality' won't work properly. Sheth suggested that customers upgrade their browsers to pretty much anything else."
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Google To End Support For IE6

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  • Finally (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Saturday January 30, 2010 @09:08AM (#30961856)

    It's about time high traffic sites stop supporting that abomination of a browser.

    Die IE6 die.

  • The witch is dead!

    About time too.

    • by Ant P. (974313) on Saturday January 30, 2010 @09:10AM (#30961868) Homepage

      Now if only they'd kill off IE7 and 8 too.

      • whats wrong with IE8? its not the best browser alright but its a huge step in right direction

        • Re:Ding Dong (Score:5, Insightful)

          by Thoreauly Nuts (1701246) on Saturday January 30, 2010 @09:32AM (#30962022)

          its not the best browser alright but its a huge step in right direction

          The only reason it's a step in the right direction is because every other browser has dragged Microsoft kicking and screaming into the present. They certainly wouldn't have done it on their own...

          • by hedwards (940851)
            And why should they? I mean how exactly does IE8 build shareholder value or add value to the Windows platform?

            Kidding aside, this was clearly an effort to kill off support for IE6 at an opportune time. Unless I'm mistaken weren't other versions also equally vulnerable to the exploit?
            • Re:Ding Dong (Score:5, Insightful)

              by Anonymous Coward on Saturday January 30, 2010 @11:26AM (#30962896)

              And why should they? I mean how exactly does IE8 build shareholder value or add value to the Windows platform?

              Intentionally or not, I think you've managed to highlight one of the biggest problems in modern-day business. There's a lot of emphasis of "building or adding value", but there really doesn't seem to be much consideration of how to manage its evil twin, which is the erosion of value.

              When you only look at things that show tangible and immediate gains, you're doing the equivalent of nurturing the leaves of a plant and ignoring its root system. When support is an "expense" or "cost center", when the money you save by routing customers - and potential customers - into Phone Menu Hell, when, by a thousand cuts you make the people who send in the money (whether directly or indirectly) feel abused, neglected and resentful, that's all eroding value. Like a weak root system, it may not immediately be apparent what's wrong, but the "plant" as a whole cannot flourish.

              None of which matters to the grab-the-money-and-run crowd, but once you've grabbed the money, you're best off not investing it in places like that.

          • Re:Ding Dong (Score:5, Interesting)

            by jellomizer (103300) on Saturday January 30, 2010 @10:14AM (#30962340)

            You say it is a bad thing...

            Microsoft goal for winning the browser war back in the late 90's was so they could have control of the standards and make the web their own so it would be useless to use the web without windows and Internet Explorer.

            Yes they won the war but they failed in their objective. Why...

            1. ActiveX security issues and the rise of internet skum...
                  When ActiveX was competing against Java Applets they made some things that made the users at the time happy but was short sited... ActiveX while faster also allowed writing to the system and its only security measure was a warning. Thinking their user base will say no when they go to that porn site and it asked to install this app so they can watch the movie... Then this spread and went across thew the advertisers channels so even legit sites with shady advertising companies found ways to install crap on your computer without you knowing. In essence limiting ActiveX to intranet applications. And shortly after that flash took over the spot as it did cooler graphics.

            2. Linux and Apache web server.
                  IIS had a few big security problems at the wrong time of internet development where a lot of companies went with apache and linux for its server. Now that doesn't really mean that it will directly stop microsoft plans however the Developers who worked on those system initally did their testing with Netscape, Mozilla firefox and others to make sure they got the stuff to work then they finally tested and did cleanup work in IE. So the new post 2001 developers wanted to be more platform independent.

            3. Mac Popularity + Linux desktop too... IE5 was the last Mac Browser Microsoft made. Then during last decade there was a surge in the popularity in macs. They were popular enough for developers and companies to take notice. As well Linux users who added to the problems so developers learned there is a lot of pain leaving out 5% market share.

            4. Firefox and Webkit browseers... At the time it was the small light and fast browser that gave IE a run for its money on speed. (Today IE is one of the slowest) Back then IE loaded and rendered so much more quickly that using others will feel painful. Then they also had better CSS standard support allowing developers a reason to get rid of IE6.

