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IE6 Addiction Inhibits Windows 7 Migrations 470

Posted by Soulskill
from the second-verse-same-as-the-first dept.
eldavojohn writes "As anyone in the industry will tell you, a lot of money went into developing web applications specific to IE6. And corporations can't leave Windows XP for Windows 7 until IE6 runs (in some way) on Windows 7. Microsoft wants to leave that non-standard browser mess behind them, but as the article notes, 'Organizations running IE6 have told Gartner that 40% of their custom-built browser-dependent applications won't run on IE8, the version packaged with Windows 7. Thus, many companies face a tough decision: Either spend time and money to upgrade those applications so that they work in newer browsers, or stick with Windows XP.' Support for XP is going to end in April 2014. In order to deal with this, companies are looking at virtualizing IE6 only (instead of a full operating system) so that it can run on Windows 7 — even though Microsoft says this violates licensing agreements. IE6 is estimated to have roughly 16% of browser market share, and due to mistakes in the past it may never truly die."
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IE6 Addiction Inhibits Windows 7 Migrations

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  • by obergfellja (947995) <obergfellja AT gmail DOT com> on Friday October 29, 2010 @09:51AM (#34062510)
    When people get comfortable enough with something, they don't look for new products to replace it. IE is just another reason why people don't change.
    • by bunratty (545641) on Friday October 29, 2010 @09:57AM (#34062596)
      The problem was that IE had a 95% share of the market, so developers thought they could get away with developing web applications that would work only on IE 6 for Windows. And, of course, they did. The companies that bought these applications because they didn't realize this would mean that the applications would not work in other operating systems, other browsers, or even other versions of IE are now stuck with IE 6, which means they're stuck with Windows XP. It's worse than vendor lock-in. It's vendor/version lock-in.
      • by daid303 (843777) on Friday October 29, 2010 @10:07AM (#34062754)

        It's vendor/version lock-in.

        In other words, Microsoft overdid it. They just wanted to vendor lock-in not the version lock-in. And they are having a hard time recovering from it.

        • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

          by Goffee71 (628501)
          Nah, I think the coders/devs/IT depts will see a world of money in upgrading all these old apps (think of it as the Millennium Bug Lite)

          Plus, think of all the machine upgrades they can get away with in the name of system requirements and so on, its going to be a right old cake fest

          http://www.cmswire.com/cms/enterprise-20/coming-windows-7-update-heralds-death-of-ie6-finally-009013.php [cmswire.com]
          • by xSauronx (608805)

            The hospital I work in *just* got their several thousand (think 6000+) workstations upgraded to XP. It took almost 2 years.

            We're just *now* only beginning to roll out IE7 because it took a while to test vendor apps and make sure things would work for IE7....a few machines are keeping IE6 because they have something that doesnt.

            IE8 support isnt even a considering at this point, and probably wont be for the foreseeable future. Windows 7 couldnt happen if they wanted it to...a lot of the workstations are too o

            • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

              by jgagnon (1663075)

              This is probably moot, but Windows 7 can actually be set up to run nearly (very nearly) as well as XP on the same hardware. There are a few things you'd have to shut off and other tweaks to be made, but it actually does run well on the older hardware. As long as you are running the 32-bit version (highly recommended for cases like yours) then drivers shouldn't be a huge deal.

              Having said that, I fully understand why your workplace would not upgrade past XP. We're still on XP here even though Windows 7 32-

            • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

              by Rob Riggs (6418)
              One word describes most of the IT departments in the US: underfunded.
            • by weszz (710261) on Friday October 29, 2010 @12:29PM (#34064882)

              The hospital system I work in just moved to IE7 (at great pains) but THERE IS A SOLUTION! (12,500 workstations and 25,000 users)

              VMware has a program called ThinApp (useto be Thinstall till they bought it)

              This will visualize IE6 and 7. Microsoft and Citrix says this is bad, VMware tells us they have already gone though Microsoft Legal and cleared it with them completely, plus they will support you whereas Microsoft will not.

              Citrix will tell you to build a 2003 server and send it out that way, Microsoft will tell you to make a virtual XP box and go that way. Both way too much overhead with virus scanning software, patching etc...

              This could be the answer, and it does work. Thinapp is a pretty amazing program for $10 per device.

              We are looking at doing a full Win 7 migration based on Microsft's App-V and Thinapp with some apps on our Citrix servers, and our support will drop like a rock after it.

