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Internet Explorer Microsoft The Internet Technology

Even Microsoft Wants IE6 Dead 285

Posted by Unknown Lamer
from the is-this-really-happening dept.
Tarmas writes "Microsoft has launched a website intended to persuade people to upgrade their browsers from Internet Explorer 6. In Microsoft's words: 'This website is dedicated to watching Internet Explorer 6 usage drop to less than 1% worldwide, so more websites can choose to drop support for Internet Explorer 6, saving hours of work for web developers.' About time?" Of course they want you to upgrade to a newer Internet Explorer.
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Even Microsoft Wants IE6 Dead

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  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday March 04, 2011 @06:04PM (#35384546)

    I've used ie6-upgrade-warning [google.com] for some of my projects.

    It's quite obnoxious, and usually gets the job done.

    • by Pieroxy (222434) on Friday March 04, 2011 @06:28PM (#35384786) Homepage

      Another initiative of the sort: http://ieai.pieroxy.net/ [pieroxy.net]. The only difference is that it doesn't necessarily just target the version 6.

      Disclaimer: as my nick probably shows, it's mine.

      • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

        by Anonymous Coward

        Many of the IE6 users are aware of the problem but unable to upgrade because of corporate IT policy. Telling these poor folks that they should upgrade is like pouring salt in a wound.

        Maybe you could make a webapp that does a reverse dns lookup, and for coporate adresses it will display something like:

        "It seems you're stuck using IE6. Working at [company X] must suck. Maybe it's time to look for a new job?"

        And a link to monster dot com or similar.

    • Thank you for that.

      I've been trying to come up with an easy and elegant way warn users they are using IE6, and that they absolutely must upgrade.

      Setting this up now.

      • The problem is you seem to think the users are going "yay lets use crappy IE6!" when of course that isn't the case, it is the fact that all their Intranet will break since it was coded in crappy IE6 ActiveX and good luck getting the suits to pay to upgrade THAT mess!

        But there is a good reason why IE6 usage jumps from 9AM to 5PM Mon through Fri, and that is because millions of dollars worth of corporate Intranet apps are written around IE6. Was it stupid? Of course. Do most places have the budget to replace it? Not in this economy they don't.

        But if you want o run off the business users that's cool with me, free market and all that. But don't pretend there are millions of consumers running crappy old IE6 just for the fun of it.

        • IE6 is broken, no matter how you want to swing it.

          There's no problem with running Firefox or an alternative browser alongside IE6 installed.

          People can use IE6 for the Intranet and another browser for everything else.

          Thats a case of the local administrators to install it, Intranet works, people can browse the real internet with a browser that actually works.

          Easy as that.

          If the admins aren't willing to install an updated browser, they are neglecting a huge security hole and don't deserve their jobs.

          • There's no problem with running Firefox or an alternative browser alongside IE6 installed..

            Technically, no problem. Business-wise (read: clueless PHB policy-wise), sadly the answer is still often that there is still a problem.

          • by jonwil (467024) on Friday March 04, 2011 @08:47PM (#35385822)

            The problem is is that the alternative browsers like Firefox, Chrome, Opera and Safari is that none of those browsers contain the kind of admin features you get with IE.

            What IT guys (not necessarily the actual guys down in the trenches doing the work but the PHBs in their cushy office making the decisions) would want:
            1.The ability to push a browser installer (both the initial install and any upgrade installs) to the client and have them run automatically without the need to manually upgrade any clients. You cant get proper MSIs from any of the alternative browser vendors, only from 3rd parties.

            2.The ability to ensure the browser wont update
            (either automatically or initiated by users selecting "update") and can only be updated when IT pushes patches.

            3.The ability to ensure only plugins and addons pushed by IT can be installed, upgraded, managed and uninstalled.

            and 4.The ability to manage (via group policy or something similar) the features of the browser so the IT people can set settings like proxy servers and can disable features and the end-user cant mess with the settings and changes the admin guys have set.

        • by sortius_nod (1080919) on Friday March 04, 2011 @07:50PM (#35385504) Homepage

          You hit the nail on the head, and there's nothing that can be done with the disaster that is corporate intranets.