            5. Mobile devices... Microsoft floundered in mobile devices there were doing Ok until the blackberry with opera and the iPhone. And now with android webkit chome based. Developers who want to get that market need to make sure other browers get use too.

            6. IE6 Bugs and Security... A big set security problems targeted at IE6 really got a lot of people to switch to firefox and demand that their new browser works for the app

            7. High Speed Internet... Back when IE6 was new most people were still on dialup download Netscape, Mozilla or Opera was a big task that took a long time. Today it is easy to get the browser and be up rather quickly.

            8. Flash... Micromeda then Adobe made flash and they made it for Windows, Mac, Linux, Solaris... and for all the major browsers. What it did was make a lot of browers made the web look cool.

            9. Integrated web browser wasn't used very well. After all that legal battles and anti-trust fines microsoft paid... No one really used the inegrated browser the was it was meant to be. They still downloaded normal apps or clicked on the e to get to the internet the integration didn't add to the experience.

            10.The Vista/IE 7 Flop... I dont know what was going on with microsoft back 4 years ago. But they were not putting on their A-Game competing against the wrong competitors making lofty goals and not meeting them what ever was the problem Vista/IE 7 made people want to stay with IE6/XP for a bit longer until they can get a good version. Making IE Get even more out of date.

            • "Microsoft goal for winning the browser war back in the late 90's was so they could have control of the standards and make the web their own so it would be useless to use the web without windows and Internet Explorer."

              I don't think MS was stupid enough for that to be their real goal.

            • My notes:

              • 1. Flash and all IE plugins have to use ActiveX (Java uses an alternate method though) to work with IE so ActiveX isn't dead yet, but even Microsoft has moved away from using ActiveX with Windows Update (seriously, letting a website patch critical system files is just bad design).
              • 2. Good point, I guess devs who use IIS are more likely to be developing for IE, Apache more likely for Open Source browsers.
              • 3. I guess this goes with 5... more internet-capable devices that IE simply doesn't run on is go
            • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

              by mystikkman (1487801)

              The bigger question which I think everyone's missing is, why was Google using IE6 inhouse when it hacked???

        • Re:Ding Dong (Score:5, Insightful)

          by Low Ranked Craig (1327799) on Saturday January 30, 2010 @11:22AM (#30962860)

          Even the hugest step is not all that helpful when you're 80 steps behind already. You'd think that a company with an $8 billion R&D budget could build a web browser that is 100% standards compliant, performs well, and adds enough value for their users to make it the browser of choice on Windows. Apple and Google can did it, so it's definitely doable. Both Chrome and Safari on my Mac score 100/100 on the acid 3 test. Firefox: 93, Opera: 85.

          IE 8 on Window 7? 20. After getting stuck at 12 for 6 seconds.

          In the real world this is not that apparent, an I can generally get pages to display identically in FF, Safari, Chrome, Opera and IE8, but I do need to modify CSS that renders fine in the other 4 to make IE8 work, particularly in the area of margins and padding.

          There is no good excuse for a company with Microsoft's resources to build such shitty software. I'm a little apprehensive about how crappy their implementation of HTML 5 will be; IE 9 will be the new IE 6. Bet on it.

          • Re:Ding Dong (Score:4, Interesting)

            by uassholes (1179143) on Saturday January 30, 2010 @12:36PM (#30963606)

            Of course, with their resources, they could be 100% compliant if they wanted to be so.

            If they wanted to be so; if it was in their financial best interest. If it fit their business model; which it does not.

            Apparently it is difficult to be standards compliant, and yet provide a different experience from the other browsers when the user is accessing Outlook Web Access, or other M$ web applications.

            • The ability to be remotely installed, and managed is a huge feature that is unique to IE. Being native means they could (and should) be able to have the fastest browser on Windows. They could do a number of things that would make me want to use IE as my preferred browser on Windows, but they don't, hence their eroding market share. The majority of people that use Macs use Safari. Why? Because Safari offers a good browsing experience for most people, is very fast, and is reasonable secure. IE 8 shoul

              • Re:Ding Dong (Score:5, Informative)

                by thsths (31372) on Saturday January 30, 2010 @01:14PM (#30964030)

                > The ability to be remotely installed, and managed is a huge feature that is unique to IE.