              Rebuild a PC and the apps get sent to it virtually, so we would be able to rebuild a Pc in under 30 minutes from the start of re-image to completed. Right now we are at about an hour to get from kicking off the re-image to all the vertical apps installed.

        • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

          We're talking about custom corporate web apps here, folks. It doesn't matter if your web app runs perfectly on Mozilla/Netscape/Opara, etc. If your corporate IT standards mandate that all web-apps must run on the standard corporate-supported browser then that is what you develop the web apps for. Period. In that situation, back in the 2000 time-frame, the market share of IE in most large companies was 100%.
          • by Kludge (13653) on Friday October 29, 2010 @11:07AM (#34063650)

            If your corporate IT standards mandate ...

            That's the point: standards.

            Unless your company is developing its own browser and its own OS, making it's own corporate standard on browsers is stupid.
            The standards that should have been followed here are the W3C standards. Not the "standards" of one company with one browser on one operating system.

            Before 2000 there were computer standards in place. Not following those standards is now an obvious huge failure and now companies will be paying for it.

            • by gorzek (647352) <gorzek&gmail,com> on Friday October 29, 2010 @11:33AM (#34064040) Homepage Journal

              IE was (and still is, in some places) a de facto standard. Calling it "stupid" doesn't change that fact.

              Back around 2000 the browser wars were very much alive and compliance with W3C standards was largely mythical, to say nothing of fractious JavaScript implementations.

              Corporations had to settle on something. Microsoft won out primarily because the browser was a) bundled and b) made by the same company as the operating system. It was just less hassle all around to go with IE at the time.

              We can look back now and say it was stupid to standardize on a browser with such a non-standard implementation, but that's because we have the benefit of various standards-compliant browsers now, and the notion that you should be able to view a particular site with any browser you choose has achieved wide penetration. At the time, it was thought one browser would "win" and control the standards for all practical purposes, and most people banked on Microsoft. It was an understandable gamble at the time even though it looks foolish in hindsight.

              • by TheRaven64 (641858) on Friday October 29, 2010 @12:18PM (#34064740) Journal

                Back in the distant past, there used to be the notion of a second source. That is, for every product that you buy - especially ones that your business depends upon - you should have at least two potential suppliers, even if you never actually bought anything from the second one. There are several reasons for this. If the first supplier goes bust, you have a backup. If there is a second supplier, then the first supplier can't raise prices too much or they will suddenly find that they are no longer the first supplier.

                Back when IBM made the PC, they insisted on a second source for every single component, with two exceptions. The BIOS, they wrote in house. The operating system, they regarded as a commodity, which therefore didn't need a second source. You'd think that other companies might learn from this mistake.

                Part of the economic attraction of open source is that it automatically comes with a second source; any open source product that you buy (by definition) comes with the rights to get someone else to maintain it for you.

                If you build your internal infrastructure on top of one company's products and do not have an alternate supplier, then you are saying to that company 'we are willing to pay whatever you decide to charge in the future'. This was known well before IE4 was released, and I was certainly not the only person at the time saying that building intranet sites depending on a particular browser was a stupid idea. I have absolutely no sympathy for companies that decided to save a small amount of money in exchange for a large cost later on.

                • Mod Parent Up (Score:3, Interesting)

                  by zooblethorpe (686757)

                  Somebody please mod the parent post up. Second source (i.e. backup) is a fundamental part of proper risk management, something that the corporate world has largely fallen away from in certain aspects of IT.

                  <pure_speculation>Makes me wonder if the surge in MBAs over the past few decades has anything to do with this.</pure_speculation>

                  Cheers,

              • by jc42 (318812) on Friday October 29, 2010 @12:50PM (#34065174) Homepage Journal

                Corporations had to settle on something.

                No, they didn't. Any manager with even minimal competence understands that the computer industry has always been in a state of rapid change. Nobody with a grain of sense will "standardize" on something that's controlled by another corporation and likely to change in unpredictable ways in the near future. Standardizing on IE was a sign of incompetence; standardizing on one version of IE was (and still is) a sign of utter, hopeless incompetence.

                Sensible managers (and I've known a few of them) knew all along that the sane approach has always been to treat the browser arena as highly unstable. Sensible business practice is to plan for the changes that you know will come, and demand that your own web stuff be as generic as possible. It's easy enough to collect a set of browsers and test against all of them. I've done this since the Web became the hot new thing, and so have lots of other people. Not doing this may be common business practice, but it's still a sign of incompetence.

