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The Internet Internet Explorer Technology

Norwegian Websites Declare War On IE 6 349

Eyvind A. Larre writes "A large and rapidly growing campaign to get users to stop using IE6 is being implemented throughout Europe. 'Leading the charge is, an eBay-like site that is apparently the largest site for buying and selling goods in all of Norway (Finn is Norwegian for "Find"). Earlier this week, posted a warning on its web page for visitors running IE 6. The banner, seen at right, urges them to ditch IE 6 and upgrade to Internet Explorer 7.' The campaign is now spreading like fire on Twitter (#IE6), and starting to become an amazing effort by big media companies to get rid of IE6! The campaign also hit Wired some hours ago."
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Norwegian Websites Declare War On IE 6

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  • "Upgrade" to IE 7 (Score:5, Insightful)

    by MrEricSir ( 398214 ) on Friday February 20, 2009 @05:34PM (#26935081) Homepage

    Is IE 7 really an improvement? If they're going to tell users to upgrade, why don't they encourage a standards-compliant browser?

    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by f1vlad ( 1253784 ) Works for Slashdot
      IE8 is quite close to compliant. And IE7, yes, it is significant improvement.
      • Re:"Upgrade" to IE 7 (Score:5, Informative)

        by SanityInAnarchy ( 655584 ) <> on Friday February 20, 2009 @05:48PM (#26935267) Journal

        If by "quite close", you mean "still the least standards-compliant browser available", you're right.

        Why not simply encourage them to download Firefox? Or Chrome? Or Opera? Or Safari? Or freakin' iCab, if they're on an old Mac?

        Upgrading to IE7 is just going to make them do the same again when IE8 comes around, and it's still going to force me to boot Windows just to test in IE. If I was in that position, I would actively block IE6, and have a large banner for IE7 users suggesting Firefox.

        • Re:"Upgrade" to IE 7 (Score:5, Interesting)

          by f1vlad ( 1253784 ) Works for Slashdot on Friday February 20, 2009 @05:56PM (#26935369) Homepage Journal

          I guess if you do not give them Microsoft's option, the other side gets pissed off.

          In fact a while ago I've created a little script called killie6 [], when I posted on linkedin group to ask professional opinion about it [], many declared it desceptive, violating user's choice, etc, etc.

        • I get 100 mbit fiber for $65/mo in a small town in Iowa. WTF is taking the rest of you so long?

          I'd like to know what town you're in. Everywhere else in Iowa is practically 28.8k dialup.

          • I'm guessing he's in Bettendorf. Although intentionally calling the Quad Cities [] "a small town" is a bit disingenuous. So I could be wrong.
            • Quite disingenious. The whole of the quad cities is bigger than Des Moines. Small for me is 0~200. Regular is ~1000. 300,000 people is not a small town.
              • 300,000 people is not a small town.

                I grew up in Los Angeles. Anything under 1,000,000 people is small by my standards you insensitive clod!

              • by Skim123 ( 3322 )
                It's all relative. If you grew up and lived most your life in New York City or Seoul or Tokyo or Mexico City, then 300,000 people spread out over an Iowa mile is indeed "small."
        • Look, if you try to compare a wooden club, an iron mace and a black powder rifle, you know which is the winner. Let's not talk about submachine guns here.

        • Re:"Upgrade" to IE 7 (Score:5, Informative)

          by ignavus ( 213578 ) on Friday February 20, 2009 @08:32PM (#26937063)

          I guess you have never heard of a Microsoft-only shop, or of business users who (a) often cannot control what is on their work PCs and (b) make up a large proportion of PC users.

          I help run a site for government (and some non-government) users in various agencies. About 80% of my users (by page hit) are IE6 and another 14% are IE7. Firefox is mainly used by non-government clients of my website.

          The government users have no say over their desktop configuration. And if you have never had to deal with the IT section of a large government agency you don't know the obstacles and bureaucracy (and random malfunctions) to simple things like "Just use Firefox" or "Update to the latest version of IE". These are projects that can take *years* to accomplish.