                The remote installation is unique to IE because any other browser will happily run from a network share. If you want it locally, you just need to set up the shortcut and synchronise some files. No integration with the OS, no "installation" necessary.

                The management part is true, although it also depends on the browser being linked in with the OS. So you can only ever have one version of IE installed, and it will obey the restrictions put down by policies. Other browsers can be restricted up to a point, but you could always run your own portable version from a memory stick.

              • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

                by NotBorg (829820)

                Your "feature" merely exposes a deficiency in the OS tool set. That Microsoft's software update process is exclusive to Microsoft products. It would be nice if I could run update and get a new flash, java, etc. Instead every application has to write it's own update software to check for updates and install them. It leads to all sorts of annoying crap from vendors like tray icons and background processes that run all the time just to see if there's an update.

                Contrast with your typical Linux distribution

          • Re:Ding Dong (Score:4, Informative)

            by ya really (1257084) on Saturday January 30, 2010 @01:41PM (#30964282)
            Latest stable Opera 10 scores 100, no idea where you got 85.
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by DJRumpy (1345787)

      Did anyone else just fall out of their chair when they read this? I was a little disappointed that in TFA, they mention they would suggest users upgrade to IE7.

      "Support for IE6 in Google Docs and Google Sites will end March 1, Sheth said in the post. At that point, IE6 users who try to access Docs or Sites may find that "key functionality" won't work properly, he said.

      Sheth suggested that customers upgrade to Internet Explorer 7, Mozilla Firefox 3.0, Google Chrome 4.0 or Safari 3.0, or more recent versions

      • Sheth suggested that customers upgrade to Internet Explorer 7, Mozilla Firefox 3.0, Google Chrome 4.0 or Safari 3.0, or more recent versions of those browsers. " Why would they even suggest IE7?

        Because otherwise it would look like they were stopping support for IE6 for commercial reasons rather than technical reasons. Which would be unethical to say the least.

        I'm also wondering how this will affect corporate infrastructures who rely on Docs or Sites. My company is one of those stuck in IE6 ZombieLand, but we are already in the certification process for Windows 7 and IE8. Unfortunately, for an organization our size, it takes 1-2 years to move to a new version of windows. I can't imagine we're all that unique. This time line seems very aggressive (don't get me wrong, I understand Google's perspective completely).

        They will have to change or stop using the services. How many years have people been saying that IE6 should be got rid of? Do you need a disembodied hand to write it on the board room wall in blood?

        • Do you need a disembodied hand to write it on the board room wall in blood?

          Tell you what - if you can create this in a Powerpoint presentation that I can send to a couple of vendors then maybe we might start to move in the right direction. So far direct physical threats haven't worked well. We need to step up to the next level and you might just well have found it.

          I am intrigued by your ideas and would like to subscribe to your newsletter.

      • by madprof (4723)

        They suggested IE7 as it is a better browser.

  • Good riddance! (Score:2, Interesting)

    by lukas84 (912874)

    It's time to see IE6 go. Unfortunately, Microsoft will support IE6 until support for XP runs out - this model needs to change, badly.

    SP3 for XP should've made IE7 mandatory. Unfortunately, the right decisions are not always good for business.

    • Re:Good riddance! (Score:5, Interesting)

      by arth1 (260657) on Saturday January 30, 2010 @09:35AM (#30962050) Homepage Journal

      It's time to see IE6 go. Unfortunately, Microsoft will support IE6 until support for XP runs out - this model needs to change, badly.

      The problem is that many large companies have internal systems that were written back when Microsoft pushed ActiveX as the solution to all the world's problems. They can't upgrade their users' browsers until and unless the in-house software they rely on has been upgraded. And sometimes that's difficult, because of the dot-com-bubble bursting, taking with it the companies that made the badware.

      I know one Very Large company that just upgraded its internal users from IE4 to IE6. IE7 isn't feasible, and IE8 even less so.

      Personally, if I have to use an IE browser, I prefer IE7. IE8 has too many problems, like Z ordering (just try using it without click-to-raise) or incompatibility with non-default high DPI settings.