                It was just less hassle all around to go with IE at the time.

                Indeed. And it's a good example of the short-sighted "don't look beyond the current fiscal year" attitude of much of the corporate world. We've known for a couple of centuries that this leads to economic disasters. The people who make corporate decisions like this should be exposed and ridiculed in public. They shouldn't be held up as example of "how things are done".

          • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

            by DrgnDancer (137700)

            I dunno. I was around the IT world at the time. It was certainly the case that IE was *the* standard corporate web browser at the time, but even then I recall reading a lot of articles about why writing apps that depended on a lot of these proprietary browser extensions was a bad idea. Precisely for most of the reasons it turns out to have been a bad idea.

            People said "Sure it's the standard now, but what about ten years from now... After all Netscape was the standard five years ago."

            People said "Even if

        • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

          by Volante3192 (953645)

          In other words, Microsoft overdid it. They just wanted to vendor lock-in not the version lock-in. And they are having a hard time recovering from it.

          MONKEY PAAAAAAAAAAAW!!!!

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by sjames (1099)

        It's not as if there weren't PLENTY of warnings that sooner or later that would come back to bite them in the ass, they just ignored them all and painted themselves into the corner as fast as they could.

        The few apps developed way back then that worked on multiple browsers still work on the latest and greatest.

    • When people get comfortable enough with something, they don't look for new products to replace it.

      This is what I don't get:

      People are willing to put in the money and effort to try and virtualize IE 6 but the same amount could probably have gone in to upgrading their web application to run on IE8

      • by mark72005 (1233572) on Friday October 29, 2010 @10:09AM (#34062768)
        If a prepackaged, working solution currently existed to virtualize IE6 and solve all these problems with just the receipt of a licensing fee, this would not be a story.

        Similarly, if it were cheap to rewrite all these web applications for IE8, it would also not be a story.
        • You can do this with some of the management suites out there.

          We'll be virtualizing all browsers on Windows 7 - be it IE6, 7, or 8.

          • by DJRumpy (1345787)

            Eventually support for IE6 will be gone, and that is a concern for corporations. We considered virtualization under Win7 and rejected it for that reason. The out of the box solution to run XP VM is meaningless if XP support dries up, and it doubles the desktop footprint for the support areas. A nightmare in the making.

            We are going through the painful process of rewriting and certifying IE6 specific apps and migrating to IE8. Only after that is complete will we migrate to Win 7.

        • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

          by VGPowerlord (621254)

          If a prepackaged, working solution currently existed to virtualize IE6 and solve all these problems with just the receipt of a licensing fee, this would not be a story.

          Even better, virtualize the entire OS it runs on since IE6 is such a security hole.

          We could call the feature Windows XP Mode [microsoft.com] and include it with the Professional and Enterprise versions of Windows.

          Oh wait, Microsoft already did that.

          • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

            by jgagnon (1663075)

            Windows XP mode on older hardware sucks royally. Windows 7 can run fine in a 1 GB machine, but try running XP Mode on top of that and see what you get. Now try it again on a 512 MB machine (and a lot of companies still have them - we have at least a dozen 2.4 GHz P4's with 512 MB of RAM).

            • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

              by VGPowerlord (621254)

              Windows XP mode on older hardware sucks royally. Windows 7 can run fine in a 1 GB machine, but try running XP Mode on top of that and see what you get. Now try it again on a 512 MB machine (and a lot of companies still have them - we have at least a dozen 2.4 GHz P4's with 512 MB of RAM).

              I was under the impression that they would upgrade to Win7 during a hardware refresh.

      • by Critical Facilities (850111) on Friday October 29, 2010 @10:13AM (#34062828) Homepage
        It reminds me of when I used to work for a very large, US based Financial Services Provider. They would waste so much money doing things in these roundabout, haphazard ways despite being shown very plainly how planning project progression carefully would save them money and heartburn. Of course, they'd never listen. So, we came up with what we felt best summed up their mission statement:

        "There's never enough money to do it right, but there's always enough money to do it again."
      • by cynyr (703126)

        but you missed, re-training, lost productivity, re certifying, supporting, and probably a few other costs as well. Re-training and lost productivity are going to have major $$ values with them. If your app handles sensitive data and needed to be certified, any re-write will cause you to have to pay for that again as well.

        In short it's not dev costs that are the issue.

        • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

          by Anonymous Coward

          Sensitive data and IE6 in the same sentence.. lol..

        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          You don't need to retrain someone to use the app - its the exact same application it just runs in a different browser. You don't need to worry about re-certifying and supporting because you'll have to do that with a virtualized system anyways.

          I made a post a bit futher up about how you basically save money in the long run by simply paying the dev costs for that upgrade as opposed to a licensing solution. Licensing something to run an obsolete product is a terrible idea, there are very few circumstances wher

  • by ByOhTek (1181381) on Friday October 29, 2010 @09:51AM (#34062512) Journal

    They used IE6 to E^3 (Embrace, Extetnd, Extinguish) Windows 7 long before it even came out!

    • by clarkn0va (807617)
      Parent should be modded insightful, not funny (although this story packs its share of irony). The E^3 strategy was very much behind IE6's idiosyncrasies, and after all these years it has proven quite effective against competing products, including those put forward by Microsoft itself. Where are the defectivebydesign and lockin tags?
  • IE Patch (Score:3, Interesting)

    by alphatel (1450715) * on Friday October 29, 2010 @09:52AM (#34062524)
    It's like smoking: If you don't quit, they'll eventually pass laws that force you to.
    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by FreonTrip (694097)
      That, or the filthy habit catches up with you.
      • by martas (1439879)
        ok, that does it, i'm starting an "americans against discrimination agains smokers" party, or AADAS
  • by jejones (115979) on Friday October 29, 2010 @09:53AM (#34062540) Journal

    Seems appropriate for Halloween.

  • So sue them. (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Hatta (162192) on Friday October 29, 2010 @09:55AM (#34062562) Journal

    In order to deal with this, companies are looking at virtualizing IE6 only (instead of a full operating system) so that it can run on Windows 7 -- even though Microsoft says this violates licensing agreements.

    Then Microsoft should sue them. That would teach them, right? After all, violating intellectual property licenses is the same as theft.

  • Encapsulating IE6 (Score:4, Informative)

    by mlts (1038732) * on Friday October 29, 2010 @09:56AM (#34062576)

    A while back, I remember thindownload.com offering IE6 in a Thinstall (Now VMWare ThinApp) package. It was taken down, but something like that would be the best thing for places that need IE6, but don't have the hardware to virtualize an ACE VM just for this program. Even better would be running the IE6 package under sandboxie so when (not if) it gets compromised, the damage is very limited what malware could attempt.

    • Re:Encapsulating IE6 (Score:5, Informative)

      by NJRoadfan (1254248) on Friday October 29, 2010 @09:59AM (#34062622)
      Windows 7 Pro, Enterprise, and Ultimate come with a solution at no extra cost..... its called Windows XP Mode.
      • by mlts (1038732) * on Friday October 29, 2010 @10:17AM (#34062912)

        Very true. However it isn't as easy to get set up and pushed out on an enterprise basis as a single app file. Another downside is that because XP Mode is complete VM that can easily get compromised, it requires an instance of antivirus for corporate IT reasons. Having a single executable that runs in a "jail" is a lot better performance-wise, and means one doesn't have to set up virtualization on company desktops.

        Probably the simplest solution for a company that needs IE6 on desktops for one task or application would be to use Citrix or Terminal server, and just keep a well locked down copy of IE6 on a dedicated server.

  • by VoiceInTheDesert (1613565) on Friday October 29, 2010 @09:56AM (#34062582)
    Just goes to show you that no matter how annoying you can claim Microsoft to be, their user base can be equally so with their instance that decade-old software be their ONLY solution.

    You gotta upgrade sometime, people.
    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by shentino (1139071)

      IE6 conveniently breaks Web 2.0 stuff like youtube, facebook, and a lot of other stuff that PHBs simply do not want their employees accessing on the job.

      It's brokenness is a feature in this case.

    • by Bert64 (520050)

      This is not entirely the fault of the users, sure they deserve some blame but only for allowing themselves to be suckered by microsoft's lock-in strategies...
      It is microsoft that chose to ignore standards and build a browse designed to lock people in.
      Had they built a standards compliant browser, then modern browsers being a superset of the standards available at the time would continue to run these old application just fine.
      Similarly if these application developers had developed using standard technologies

      • Have we forgotten that for several years, IE6 was basically the only free-as-in-beer browser that existed, or are we ignoring that sad truth?