          Having had to support these intranets, you have to install at least 2 browsers to have the machine able to access both the intranet sites for work, and internet sites for work. There's always a big "DO NOT UPGRADE IE" policy in every company I've worked for, the good thing about that though is that there's usually an "INSTALL FIREFOX IF A WEBSITE DOESN"T WORK" policy.

          I suppose the knife cuts both ways there. IE6/ActiveX was the worst thing that companies bought into, and it's hurting them still, years later. The biggest problem there is that the IT managers are quite happy to accept their kickbacks from MS to have MS still deployed throughout their company. One would think they'd learn after the first time.

    • by Z00L00K (682162)

      There are a few problems around the upgrade:

      1. Microsoft wants to ask a lot of obnoxious and hard to understand questions during installation and initialization of newer versions.
      2. People are afraid that upgrades will break something.
      3. A lot of web sites - especially company internal web sites are still designed for IE6.
      4. A lot of companies are afraid of upgrading from IE6 due to concerns of various kinds and "if it ain't broken, don't fix it".
      5. If you do a fresh install of XP SP3 you will have to postp

      • 1. Microsoft wants to ask a lot of obnoxious and hard to understand questions during installation and initialization of newer versions.

        Chrome, Firefox, Opera, Safari and others do not.

        2. People are afraid that upgrades will break something.

        Not sure about you, but I'd rather risk having something old break with the benefit of being able to actually browse the web. Things are so far along since IE6 that it really is a completely new world online.

        3. A lot of web sites - especially company internal web sites are still designed for IE6.

        Installing an alternate browser alongside IE6 will not break it's ability to serve the Intranets while adding the ability to browse the rest of the internet.

        4. A lot of companies are afraid of upgrading from IE6 due to concerns of various kinds and "if it ain't broken, don't fix it".

        That's a personality problem, not a productivity problem.
        I'm a young person so I suppose I am bias

        • by Z00L00K (682162)

          OK, maybe they have fixed the problem encountered at point 5, or it only appears under some specific circumstances.

          As for the other points - Microsoft will of course want you to upgrade to latest IE, and the alternate browser path is still not removing IE6 from the surface of the earth.

        • by PNutts (199112)

          1. Microsoft wants to ask a lot of obnoxious and hard to understand questions during installation and initialization of newer versions.

          Chrome, Firefox, Opera, Safari and others do not.

          Neither does IE but let's not let that get in the way of the fun.

      • by PNutts (199112)

        5. If you do a fresh install of XP SP3 you will have to postpone the installation of IE8 until some patches are installed or you end up with a broken browser - which will be fixed if you uninstall and reinstall, but it may have scared a few.

        What happens if you try an OS that's newer than 10 years old with a patch that's newer than three years old?

    • by grcumb (781340)

      I've used ie6-upgrade-warning [google.com] for some of my projects.

      It's quite obnoxious, and usually gets the job done.

      Obnoxious? I won't be happy until MS hosts the site at www.sorryforfuckingupyourinternetforadecade.com

  • I'll switch (Score:4, Informative)

    by camperdave (969942) on Friday March 04, 2011 @06:09PM (#35384592) Journal
    I'll switch as soon as the update.microsoft.com website will let me. It keeps throwing 0x8DDD0004 errors.
    • Re:I'll switch (Score:5, Informative)

      by TrancePhreak (576593) on Friday March 04, 2011 @06:13PM (#35384632)
      http://forums.techarena.in/windows-update/451062.htm [techarena.in]

      Five seconds on Google.
    • by tlhIngan (30335)

      The only machine I have running IE6 is my Windows 2000 machine. Even when Windows 2000 was still supported I kept getting pleas to upgrade.

      So I clicked "Upgrade" only to be met with "Your operating system is not supported". You'd think Microsoft would've been able to figure that out when it offered me a chance to upgrade...

      Now that Windows 2000 has fallen out of support, there's no upgrade for it. Though, I don't use IE6 on it at all... (Firefox 3.5)

      • by Pieroxy (222434)

        Can't you install Firefox? Why would you want to upgrade your IE anyways?