      But better yet is Seamonkey, the true inheritor to the Netscape Communicator legacy. Same rendering engine as Firefox, but a much smaller memory footprint, and configuration menus that haven't been dumbed down for the masses. Plus the built-in HTML composer comes in handy every now and then.

      • Re:Good riddance! (Score:4, Insightful)

        by liquidpele (663430) on Saturday January 30, 2010 @09:52AM (#30962168) Journal
        This drives me up the wall. Redesigning a web interface is NOT that hard, even if it's all activeX shit. If the company doesn't exist anymore, they need to move away eventually so they're just procrastinating the pain. If the company does exist, pressure them to make it IE7/IE8 compatible just like my company did.
        • Re:Good riddance! (Score:4, Interesting)

          by TheRaven64 (641858) on Saturday January 30, 2010 @10:17AM (#30962368) Journal
          I think you are underestimating ActiveX. An ActiveX control is basically a Windows shared library. These are not really web apps, they're windows apps that use the browser for deployment (which, for Intranet use, isn't a completely terrible idea). Making them not use ActiveX basically means completely rewriting the client.
          • Re:Good riddance! (Score:5, Informative)

            by arth1 (260657) on Saturday January 30, 2010 @10:34AM (#30962490) Homepage Journal

            Indeed. And not only the front-end, but the back-end too.
            Then there's the whole API issue -- they may not even have it. And porting existing data to a new platform may be a quite involved job, especially if the solution was bought as a black box back when.

            Yes, companies today are paying for the mistakes done by managers during the dot-com boom.

            • Re:Good riddance! (Score:4, Insightful)

              by gbjbaanb (229885) on Saturday January 30, 2010 @01:16PM (#30964050)

              just wait - the re-implementation will be 'one-click' .net apps, and the problems will simply continue from one broken MS technology into another.

            • Exactly, they should pay not the rest of the world so most major sites can clearly tell IE6 to fuck off and it shouldn't affect those companies because they don't to do online shopping or watch youtube videos.

              Fuck 'em and leave them in the stone age where they belong.
        • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

          by Rich0 (548339)

          Look at it from the company's perspective.

          You sell widgets. Somebody offers you a new widget processing application for $3M. It runs on IE6 - great, that's the corporate standard (in 2005)! Sure, the price seems high, but then again if we save $500k per year for 10 years even with time-value-of-money it works out as a great deal.

          Now we're in year 5, and just starting to make money back on the deal, and a bunch of IT geeks tell us that we can't use IE6, but we don't have an upgrade path. Oh, the company

        • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

          Redesigning a web interface is NOT that hard, even if it's all activeX shit

          Everything is easy when there's no chance you'll ever have to be the one to do it.

      • Re:Good riddance! (Score:5, Interesting)

        by lukas84 (912874) on Saturday January 30, 2010 @09:57AM (#30962202) Homepage

        The problem is that many large companies have internal systems that were written back when Microsoft pushed ActiveX as the solution to all the world's problems.

        And there's a very simple solution to this, that i've seen in a large corporation here. Upgrade all the clients to IE7/8, and publish links to those legacy applications using Citrix, which runs IE6 ontop of Windows Server 2003. Make sure that IE6 in Citrix can only reach the legacy apps, and not the Internet in general. Problem solved.

      • Re:Good riddance! (Score:5, Insightful)

        by stang (90261) on Saturday January 30, 2010 @10:23AM (#30962408)

        ...problem is that many large companies have internal systems that were written back when Microsoft pushed ActiveX as the solution...

        Actually, if these companies had written their internal system software as a big ActiveX component, they wouldn't have this problem. ActiveX is (as far as IE's concerned) simply a plugin architecture. Note that the Flash plugin for IE (an ActiveX control) works the same in IE6-IE8.

        The problem with ActiveX is that it's just not an appropriate plugin technology for browsers. It has no inherent sandboxing capabilities; there's no way to differentiate between a browser plugin and any other ActiveX control; and Windows comes with several ActiveX controls that should never be allowed to be used in a browser (FileSystemObject, anyone)? For what it was designed for -- resuable components for desktop applications -- it's great, but MS should have put a little more thought into what they were unleashing when they decided to make ActiveX the plugin standard for IE. And no, I don't count "signed" and "marked safe for scripting" features as thought.