        You don't have to be crazy to build for what works on a specific browser when it's the only browser there is.

    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by gstoddart (321705)

      Just goes to show you that no matter how annoying you can claim Microsoft to be, their user base can be equally so with their instance that decade-old software be their ONLY solution.

      I don't think you understand the scope of the problem. Not even a little.

      Companies and governments have massive amounts of custom code which runs only on IE6. The time, money, and effort to rewrite this would be absolutely huge.

      Are you seriously suggesting that organizations just toss out a mission-critical bit of software e

      • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

        by tlhIngan (30335)

        Companies and governments have massive amounts of custom code which runs only on IE6. The time, money, and effort to rewrite this would be absolutely huge.

        Are you seriously suggesting that organizations just toss out a mission-critical bit of software either because it's old or proprietary? If so, then I think you have absolutely no understanding of what IT works like on a corporate scale.

        I believe the entire Government of Canada has to use IE6 because they have apps that tie them to it. I suspect many real

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by blincoln (592401)

        Companies and governments have massive amounts of custom code which runs only on IE6. The time, money, and effort to rewrite this would be absolutely huge.

        Lots of people have massive amounts of 16-bit apps. Should Microsoft have included 16-bit support in x64 versions of Windows as a result? Lots of people still use VB6 apps. Should Microsoft continue to support Visual Studio 6? When I upgraded to Windows 7, I was annoyed that the one 16-bit app I still used at home wouldn't work anymore, but I got over it.

    • I would wager that the majority of the user base still using IE6 is doing so out of ignorance (home users) or are forced to use it (employees). In the latter case, usually some technologically ignorant (and I mean that in a derogatory way) manager is afraid of making the switch to IE7 or *gasp* IE8. Of course some of the blame should be placed on developers who still decide to support IE6, although often times it's that same ignorant manager threatening to stop purchasing software that doesn't conform to th
    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by clarkn0va (807617)

      You gotta upgrade sometime, people.

      My brother is the HVAC chief for one of Canada's larger cities, and he recently purchased Windows 98 on ebay because it is required to run the climate controls in city hall.

      Yeah, sooner or later they'll have to upgrade, but if you think IE6 is going to magically vanish tomorrow or even in a couple years when support officially runs out, prepare for a shock.

  • This should be a one-line fix to their existing systems to enable IE8 legacy/quirks mode. Then perhaps a couple of days weeding out the odd bug that pops up.

    It really shouldnt be a big upgrade.
    • Re:Quirksmode (Score:4, Informative)

      by ifrag (984323) on Friday October 29, 2010 @10:16AM (#34062886)

      This should be a one-line fix to their existing systems to enable IE8 legacy/quirks mode.

      One line... really? Perhaps you have not noticed how fail the "compatibility mode" in IE8 actually is. If that component actually worked as advertised then maybe it would be simple to get it working but it doesn't. What they have today is far from having a quick fix option.

    • by cynyr (703126)

      If anything looks different you will need to re-train staff, and if it had some 3rd certification that will need to be re-done if you touch the code.

  • XP Mode? (Score:3, Insightful)

    by dilbert627 (561671) on Friday October 29, 2010 @09:57AM (#34062592)
    Isn't that the point of XP Mode? To run legacy applications that aren't 7-compatible?
  • IE6 on WIndows 7 (Score:2, Informative)

    by greap (1925302)
    I use http://tredosoft.com/Multiple_IE [tredosoft.com] for cross browser testing and IE6 runs fine on Win7. Also you can install IE6 for XP mode with a couple of hacks.
  • by Just_Say_Duhhh (1318603) on Friday October 29, 2010 @09:59AM (#34062614)
    ...for some other browser maker to work with these companies to create a compatibility module that would let them use a NEW browser with their old applications. If Mozilla wasn't so busy on Firefox 4.0, they could probably get something coded up to help these companies put IE6 where it belongs (trash bin).

    Has anyone from these companies tried running XP in a VM to maintain compatibility, while giving them an avenue to load a new OS, and start rolling out new applications? It would seem like the smoothest way to get over this problem.

    • by reaper (10065)

      Actually, Windows 7 has Windows XP available as an option. It runs XP apps in a VM and displays the window as a native window on the 7 desktop. You would need to tweak the default install to get IE 6 on there (it ships with 8), but it's still cheaper over the long haul than not upgrading to windows 7.

    • by gstoddart (321705)

      Has anyone from these companies tried running XP in a VM to maintain compatibility

      Did you even make it through the summary?