          Sometimes entire state governments can be locked down into a single "solution" - most likely a Microsoft-only one. Then it is IE all the way, and version upgrades will take ages to filter through.

          There is no "simply".

        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          If I was in that position, I would actively block IE6, and have a large banner for IE7 users suggesting Firefox.

          Spoken like a man who doesn't earn a significant portion of his annual income from web-based enterprises.

      • Re:"Upgrade" to IE 7 (Score:5, Informative)

        by Tubal-Cain ( 1289912 ) on Friday February 20, 2009 @06:03PM (#26935463) Journal

        20/100 on the Acid3 is "close"?
        Webkit and Presto got 41/100 and 46/100 respectivly when Acid3 was released (now they both pass with flying colors).

        Unless all of IE's compliance improvements have been in areas not covered by Acid....

        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          by McBeer ( 714119 )

          20/100 on the Acid3 is "close"?

          In a way yes. The acid tests are by no means comprehensive. Acid 2 focuses primarily on CSS and Acid 3 focuses on DOM/ECMAscript. A browser can completely tank acid 3 and still render most things just fine. (I use noscript and don't notice ill effects on most websites)

          Acid tests aside, IE7 is certainly not the best browser out there, but it is way the hell better then IE6 and probably an easier sell to those still on IE 6.

        • Re:"Upgrade" to IE 7 (Score:5, Informative)

          by dvice_null ( 981029 ) on Friday February 20, 2009 @07:40PM (#26936577)

          If we measure "better" in percents of all features (not just those in the ACID tests), then:

          Browser: ......... IE6 ..| IE7 ..| FF2
          HTML / XHTML . 73% ..| 73% ..| 90%
          CSS 2.1 .......... 51% ..| 56% ..| 92%
          CSS 3 changes . 10% ..| 13% ..| 24%
          DOM ............... 50% ..| 51% ..| 79%
          ECMAScript .... 99% ..| 99% ..| 100%


      • It's a mixed bag, some things are better in IE7 than IE6, but IE7 also threw in a bunch of new problems. For example, if you use opacity on any element, IE7 permanently turns off cleartype for all of the text inside that element and permanently disables PNG alpha support for that element and all of its children. Both very irritating problems if you care about IE users.

        • Re: (Score:2, Funny)

          by Anonymous Coward


          You keep using that word. I don't think it means what you think it does.

      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        by siDDis ( 961791 )

        Im a web developer and I find almost nothing that works better in IE 7 than IE 6. Javascript is still the same thing, no support for for each loops nor iterators, the setAttribute() function is still useless, dynamic CSS only works correctly with the attribute and a lot of other IMPORTANT improvements in Javascript is still missing.

        I always have to spend more time supporting IE, and supporting both of them at the same time is a piece of cake, because they're hardly any different. Most

      • Re:"Upgrade" to IE 7 (Score:5, Informative)

        by mikael_j ( 106439 ) on Friday February 20, 2009 @09:55PM (#26937629)

        If you think IE8 is anywhere near standards-compliant then you need a serious reality check, it's not quite as horrible as IE6 and IE7 but it's still fucking painful to work with. I recently created a website just for shits and giggles, completely standards-compliant, worked perfectly in Safari/WebKit and Opera, needed some minor tweaking in Firefox, barely rendered in the IE8 beta (and it looked nothing like it was supposed to look like), produced a "blank" page in IE7 and IE6 asked me if I wanted to download it (application/xhtml+xml).

        I wish all these incompetent web developers would defending IE, IE8 is still a complete failure when it comes to standards compliance but lots of people who have no idea what they're talking about are hailing it as an awesome browser because it's not completely and totally broken in every conceivable way. It's like saying "My 2009 Ford is awesome, it only randomly explodes every 200 miles or so instead of every 10 miles like my 2008 ford...".


    • by gnick ( 1211984 )

      Yes, it's a huge improvement over IE6. Tabs alone make it much nicer IMO. Of course, here at work, IE 6 is all that we're allowed to have installed without a signed exception from management and IT.