        No, the problem is that these business systems were all put together using HTML/CSS content that was only ever written for, or tested with, IE. Companies that needed these systems took their bizapps people and told 'em to "make a web version". As is typical with internal apps, they were written to meet the company's needs as quickly and cheaply as possible; which means "works in our current environment", not "is ready for the future". Add in years of ad-hoc tweaks, changes, subsystem additions, and you've got a crufty piece of web tech that barely works in the originally spec'ed envrionment.

        Asking for cross-browser/web standards output from a bunch of stuff written by programmers who:

        • Are used to working with client-side/Winforms VB or C# .Net (or VB6) and SQL Server/MS Access databases for their bizapps
        • Who may or may not be any good at their jobs
        • Who may not be the same people who originally wrote the code
        • Who were told to pick "fast and cheap" as the two out of three (fast, cheap, good)
        • Who were told all of this 10 years ago

        is optimistic, at best.

        • Part of the problem was that companies converted to browser-based apps without any real need to do so.

      • Any company that is stuck with their backwards software can stay off the internet if they're too tight to buy software they can't modify and was clearly coded like utter shit or upgrade from that software.

        They're at work, they don' need to use most Google services, Youtube, Ebay, etc. As far as I'm concerned no one should be catering to these losers.
      • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

        by richlv (778496)

        I know one Very Large company that just upgraded its internal users from IE4 to IE6.

        ergh. could you name the company ? as an ac, if required. just so that... you know... i could avoid their products as much as possible.
        "serious mismanagement" doesn't even sound right for that decision.

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Kjella (173770)

      It's time to see IE6 go. Unfortunately, Microsoft will support IE6 until support for XP runs out - this model needs to change, badly.

      SP3 for XP should've made IE7 mandatory. Unfortunately, the right decisions are not always good for business.

      Yeah, because forced upgrades also go over so well with this crowd. Should a RHEL/SLES/Ubuntu LTS release of Linux force upgrades to Firefox? Is it okay to do that just because the next major version is free? There's a lot you can blame Microsoft for, but it's the companies that don't want to upgrade which is the problem here. Or would you rather Microsoft moves more in the direction of Apple too, making decisions for you than to leave it to the users?

      • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

        by lukas84 (912874)

        Yeah, because forced upgrades also go over so well with this crowd.

        This isn't DRM-style remote content removal, it's about support. Microsoft has decided that they will support IE6 until support for XP runs out, which is in 2014 - plenty of time to go. The same will happen with IE7, which will be supported until support for Vista runs out, which IMO is also unnecessary.

        I can understand why Microsoft does it and i also understand why large corporations don't like to do upgrades (because they mostly use crapp

      • Re:Good riddance! (Score:4, Interesting)

        by dissy (172727) on Saturday January 30, 2010 @10:00AM (#30962220)

        There's a lot you can blame Microsoft for, but it's the companies that don't want to upgrade which is the problem here.

        Exactly!

        These companies are faced with a choice.

        A) They keep IE6 so their internal "webapps" (IE6 apps really) and such don't need upgraded, but since only IE6 is installed they have no web browser.
        or B) They install a web browser app, and need to spend money to fix/update those IE6-apps to work with a web browser instead.

        If the company chooses 'A', they willingly and knowingly have chosen not to have web browsing capabilities on those computers.

        Sure, Microsoft has made some choices that make life harder for people needing to make that choice. But lack of forced upgrades is not one of those poor decisions.
        Designing IE in such a way that multiple versions can't be installed along side would be a valid complaint, but it should be clear by now it is a complaint they will never address.

        • by hedwards (940851)
          Realistically if MS goes this route, some enterprising firm will figure out how to create an application that allows for a side by side install for those internal applications.

          Personally, I'm forced to use an application of that nature at work, though thankfully not tied to IE6, and it's an absolute misery to work with most of the time. Companies really need to just recognize that regardless of what mr. Ellison might think thin clients are not the way of the future.
          • by Rich0 (548339)

            Nothing wrong with thin clients - however they really NEED to be thin. The less you depend on fancy browser tricks the less likely your app will be to break when you upgrade the browser.