      In order to deal with this, companies are looking at virtualizing IE6 only (instead of a full operating system) so that it can run on Windows 7 — even though Microsoft says this violates licensing agreements.

      Yes, they have looked at it. As usual, Microsoft are being asshats. Heck, I think Microsoft even claims you can't run their operating systems on virtual machines unless it's

    • by clarkn0va (807617)

      ...a compatibility module that would let them use a NEW browser with their old applications...It would seem like the smoothest way to get over this problem.

      As long as IE6 and Winxp are still in support, how is your suggestion smoother than just cruising along with status quo?

      Don't get me wrong, I'm not condoning the choice, but it's not hard to see why some people and organisations are reluctant to get on the treadmill.

    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      So long as IE6 apps require ActiveX (some do, some don't), this will prevent Firefox from ever working with those apps. Firefox made the decision long ago (a very good decision IMHO) to exclude ActiveX.
  • by C_Kode (102755) on Friday October 29, 2010 @10:00AM (#34062626) Journal

    Let that be a lesson to all those idiots who wrote IE only web applications.

    Brilliant!

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Tim C (15259)

      Yeah, they must be kicking themselves for having already been paid once, and possibly having been paid again to port their apps over to IE7+...

  • I have no sympathy for these organisations. When you create web applications that are designed for one web browser then you're going to get burned. Maybe they will eventually learn that Microsoft lost the API war, but I doubt it:

    http://www.joelonsoftware.com/articles/APIWar.html [joelonsoftware.com]
  • by CAIMLAS (41445) on Friday October 29, 2010 @10:00AM (#34062636) Homepage

    IE6 is beginning to be a bigger mess than Y2K. It's not yet such a long-term problem, but the scope is pretty board due to the fact that it's the entire program, not just date fields, which are broken.

  • A lot of applications are developed against directions in MSDN. For instance a lot of apps write stuff under %ProgramFiles% or replaces DLLs under %SystemRoot%. This means that they don't work well (read: at all) in Vista or 7 without administrator rights. As a member of our IT staff I'm really reluctant to give administrator password or administrator rights to, well, anyone. That's why we've been sticking to XP.

    In fact, I can't think a single ActiveX component that's holding us back. In fact we just upgrad

  • I don't understand why Microsoft doesn't just make something like Mozilla Prism that runs IE6 or whatever flavor of IE that you need to run their browser-dependent applications. If users need these internal apps they keep running them in a sort of sandbox, while not making life hell for everyone by surfing the web on IE6. I'm sure most MS Administrators would breath easier knowing their users can still run the corporate applications while not running a vulnerable browser all over the web...
  • I love IE6! I love the feel of it, where the buttons and everything are. I love the way it acts when I go to websites.

    I detest IE8. The only thing IE8 has going for it would be the ability to drag and drop sites into the toolbar. But everything else, I don't like.

  • Huge Success! (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Pentium100 (1240090) on Friday October 29, 2010 @10:09AM (#34062760)

    Well, Microsoft made IE6 not compatible with standards so that people would make sites compatible with IE (because the majority use IE, since it came with Windows) so that the sites would be less compatible with standard browsers that work on other operating systems, so that people would use Windows and IE, since a lot of sites only worked with IE.

    Corporate software also requires IE6, since it comes with Windows XP, why make a program that's compatible with other browsers, except IE and then require that browser when all your users have IE6 by default? Now it is inconvenient, but redoing the app to support standards would be expensive.

    So, now IE6 is so entrenched in the corporate environment that not only it prevents the company from migrating to Linux or some other OS, but it also prevents the company from migrating to a newer OS made by Microsoft.

    Whoever was in charge of the decision to make IE6 non compatible did a wonderful job - XP and IE6 will live for a long time. It will probably even outlive newer versions of Windows.

    • Re:Huge Success! (Score:5, Insightful)

      by Cederic (9623) on Friday October 29, 2010 @10:18AM (#34062922) Journal

      Exactly. IE6 is fantastic, truly magnificent - it's a poster child for any architect.

      Why? Because now we have the perfect "here's how to fuck up your organisation by not following standards" example. With the added bonus that almost any organisation I go to work for will have fallen into exactly that trap.

  • MS created a deliberately non-standard browser and now suffers the consequences.
  • I work on IE6 all day long. All our in-house apps were made for it. They ALL use Java.