      Of course, it's still a pile of fetid dingo's kidneys compared to some of the competition. I'd rather see the sites encourage users to upgrade to FF, Opera, or even Safari or Chrome rather than just tie them to IE...

      • "Yes, it's a huge improvement over IE6. Tabs alone make it much nicer IMO. Of course, here at work, IE 6 is all that we're allowed to have installed without a signed exception from management and IT."

        Hmm...sounds like we need to expand this push to get rid of IE6, into something much larger.

        Get rid of Windows? A nice plus in your case would sound like getting rid of management.


      • I can see why companies would want to support browsers whose compatibility issues they are knowledgeable about. it now seems like the known issues in IE6 are way too many to keep their sites compatible with IE6.

        IE7 and FF(2 and 3) are quite a significant improvement over IE6. And then there are companies that build some web interfaces using Java and VB and mix up several technologies which makes their sites to malfunction regardless of which brower or OS you choose. The payroll system in our university has

      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        by miro f ( 944325 )

        You have to remember that even if you use Firefox, there are plenty of vulnerabilities in ie that can affect you just by the fact that it is installed, even if you don't actually use it to surf the web.

        Even if you use firefox/opera/whatever, you should still upgrade IE

  • What about... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by TubeSteak ( 669689 ) on Friday February 20, 2009 @05:34PM (#26935087) Journal

    I guess suggesting FireFox or Opera is too big a leap for an established corporation.
    Is "I recommend Internet Explorer" the new "Nobody ever got fired for buying IBM"?

    • Re:What about... (Score:5, Informative)

      by von_rick ( 944421 ) on Friday February 20, 2009 @05:42PM (#26935195) Homepage
      Especially considering Opera is a Norwegian company, I was expecting them to give thumbs up to their homebrewed web browser. Opera is pretty awesome, all things considered and the current version is certainly lot more compliant and powerful than IE6.
    • Hardly. Government IT agencies don't even recommend IE anymore. The financial institution I work for (which hasn't gone out of business) has installed Firefox on all the machines because there have been so many alerts from security agencies saying not to use IE that they decided they needed all their users to have an alternative.
    • Re:What about... (Score:4, Insightful)

      by Penguinisto ( 415985 ) on Friday February 20, 2009 @05:45PM (#26935221) Journal

      It's more like: "...all our custom VBS-based apps that we can't afford to get rid of is IE-based, therefore so is your job."

      And if you think there's unavoidable lock-ins now, wait'll SharePoint gets its tentacles into the enterprise at large... "what, no Outlook integration? No automatic login from Active Directory!? We can't have that! Forget your wiki thingy, hire a SharePoint guy already, and let's get this thing rolling! You're wasting my time here!"

      Call me a troll if you like, but damn - it's a very slick way to make sure the folks in Redmond have continued income for at least the next decade...


      • Pretty much. If it weren't for shitty VB script features in Office, many would have ditched it long ago.

      • The suckyness that is Sharepoint is already digging its claws into the corporate market. I regularly see contracts for it, usually requiring other Microsoft lock-in technologies as well.

        They might as well be burning the money, but - no. They're investing it in ways that ensure they are stuck with the whole family of Microsoft products.

        It really is a typical short-term business solution, with serious long-term financial implications. Many, many companies could recoup the cost of investing in use of oth
    • Take a look at the site in my sig in IE. I've been telling IE users for years to upgrade. As I do it for a hobby and not for the money (though the money is nice) I don't care about turning some visitors away. And coding for Firefox, then cleaning up in Opera takes me only two or three hours at most. IE? Two or three days of cleanup after that. No, thanks

      By the way, before Adsense removed the Firefox referrals program, I was making more money on Firefox conversions alone from that one site than I was making

    • I guess suggesting FireFox or Opera is too big a leap for an established corporation.

      I don't understand what it is about corporate environments and IE6. My company's IT department forces everyone to use IE6.