            Alternatively, consider that perhaps using the same software to interface with your ERP and CRM systems and the hotmail.com website might not be a great choice either.

            In theory companies could avoid a lot of these problems by:

            Deploying both IE6 and firefox on local machines. IE6 points to a proxy that keeps it away from th

        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          by TheRaven64 (641858)
          Microsoft only made it difficult if you want IE7 or 8 as your browser for external apps. If you want FireFox, Chrome, or Safari for the Internet and IE 6 for the Intranet, it's pretty simple...
      • Re:Good riddance! (Score:5, Interesting)

        by jafiwam (310805) on Saturday January 30, 2010 @10:03AM (#30962248) Homepage Journal

        The problem comes from two not-so-problematical things working together;

        1. That IE can only exist as one version on the machine.

        2. That corporate users are so fucking afraid of using a real browser. (I am looking at you, you pathetic corporate dick sucking IT guys that can't seem to handle an easy to install free Browser.)

        Put these two together, and you get a large crowd of self-righteous "I am working so I must get to use my shitty equipment on any web site I want" people that subject IE6 on the rest of the Internet that has have moved on. They use IE6 because someone made a bad decision and won't own up to it. And really, what exactly ARE these mysterious and absolutely critical ActiveX apps? Are you fucking serious? If they are that critical, maybe write some VB to do the same thing. Wouldn't that be fancy? Or is this just another lame job protection thing that you are afraid your rickety shitty ass app being replaced by a 16 line batch file will put you out on the street.

        It is this attitude that truly makes these corporate idiots deserve a baseball bat to the back of the head.

        IE6 doesn't even render DIV tags properly. Which pretty much means two versions of every web site. (It renders them like tables, with all of their limitations. Why even support it at all if you can't layer your DIVs?)

        We don't let horse and buggy on the interstate anymore, no matter HOW rich the idiot is. There's no reason to put up with IE6's shit anymore either. The fucking thing is NINE GODDAMN YEARS OLD, and is FOUR FULL OPERATING SYSTEMS BEHIND.

        Kill it. Kill IE6. Kill anybody that still uses it, their fault or not.

        • Re:Good riddance! (Score:5, Informative)

          by lukas84 (912874) on Saturday January 30, 2010 @10:19AM (#30962386) Homepage

          It should be noted though that Firefox/Chrome/Opera are not alternatives in a large environment, and the reason for this is that none of these three browsers have thought a lot about deployment.

          Chrome uses it's own custom "install into userprofile" thing, which can be pretty nice for standalone computers at home without admin rights.

          Firefox comes with it's own installer, but doesn't bring any update tools for large enterprises, and it doesn't use the standard MSI format.

          Opera can't be updated by non-admin users either.

          Not of these three browsers can be managed centrally using group policies, like IE can. Sure, there's the Frontmotion Firefox packages, but this isn't Mozilla providing them and they're not very good either.

          Microsoft's WSUS has the ability to use 3rd party patches. Not one of the competitors browsers allow updates to be installed through WSUS/WU. WSUS is very popular in small-to-midsized companies where a full software deployment solution like SCCM is overkill and too expensive, but automatic distrubtion of security patches is still key to a secure work environment.

          That's why i still recommend all our clients to run IE8 - because it requires less effort, is easier to keep secure (A fully patched IE8 is better than a 16 months old version of Firefox) and is preinstalled anyway.

          • by GIL_Dude (850471)
            Thank you. I was about to post the same - these other browsers are great (I am typing this at home on Chrome - now that is has extension support, and my secondary browser at home is Firefox while at work I primarily use FF) however as you said they put zero effort into being maintainable in an enterprise. Assume that an enterprise pushes out either FF or Chrome to their users. There is no easy way to configure even the proxy settings, let alone configure the security settings to allow certain apps/ sites mo
      • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

        by symbolset (646467)

        There's a lot you can blame Microsoft for, but it's the companies that don't want to upgrade which is the problem here.