    Recently one of the apps was upgraded and it has caused havok all this week as the java platform is not running properly and it's pretty much borked six ways from sunday.

    While trying to do some critical work yesterday, stuff that just had to be done as deadline was coming up, I tried, on a hunch to see if it ran in chrome or FF. I got a popup to tell me that my browser did not meet the requirements to run the app. I ignore

  • Let this be a lesson to those companies who said it was too expensive to follow web standards when developing web sites and applications.

  • If Microsoft had take W3 standards seriously sooner, they wouldn't be losing potential sales on Windows 7 now.

    The companies that built software targeted only at IE 6 are also reaping what they are sowing. For years many web designers and tech managers have been ignorant of the existence of W3 standards. I have seen many instances where upon being told that the internet and IE are not same thing these people brushed that piece of information off.

    At the time when IE 6 was the most advanced IE, if you want

  • At what point don't they just buckle down and rewrite the apps to use standards-based methods? They put their money on a losing horse. Suck it up and move on.

    I understand that Microsoft encouraged folks to write their apps with Active X and all that but they learned a valuable lesson - don't trust mission-critical operations to a single-vendor solution.

    Yes, I know Exchange and Active Directory ft into this category as well but the only difference is that Microsoft hasn't dropped support for them. I mean, wh

  • by linebackn (131821) on Friday October 29, 2010 @10:15AM (#34062872)

    I would like to once again take this opportunity to say "I told you so" to all of the idiots who wanted IE "integrated" in to the OS. If IE was a normal application, like every other browser, then you would be able to run IE 6 on Windows 7 along side IE 8 in a fully supported manner without any fancy hacks or virtualization.

    People would have been better off sticking with web stuff that only worked in Netscape 4. I'd need to double check, but I am pretty sure Netscape 4.8 will run fine under Windows 7.

    But, of course, when Windows 9 comes out, people will still be stuck on Windows 7 and IE 8.

    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by Tim C (15259)

      If IE was a normal application, like every other browser, then you would be able to run IE 6 on Windows 7 along side IE 8 in a fully supported manner without any fancy hacks or virtualization.

      Prove that the problem isn't due to the IE6 installer (can you even download it (legally) any more?) doesn't expect certain specific versions of Windows and refuse to run if the version string doesn't match.

      But, of course, when Windows 9 comes out, people will still be stuck on Windows 7 and IE 8.

      I'm running IE9 beta o

  • If 175 million copies sold (a new record for Microsoft) is inhibited sales, I'd like to see what the uninhibited sales numbers would have been.
  • I am at risk of foaming at the mouth when I think of IE6, but the news that it is hurting adoption of Windows 7 and costing MS profits puts a smile on my face.

    Karma-rific!

  • Simple Solution (Score:3, Informative)

    by kevinmenzel (1403457) <kevinmenzel@noSpam.gmail.com> on Friday October 29, 2010 @10:40AM (#34063234)
    Run IE6 in "XP mode", available in Windows 7 Professional, Enterprise, and Ultimate. Come on, is this really that hard? You can put the icon on the desktop and everything!
  • Mistakes? (Score:3, Interesting)

    by QuietLagoon (813062) on Friday October 29, 2010 @10:49AM (#34063380)

    IE6 is estimated to have roughly 16% of browser market share, and due to mistakes in the past it may never truly die."

    I do not think they were "mistakes" in the past. On the contrary, they were conscious decisions on Microsoft's part to make IE6 incompatible, thus making developers write pages for IE6 (~runs better on IE6~). It was Microsoft's attempt to kill non-Microsoft web standards.

    Now Microsoft is haunted by their own strategy.

  • Corporate Reality (Score:4, Interesting)

    by whosaidanythingabout (1144725) on Friday October 29, 2010 @10:57AM (#34063506)
    As a product manager for a SaaS provider our largest client ( a very large chemical company that you all know of ) is stuck on IE6. No matter how much we plead with them the group we deal with has their hands tied because the IT department refuses to upgrade. Having worked in IT in the past it is understandable. There are HUGE costs associated with the migration of thousands of user desktops to a new browser and the users are never going to be allowed to install anything on their desktops themselves. So it is a stalemate. Out newest applications appear flawed on IE6 due to javascript memory leaks. We have told support to inform users to just stop and restart their browser when the performance is unbearable. I can only pray that IE6 never runs on Windows 7 or we will prolong the pain and suffering.

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