      • Because many Intranet developers (not all) are inept boobs who shouldn't be allowed anywhere near a text editor, much less some what-you-see-is-all-you-get software like dreamweaver. And since corporations have invested big bucks into stupid software developed by cretins, they cannot afford to upgrade. Doing so would mean rewriting these apps. And that like costs money or something.

      • by diskis ( 221264 )

        Internet Explorer can be locked down with group policies, Firefox & company cannot.
        Also, at the two previous megacorporations I've worked at IE6 was not "forced" on anyone. You simply needed it to actually work, because all the corporate internal webapps were IE6 only... :(

    • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

      by nowonder ( 11583 )

      Actually many of the participating pages tell you to get Firefox, Opera, or a newer version of IE. This includes some commercial web sites.

  • "A large and rapidly growing campaign to get users to stop using IE6 is beeingimplemented throughout Europe.

    That must really put a sting on MS...

    • Not only that, the summary says "the banner seen at right..."

      I understand it's a straigh cut-and-paste from the Wired story, but is it possible for the Slashdot "editors" to actually do some, you know, "editing"?
    • by Endo13 ( 1000782 )

      Way to spoil your own joke. =(

      But thank god they're not using wasps...

  • I work for a medium-sized bank that has strict and outdated IT policies. All Windows XP workstations are set up with non-admin accounts, including developers. IE 6 is installed and we're not allowed to update to IE 7.

    I don't even have a Windows PC at home, but at work, I'm officially effectively forced to use IE 6 (even though I've found a way to install Firefox as a non-admin user).

    It's employees in companies like mine that will not be able to convert to IE 7 or another browser, even if they really want

    • Even though you have a MAC you are not an island unto yourself and if you are like many of the people on here you publish content to the web and therefore care which browser base is the largest.
      • Everyone with a network connection has a MAC []. Or did you mean Mac []? It's not an acronym, damnit, it's an abbreviation!
    • by Teun ( 17872 )
      But then employees like you are not supposed to browse 'Ebay-like' sites from company equipment.

      It's a bit like where I work, the IT dept. is acutely aware of the advantages of Firefox and they'll allow you to install it but the PHB's tell us all of our intranet is IE6 'compliant' and that's Good Enough.

      That'll change quite rapidly when their favourite golf or investment site baulks at IE6 :)

    • by zoips ( 576749 )
      Unless they whitelist programs that you can execute, you can just go to the Mozilla FTP server [], find the nightly that corresponds to the latest release version of Firefox, and download the zip file []. No installation necessary.
  • About Time! (Score:5, Insightful)

    by MazzThePianoman ( 996530 ) on Friday February 20, 2009 @05:38PM (#26935149) Homepage
    I have to waste so much time adapting my code to work with IE6 when it works perfectly fine in FF 1.5 thru 3, Chrome, Opera, Safari and even IE7. We talk about needing a stimulus; you have any idea how many man-hours are wasted because of IE6 quirks?
    • I have a copy of IE6 and I'll never give it up. I need it for testing IE6 bugs.

      • by Achoi77 ( 669484 )

        I have a copy of IE6 and I'll never give it up. I need it for testing IE6 bugs.

        Ditto for me. I fire up Virtual PC with an instance of XP with IE 6 (and an older version of FF for the hell of it). That way it can do it's worst and I'll just shut it down. Saves me a lot of grief.

        As an aside, IE6 needs to die in a fire. Especially concerning the png alpha-transparency issue.

    • Re:About Time! (Score:4, Insightful)

      by amn108 ( 1231606 ) on Friday February 20, 2009 @05:53PM (#26935339)