        The companies stuck on IE6 are the very ones that want to upgrade to the next versions - they're "Microsoft shops" and have been for a decade. They're into Software Assurance bigtime. Unfortunately for them they got committed, and built their core mission critical apps on a platform with no compatible migration strategy. They were entitled to expect a compatible migration strategy, and they didn't get one. It's fair to blame Microsoft for that lack.

        Unfortunately, they can and will eventually migrate to

    • As a web-dev, I see the biggest problem with IE6 being that it's rendering is massively buggy [the security issues don't directly affect me!]. Issues such as peek-a-boo bugs are difficult to test for; I can build a site, test it and have it all work perfectly, and then make a few tweaks later, and than discover that this triggers a weird IE6 bug. Worse, even if I have "tested"** in IE6, these things don't always reveal themselves... so in practise, I tend to find out about issues when the client complains!
  • Epitaph (Score:5, Insightful)

    by johnw (3725) on Saturday January 30, 2010 @09:13AM (#30961894)

    upgrade their browsers to pretty much anything else

    What an appropriate assessment of IE6.

    • I was very impressed, that nowadays links2/elinks does JavaScript, can use CSS, has tabbed browsing, and even includes a BitTorrent client! One of them also does UTF-8. (Oh, and if you need it, you even get a graphics mode!)

      So switching from IE6 to those, would definitely be an upgrade. :)

      I wonder if we could define standard APIs for all the components of browsers... HTML parsers with DOM trees, CSS interpreters, JS machines, renderers, plugin-interfaces... So that everyone could glue his own browser togeth

  • by shoppa (464619) on Saturday January 30, 2010 @09:22AM (#30961956)

    I personally use Lynx and for 99% of my Google use, it works just as well as it did 14 years ago.

    I know that for some, Google = Google Docs or Google Site, but honestly I don't even know what those are.

    Google, to me, is just Google search.

  • by bhunachchicken (834243) on Saturday January 30, 2010 @09:43AM (#30962098) Homepage

    Seriously, it might sound really "anti-Microsoft" or being pathetic, but everyone should really either be blacklisting or reducing the available functionality of websites to users still browsing with MSIE 6.0

    Reducing functionality and putting up a message to let users know that they need to upgrade, would be the best decision.

    After all, it's not as if there aren't any [microsoft.com] alternatives [mozilla.com] available [google.com]...

    • It's not "anti-Microsoft", it's common sense. Microsoft wants IE6 to go away as much as, if not more than, anyone else. Every day that people keep using IE6 is one more day that they have to spend writing/testing security updates for an ancient product, and dealing with embarrassing stories like this Chinese hacking situation. It's a testament to the stubbornness of many corporate IT shops that even when the rest of the world, including Microsoft, screams "GET RID OF THIS BROWSER!", they don't budge. I was
    • by Tim C (15259)

      everyone should really either be blacklisting or reducing the available functionality of websites to users still browsing with MSIE 6.0

      Reducing functionality and putting up a message to let users know that they need to upgrade, would be the best decision.

      I disagree. I think everyone should just stop considering IE 6 when implementing new features or creating new websites. Just stop worrying about whether it'll work in IE 6.

      That requires less effort on our part, but achieves the same end - IE 6 eventually di

    • It depends if you think pissing off some of your customers is better than supporting IE6. I suspect that developers say "yes" and management says "no". Guess who gets the final word?

  • We keep hearing how IE6 has remained in corporate use because of legacy applications that won't run on anything else. Now considering Google's popularity, all the holdovers will be forced to upgrade if they want to keep using it.
    Alternately, we may see an increase in use of other search engines like Bing.

  • Microsoft is phasing out support for Netscape 4, in retaliation for Google declaring Internet Explorer 6 a "pustulent syphilitic drunken crack whore [newstechnica.com] with no mates. And bad breath. Who smells funny."

    Google has given up bothering to support IE6 on its sites, directing the doubtless hideously virus-infected users of the browser to download another browser. Any other browser. "Lynx will give you a vastly superior YouTube experience. Now it will, anyway."

    "The Mozilla Foundation has completely failed to fix problems in Netscape 4 that have been around for years," said Microsoft marketing marketer Jonathan Ness. "Furthermore, Firefox gets just as many hacks as Internet Explorer, and pay no attention to my lengthening nose."