    • MS KB914224 (Score:4, Informative)

      by DigiShaman (671371) on Friday March 04, 2011 @06:41PM (#35384940) Homepage

      http://support.microsoft.com/kb/914224 [microsoft.com]. In short, stop two services. Windows Update and Background Intelligent Transfer. Next, delete the entire folder called "SoftwareDistribution" located under the root of C:\Windows. Restart both services and try again.

      BTW, that folder you deleted will regenerate after starting these services. Don't worry about it.

    • Download the IE8 installer manually and run it. If it doesn't work at least you may be able to get a more sensical error message out of it.
  • by markdavis (642305) on Friday March 04, 2011 @06:10PM (#35384598)

    >"Of course they want you to upgrade to a newer Internet Explorer."

    And I want you to upgrade to a cross-platform web browser, like Firefox, Opera, or Chrome. Then maybe we can have all sites work on all browsers and on most all operating systems. But we can't always get what we want, can we?

    • by MoonBuggy (611105) on Friday March 04, 2011 @06:23PM (#35384758) Journal

      Cross platform doesn't matter as long as the different pieces of platform-specific software all obey the same standard. It doesn't matter whether your TCP/IP stack was coded in malbolge [wikipedia.org] by Russian monks and only runs on RISC OS, if it supports the standard it won't cause any problems for anybody.

      The problem, of course, is that HTML & CSS are very complicated and, some might say, poorly-defined standards whereas TCP/IP, ASCII, and so forth are straightforward and well known. Really, though, your theory that one needs a cross-platform browser to ensure correct rendering implies that none of them are implementing the standards properly, and that's something I disagree with - there may be minor quirks, but on the whole you can expect a well coded site to display more or less accurately, although not pixel-perfect, in all modern browsers. IE6, however, made a complete hash of valid markup ten years ago, and does so to an even greater extent now.

      • by Pieroxy (222434)

        Agreed for TCP/IP, but ASCII? how many times have I stumbled on a website with "?" or chinese characters instead of quotes.... Granted, pure 7-bit ASCII is very well defined, but for the rest it's a little grey area.

        • by Xtravar (725372)

          ASCII, by definition, is 7-bits. The others are 'extended' ASCII hacks and/or Latin-1. /pedant

      • by markdavis (642305)

        >"Cross platform doesn't matter as long as the different pieces of platform-specific software all obey the same standard"

        Agreed! So what part of Active-X is standards based?

        There are still TONS of sites still require the use of IE. I have to deal with three on a regular basis and it is especially true with hosted, supposedly "web based" business services. IE6 is not the root problem there. The modern root problem is Active-X (and to a much lesser degree, Silverlight). It turns what COULD be a standa

        • by MoonBuggy (611105)

          Fair point. For what it's worth, I use OSX on my primary machine and it's been who knows how long since I last came across a website that required ActiveX; the odd time that it has happened it's been easy enough to react with a simple "Oh, well, I'm not doing business with those idiots then". That said, you're absolutely right that OS specific extensions are dangerous, especially in the hands of the market leader - it's still technically a matter of standards rather than of platform-specificity, but you'd b

    • by neokushan (932374)

      Why should the cross-platformness of the browser make a difference to how the site works? If the browser is standards compliant, it shouldn't matter if it's platform agnostic or not. IE9 isn't perfect, but it's about 1,000,000.315 times better than IE6.

      • Why should the cross-platformness of the browser make a difference to how the site works?

        Because buzzwords like 'cross-platform' often get the word 'insightful' to appear next to yoru post.

  • How old is this news? Honestly, this happened multiple months ago. I'm also pretty sure it was covered on slashdot.

  • by WiglyWorm (1139035) on Friday March 04, 2011 @06:12PM (#35384622) Homepage

    I'm not sure why I should potentially lower my conversion rate by hassling people to upgrade their browser. That seems like Microsoft's job, not mine.

    Maybe they could use the same features that redirect you to msn.com or bing to redirect you to a browser selection page, no? In the mean time, I will just keep including stylesheets for IE6 that do some graceful degredation. It won't look great, but it won't be illegible.