      Just do what I used to do, when I was doing web development (and they payed me for it) - Disable CSS linking for IE6 altogether by not sending the <link type="text/css" rel="stylesheet" ... />. If you use PHP, just read the HTTP user agent header and if it is IE 6, do not output the LINK element. If you are as good as you seem to be, catering for webstandards and all, chances are your webpage is readable WITHOUT stylesheets, and NOBODY has complained to me yet about bad looking black on white webpage. It is when things stop working they complain, but when there is no style at all they see, there is nothing to complain about. Webpages are free, since visitors seldom pay to see them, I do not feel guilty discriminating against a web browser, since it cannot display stylesheet properly anyway. The rest of CSS quirks that work differently in Firefox and Opera can be worked out, but IE6 is just too alien for my web-dev tastes. I used to ask for extra money to do IE6 web-dev before, but of course nobody wanted to see that part of the budget, so instead they get a no-style (X)HTML page which works. Even in Lynx, with proper mime type and headers. If your boss or a client threatens to break your kneecaps for leaving out IE6 support brutally like that, make a simple stylesheet from scratch just for IE, small one, with fonts, colors and backgrounds, no fancy box model usage and selectors it has not even heard about. It might end up looking decent, ant it only took you a quarter.

  • My users seem to think so.
  • Really? What's the incidence of correlation between twitter users and IE6 users? I'm guessing pretty damn close to zero.
  • Can someone please give me a rhetorical answer of what is so good about IE7 that's not already there in Firefox, and why I should waste my time and resources upgrading....

    • Re:IE7? (Score:4, Informative)

      by jafiwam ( 310805 ) on Friday February 20, 2009 @06:15PM (#26935619) Homepage Journal

      IE is built into a lot of places in Windows. Help displays, Windows Explorer uses it, etc.

      By upgrading, you upgrade those displays too.

      IE6 (IIRC) has issues, and probably has unpatched or undiscovered security issues that will root your computer if you run across the wrong stuff.

      Even if you never use IE for anything, you should upgrade it and keep it patched. It's free, and doesn't hurt anything and you can continue to use whatever your favorite browser is.

    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      You're not a web developer then?

      IE7 is a pile of dog crap compared to Firefox. But compared to IE6, IE7 is a chocolate bar.

      IE6 is getting to be like 8 years old. Think of how much the web has changed in 8 years. I cannot think of any real web developers who *like* IE6. It fails at even the most mundane stuff.

      • IE6 is 10 years I think. And yes it is a load of crap. I recently was in a project where the client wanted the neatest web2.0 dhtml mumbo jumbo, but they demanded that IE6 also was supported. Speaking of hell and wasted developer hours!
        It took 30-40% more time to support that pile of ...

  • Because I'm still running a on a Macintosh Performa. It's only worth selling someone in ebay and the like if you can use the computer you're selling to post the auction.

  • by dave562 ( 969951 ) on Friday February 20, 2009 @05:48PM (#26935287) Journal
    Althought a lot people like to complain about IE6 sucking, it takes an organization standing up and taking action to actually change things. Microsoft, like the record companies, and all the other "evil" organizations out there will only continue to shovel shit if people continue to consume it. IE7 has been out for a while at this point and there isn't any reason for anyone to be running IE6. It takes action from the community to change things. The community needs to say, "We aren't going to support IE6 because it sucks. Here, run this other browser that works great."
    • by AlHunt ( 982887 )

      >IE7 has been out for a while at this point and there isn't any reason for anyone to be running IE6. It

      I'll let my win98, P3 box with 128 megs of RAM know right away. IE7 has this silly idea that it won't run on Win98. Ubuntu, similarly, doesn't think much of 128 megs of RAM. RIMM modules being hard to come by, the situation isn't likely to improve any time soon.

      I know it's outdated hardware. It does everything else I require of it. I just don't do anything "secure" on it and evidently I won't be su

  • Title says it all

    Maybe we should have a poll?

  • good

    please drive ie6 usage into the basement, so i don't have to support it anymore. i don't want to have to refer to ActiveXObject, when I want an XMLHttpRequest, ever again, thank you

    on a related note, i have a recent server log that indicates someone just visited my site in january with IE3


    some sort of masochist?

    • by dwye ( 1127395 )
      Maybe a Perl script setting a fake Browser string to avoid later complexity?
    • by vux984 ( 928602 )


      Possibly. It came bundled with Win95OSR2, so it might be someone with a really old system that never upgraded anything.