    In December, Chinese hackers exploited a weak spot in IE6 that Microsoft had only known about since September. Following this, governments worldwide told people to get the hell off IE6, except Britain, which relies on IE6 to leak data when there are insufficient funds for USB sticks or train journeys for civil servants.

    Web designers around the world welcomed Google's move, but have not given up their Bill Gates dartboards just yet. "'That is not dead which can eternal lie, And with strange aeons even death may die.' Steve Ballmer said that, you know."

  • It's a common enough trap. I won't fault Microsoft for evolving their own standards with Internet Explorer, it makes perfect sense when considering the proprietary software model. Here's the trap - when software is obliged to evolve (due to exploits, demands for new functionality, etc.) there's an inevitable question of "pay now or pay later". Every organization I've ever worked for, large and small alike, invariably answer with "Pay later!". You can point out the "interest" associated with that choice
  • I am probably asking a dumb question. Why is not there a product that will run IE6 inside a virtual machine? So all those companies that had written software specifically targetting IE6 will run this application, that will watch all the net connections and disk access and permit only very specific whitelisted activity to go on. A real modern browser will be available and slowly they can transition out of IE6. There is money to be made doing this. Why no body is doing this? Or are they doing it already witho
    • by lukas84 (912874) on Saturday January 30, 2010 @11:14AM (#30962790) Homepage

      Why is not there a product that will run IE6 inside a virtual machine?

      There are plenty of tools to do this (MED-V, XP Mode, etc.), but there's no business case for it, except "being more secure".

      This can be very hard to sell, so it's not only a technology problem but an organizational one too, because upgrading from "IE6 on XP" to "IE6 in a VM accessed by XP" or "IE6 on a TS accessed by XP" means you'll need to spend a lot of money. You'll need a very good CIO to sell this to the rest of management why this should be done. And if the CIO doesn't think this is a good idea, then there's no chance in hell that this will ever happen.

    • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

      by VortexCortex (1117377)

      Does it have to be virtual? If you just want to sandbox IE why not just use Sandboxie [sandboxie.com]?

  • First Google came for IE, and I said nothing, cos Fuck IE. Then Google came for Firefox, and I said nothing, cos Fuck Firefox. Then Google came for Opera, and I said nothing, cos Fuck Opera. Then Google came for Chrome, no wait Then Google came for me, and when I came to my butt hurt a lot but I found a Droid in my shirt pocket. Result
  • that IE6 users have a low participation percentage in Google services such as Docs.

    For that reason it won't put much pressure on them to switch.

  • by Goldenhawk (242867) on Saturday January 30, 2010 @12:28PM (#30963538) Homepage

    Some large corporation sysadmins will be thrilled that certain Google apps won't work correctly anymore.

    My computing environment is heavily managed with group policy and very few user rights, and my company has many many thousands of users worldwide. We cannot even use thumb drives or install any software or hardware. For web connection, we are firmly stuck with IE6 and other outdated web software, mainly because of poorly-programmed corporate web apps with ultra-high security requirements (ironically) that the admins cannot afford to update for fear of the unknowns in new browsers. (For crying out loud, we still have a mandatory installation of Netscape!)

    So the admins are always blocking off as many non-work-related sites as possible, and having such sites NOT work correctly will only further discourage users from trying them. For example, we can't use GMail or any other popular webmail sites. And I'm honestly surprised they haven't blocked Google Docs or Google Calendar yet, as they could "leak" data to the outside world.

    I'd be that most large corporations are also in a similar fight against their users' desires for newer browsers and freer internet access. So I doubt that this move will really encourage many companies to ditch IE6 faster, and may in fact have the opposite effect in some cases.

    • If you have "ultra-high security requirements" then you need to get those computers off the net.

      Physically unplug them. Uninstall any wireless drivers and remove any wireless antennas.

      Somebody needs the internet? Get them an iPhone.

  • Better Yet! (Score:3, Interesting)

    by esmrg (869061) on Saturday January 30, 2010 @04:00PM (#30965426)

    A drive by remote code execution for IE that replaces mshtml.dll with a compatible wrapper for the gecko engine. Problem solved! Now all those IE6 users are using firefox without even knowing it.

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