    Besides, it seems like most IE6 users in this age are enterprise clients who can't upgrade until their vendors start supporting new browsers, or until the interprise itself gets rid of legacy programs.

    • by neokushan (932374)

      Surely if you have "degradation" for those who use IE6, you'd want some sort of disclaimer to explain that it's their browser that sucks ass and not your web development skills? Like the way google does it, they effectively say "We don't test against your browser so the site might not work right".
      It's funny how the tides have turned from those dark ages when Websites REQUIRED IE and deliberately blocked all other browsers, yet now the shoe is on the other foot, people worry about merely putting up a banner

    • by Pieroxy (222434)

      Because you're tired of spending 20% of your web design time supporting 7% of your audience?

    • If your site does not support IE6 you might want something like this to let users know they can get more out of your site by upgrading.
    • I'm not sure why I should potentially lower my conversion rate by hassling people to upgrade their browser.

      Because you may already be lowering your conversion rate by making the site look broken in IE6 due to necessary scripts and CSS not working correctly.

      Besides, it seems like most IE6 users in this age are enterprise clients who can't upgrade until their vendors start supporting new browsers

      Enterprises that want both IE6 for the intranet and a modern browser for public sites can deploy Google Chrome Frame [google.com]. This way, sites that request Chrome in the user agent get Chrome, and intranet sites get IE6.

  • This week one of my machines updated IE9, which then broke Flash in IE9. So I updated Flash, but Adobe says that they don't yet support IE9 at 64 bits, though they do have a Beta version of 64-bit IE9 Flash that they'll download. So far, it hasn't crashed, but I'm checking for a non-Beta release frequently.

    • by neokushan (932374) on Friday March 04, 2011 @06:33PM (#35384840)

      IE9 is beta (Release Candidate is still more "beta" than "final"), so you wished to use beta software by installing it in the first place. You could have just used IE8 and had no problems, then upgraded to IE9 when IE9 is ready.

    • by yuhong (1378501)

      So why not use 32-bit IE9?

  • What we really need is a more generalized iecountdown spoof—exactly the same in every way, except trying to get people to move away from IE as a whole. A cursory glance says that the site's pretty generic and easily search-and-replaced into an even more noble effort.
  • so more websites can choose to drop support for Internet Explorer 6, saving hours of work for web developers

    Gee, if M-S would only discover and use W3C standards, no one would have to use special browser hacks to make their websites work in any variety of different browsers.

    • Gee, if M-S would only discover and use W3C standards

      As of IE9, Microsoft is doing a far better job of this than it ever used to. But then IE9 could just be Microsoft's trojan horse to get users off Windows XP and onto Windows 7.

      • by Sulphur (1548251)

        As of IE9, Microsoft is doing a far better job of this than it ever used to. But then IE9 could just be Microsoft's trojan horse to get users off Windows XP and onto Windows 7.

        What's a horse?

  • by rsilvergun (571051) on Friday March 04, 2011 @06:30PM (#35384810)
    they risk losing market share to Firefox otherwise. There is no Microsoft, there is only XUL ;).
  • by clinko (232501)

    IEVer++
    WinVer++
    Money++

  • I have a client stuck with IE 6 due to being stuck with a program that wont run on anything newer than windows 2000 and a reluctance of the client to have to buy and learn another system just to be able to upgrade their browser.

    • by Pieroxy (222434)

      How it is MS's fault? Can't they install Firefox or something? IE6 is not a curse. People browsing with IE6 are !

    • by voss (52565)

      Firefox 3.6 runs just fine in windows 2000

  • by snowraver1 (1052510) on Friday March 04, 2011 @06:34PM (#35384864)
    It sure does render good using IE6!
  • hellitsabouttime [bestgamewallpapers.com]
  • by molo (94384) on Friday March 04, 2011 @06:41PM (#35384936) Journal

    "Friends don’t let friends use Internet Explorer 6." © 2011 Microsoft

    Wow. IMO, they should have left off the "6".

    -molo

  • Yes, most want IE6 to die. But their reasons are not MS reasons.

    OTOH there are valid reasons for some companies to remain on IE6... a lack of resources and the desire not to break internal web applications that are still needed and still work. So long as the users remain locked into their internal network, there are no good reasons to upgrade, and plenty not to upgrade. And the same argument could be made for XP, Office, Server or Exchange.