      Its more likely someone with a fresh install of Win95 or NT4 for testing purposes somewhere. Probably who is trying download a more modern browser but is having trouble finding one because, windows update, etc pukes on browsers that old.

      Come on Microsoft! Windows update should detect the really old browsers and redirect to a PLAIN html page with downloads for NT service

  • ...I've been doing this on my personal site for years, but never thought big commercial ones would do it. Then again, the amount of man hours lost on IE6-related issues just for me personally is huge, and I can't even begin the think globally...

  • Would they also expect me to upgrade my entire otherwise perfectly functional operating system, just so I can install a different version of Microsoft's mostly useless browser? The better choice is not to use Internet Explorer at all.

    • by macraig ( 621737 )

      Addendum: Wouldn't this be yet more fine evidence that Internet Explorer has been and is too closely embedded in the operating system? IE7 won't even install, but Firefox and Opera have no issues at all with Windows 2000 (this is being submitted from FF3). What is it about IE7 that makes it so utterly dependent upon Windows XP?

  • Popular culture throughout the world may struggle against IE in all its forms but we have no hope while ill-educated MBAs wearing expensive suits are in charge.

    Here in the UK, for example, our health service has millions of PCs. We are told we must run IE6 because the national programme will not run on anything else.This is tested and found to be incorrect but that is what the Suits command.

    Apparently, it will not run on FF although I haven't heard of it tested with IEtabs

  • by weston ( 16146 ) <westonsd&canncentral,org> on Friday February 20, 2009 @06:03PM (#26935479) Homepage

    In his latest blog entry [], Douglas Crockford postulates that companies using IE6 are probably among the less efficient and competent ones, and therefore among the more likely to be weeded out by the invisible hand as times get tough.

    Hope he's right.

    • In the last year, I have worked for two major corporations, who even in this economic climate, are doing pretty well. Both were still stuck on IE6 and still are as far as I know. I generally tend to think Crockford is right on, but I don't think he is here.

      There are so many apps targeted toward IE6 (by this, I mean they pass the "hey, it works in IE test".) I don't think IE6 has achieved its dominance my means of stupid corporations, anyhow. I think it has achieved its dominance from stupid web develope

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by ignavus ( 213578 )

      companies using IE6

      What about "government agencies using IE6"?

      Unfortunately, they are more likely to survive the invisible hand of the economy than private corporations at present. Some 80% of my website page hits are from government users with IE6.

      I won't object to the claim that the government agencies using IE6 are among the less efficient and competent. But that won't stop them from surviving.

  • by Jantastic ( 196238 ) on Friday February 20, 2009 @06:39PM (#26935891) Homepage
    This reminds me of Dave Winer's 2001 idea of Microsoft-Free Fridays [] from the (2001) days Micrsoft played with the idea of implementing smart tags in IE6. An Apache mod was crafted [] for it.
  • The place I'm at runs IE 6.0. I think it's due to user inertia and resistance that it doesn't get switched over to Firefox. What I'd like to see is a version of Firefox that emulates the visual appearance and workings of the IE 6.0 interface (down to the title bar, icons, etc.), but under the hood and all the rendering is really being done by the latest FF. Updates would just go in automatically with no user intervention.

    Seems simple enough, and there are some themes/skins for FF that purport to do this,

  • There's a nag screen for IE6 users.

    Since I've implemented it, the usage has been down, from 23% to 12%. And the january statistics shows the for the first time the percentage of firefox users is greater than the IE* users.

    I've lost clients? Maybe.
    I'm a happier person? Sure.

  • The corporate image I use has IE6. No choice by me. IE7 is in the works, but no ETA and not a high priority.

    We live inside a pretty robust firewall and proxy server, and I don't use the system outside the office unless I'm VPN'd in through the proxy. Infestations are rare and so far always caused by bypassing the proxy. No one on our team is aware of any malware getting into our systems, other teams have different experiences.

    It's not like I can choose at work. At home, it's Firefox mostly and IE7 other

"If the code and the comments disagree, then both are probably wrong." -- Norm Schryer