    Microsoft needs you to upgrade, though, to bring their plans of ve

  • by fearlezz (594718) on Friday March 04, 2011 @06:43PM (#35384964) Homepage

    So, about 50% of the IE6 users worldwide are chinese... Actually, the top 10 countries with the highest IE6 usage are non-english... and they didn't think of approaching IE6-users in their own language? *sigh*

    • by hduff (570443) <hoytduff@gmTWAINail.com minus author> on Friday March 04, 2011 @06:52PM (#35385042) Homepage Journal

      So, about 50% of the IE6 users worldwide are chinese... Actually, the top 10 countries with the highest IE6 usage are non-english... and they didn't think of approaching IE6-users in their own language? *sigh*

      What they really need is a free upgrade path from the pirated versions of Windows.

    • by Solandri (704621)

      Actually, the top 10 countries with the highest IE6 usage are non-english... and they didn't think of approaching IE6-users in their own language?

      Actually, I think this is more a failing of the open source community and the Mozilla foundation to spread Firefox to non-English non-European users. I know in South Korea IE6 was so ubiquitous that entire companies and banks built their systems around it. It was a huge hassle when Vista shipped with IE7 and broke many of those systems. If Firefox had been pit

  • I use IE 4 on Windows NT 4, you insensitive clod!
    • Actually you are not so far off, we got a coplaint last year by a customer who was seriously complaining that a site was freaking out on his ie 5.5.
      I first thought this was a joke, but the guy was dead serious!

  • The appropriate time for this website was at least 5 years ago.

  • Well, if they were serious they'd just make IE 7 available for Windows 2000. Of course their motive for turning against IE 6 is just to force people to upgrade to XP or beyond and give them money...
  • Many websites still contain special workarounds to make the pages work in IE6. Just remove them (or replace them with a redirection to ie6countdown.com), and the users will upgrade immediately. And for those stubborn corporate users, who still do not get it, MS should just quit offering support for machines with IE6. Both measures should have been taken years ago.

    • by Shados (741919)

      Microsoft has pretty strict support timelines for each of their products, provided up front, and, rightly so, stick to them.

      So they'll stop supporting IE6 when all the products that requires it are out of their support time frame. (I think all of the relevent ones are in extended support now? So almost done)

      • by Kosi (589267)

        I know, and the timeline for IE6-support should have ended years ago. How can they expect their customers to switch if they support such old crap that long?

        • by Shados (741919)

          And yet, when they refuse to give primary support to stuff thats just a few years younger (the bullshit that is Windows XP), people go batshit insane on these very forums...

  • The services company I work for deals with multi-site corporates around the world. Some of these corporates are still running IE5.5 on Windows 2000 desktops, having never ever wanted or needed to upgrade to Windows XP. These companies just aren't interested in upgrading. Sometimes its because their cheap, but mostly it's because they have legacy apps that won't work on newer browsers or OSes - so they're either unwilling or unable to make the switch.

    Whilst Microsoft has *finally* ended support for Windows 2 [microsoft.com]

  • The easiest way to eliminate IE6 is to open-source it. Then, by Microsoft's rules, no one can have it.
  • by WebManWalking (1225366) on Friday March 04, 2011 @09:10PM (#35385966)
    Microsoft's Giorgio Sardo begins his "HTML 5 and Internet Explorer 9" video with a mock funeral for IE 6 at http://www.smashingmagazine.com/2010/07/17/seven-must-see-videos-and-presentations-for-web-app-developers/ [smashingmagazine.com]
  • by AndyAndyAndyAndy (967043) <afacini&gmail,com> on Friday March 04, 2011 @10:19PM (#35386306)
    They lead the world in even in this?
  • by scrib (1277042) on Saturday March 05, 2011 @01:26AM (#35386912)

    1. Microsoft stops patching IE6.
    2. Find remote code execution exploit.
    3. Deploy Trojan Updater to remove IE6 and install new browser.

    A browser that automatically updates itself without asking would be a good choice for any stragglers at this point.

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