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Corporate IT Just Won't Let IE6 Die 479

alphadogg writes "Security experts, industry analysts, and even Microsoft recommend that IT departments upgrade Internet Explorer 6, yet new research shows that while there may have recently been a mock funeral for the aging browser, IE6 is still around and doing well, especially during standard business hours." The article says that they are seeing 6-13% peaking during business hours. Around here we see less than 1.5% IE6, but since we see only 10% IE in general, I imagine we're just lucky.
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Corporate IT Just Won't Let IE6 Die

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  • by stillpixel ( 1575443 ) on Tuesday April 27, 2010 @09:56AM (#31998812) Homepage Journal
    but I'm working on it! The only way to get Corporate/Management off of IE6 is to fix any web apps you have in your organization that won't work on anything but that.
    • by fieldstone ( 985598 ) on Tuesday April 27, 2010 @10:00AM (#31998868)
      But... isn't using IE6 in a corporate environment the equivalent of saying, "Yes, please infect my computers with malware without warning!"? That's not even to touch matters of compatibility... Doesn't security mean anything? And wouldn't most IE6 web apps work in IE8 under its compatibility mode... or am I being overly optimistic about said compatibility mode?
      • by Nadaka ( 224565 ) on Tuesday April 27, 2010 @10:14AM (#31999070)

        You are being over optimistic about compatibility mode. It isn't identical to what it is supposed to emulate.

        • by catmistake ( 814204 ) on Tuesday April 27, 2010 @12:01PM (#32000584) Journal
          I think everyone is being overly optimistic about the advantages of upgrading Windows. What I see is eye candy and a few nice features (that we've all envied on other systems, that we —want— but aren't essential) that is distracting everyone away from the fact that all of the official and notorious "Windows headaches" are alive and well in the new version. So... the status quo sucks but it's working somewhat... it's a level of Hell we know well, and the marketing pressure is to ... give it all up for a prettier Hell, that isn't as familiar to us (and the millions that we rely on for support). I'm surprised that not more corporate IT has decided to hunker down, harden/strip/customize/(virtualize?) a Corp standard XP desktop w/ all client/serverapps tweaked, supported by netindustrialzed/superhardened 2003 server(s)... and isolate and freeze that paradigm in carbonite... and begin building layers insulating the environment from possible future headaches with MS or Semantec or whatever breaking it from the outside.

          Before it's said, so what if IE6 doesn't work on the web anymore? Either sandbox everything or keep IE6 for internal webapps alone, prevent it from ever going wan, and just give the diligent users another browser for surfing the web or youtube during the other 6 hours of their work day. Build in the systems breaking as part of the maintenance cycle... and with a lot of hands doing the same well documented things to keep it going, you have a system that can stand the 20 years or so it will take for a solution that advances the feature set enough that the migration pains are worth an actual, attainable benefit.

          so ... really the question isn't why are some corps dragging their feet on migrating to Windows 7... the question is why are so many corporations blowing money money on upgrading (when it's not *necessary*)? (Why should any corporation upgrade to Windows 7?)
          • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

            Either sandbox everything

            That's not a solution! Either IE6 keeps a high market share, dragging the whole web down because every site needs to spend 30% of their webdevs time writing hacks for it, or IE6 share drops and they won't be able to access many sites.

            keep IE6 for internal webapps alone, prevent it from ever going wan, and just give the diligent users another browser for surfing the web or youtube during the other 6 hours of their work day.

            I can just see the hundreds of support calls "The internet do

          • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

            by vtcodger ( 957785 )

            ***(Why should any corporation upgrade to Windows 7?)***

            You are suggesting that good enough is good enough? My God man are you trying to shut down the money machine and actually have IT provide cost savings? Or better yet fade away like Marx's idea of the fate of the ideal communist state?

            Do you have the slightest idea what your weird ideas will do to the economy?

      • by sgbett ( 739519 ) <> on Tuesday April 27, 2010 @10:17AM (#31999100) Homepage

        We see over 80% IE6, most of our users are NHS, hospital staff, clinicians etc

        Kind of appropriate in a way.

        • by fieldstone ( 985598 ) on Tuesday April 27, 2010 @10:23AM (#31999168)
          It's because of familiarity, I'm pretty sure. I've had clients absolutely refuse to use anything else, even IE8, because it "felt" (in other words, looked) different from what they were used to. My solution to this is usually one of the Firefox themes that makes Firefox look like IE. The IE6 one is pretty flawless.
          • by causality ( 777677 ) on Tuesday April 27, 2010 @10:31AM (#31999294)

            It's because of familiarity, I'm pretty sure. I've had clients absolutely refuse to use anything else, even IE8, because it "felt" (in other words, looked) different from what they were used to. My solution to this is usually one of the Firefox themes that makes Firefox look like IE. The IE6 one is pretty flawless.

            If a client cares about that more than all of the problems with IE6, then they should not have a position in their company that allows them to make IT-related decisions.

          • by Creepy ( 93888 )

            Our web product minimum version is IE6, so we have to have IE6 on some machines. I'd love to upgrade them to 7 or 8, but we can't until management gives us the go. If I work on one of those machines, I browse in IE6 because it is the only browser on those boxes (they're usually VMs).

            The plus side is none of our Linux or UNIX hosts support IE anymore. Solaris and Mac IE was a nightmare to support.

            • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

              by Bert64 ( 520050 )

              Why are you browsing from a VM like that anyway?
              If those machines exist so you can test your products in antiquated browsers, don't use them for anything else...

      • The core issue is that there is no IE6 compatibility mode. There are modes for IE5 and IE7, but not the version that everyone used.

        (It would probably be impossible to create a true "bug-compatible" mode for IE6, considering the vast number of bugs. But MS really screwed people here by giving them no upgrade path other than recoding everything.)

      • by amplt1337 ( 707922 ) on Tuesday April 27, 2010 @10:28AM (#31999254) Journal

        No, it's equivalent to saying "We need to run mission-critical software that won't run on higher versions of IE."

        I've actually had to go around uninstalling IE 7 and 8 from user machines and re-installing IE 6 because the users have to run IE6-only software, or the vendor's IE7 installer doesn't work, or there are bugs in the IE 7 version, etc. etc. Sure, I'd love to get rid of the vendor -- you think that's easy?

        Of course, I also encourage people to do any *ahem* personal browsing in Firefox anyway, but IE6 isn't going to go away until we don't need it. If the web-designer artistes out there want to complain about cross-browser compatibility, they can either bite me, or come down and do my users' jobs for them.

        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          by delinear ( 991444 )
          Can you not give them a VM for the mission critical stuff? Sooner or later it will become an issue, when MS stop supporting IE6 completely you can't continue to run a browser that's notoriously bad security-wise and is no longer even receiving patches, surely. Best to start the movement now as it will be more painful later, if users need IE6 for mission critical applications or sites, give them a VM. Blacklist everything apart from those sites/apps so they can't use the VM for all their browsing purposes an
      • by DigitalSorceress ( 156609 ) on Tuesday April 27, 2010 @10:34AM (#31999324)

        My company is still stuck on IE6 for users of our financial system because it appears to totally break if you try and use it with anything other than IE6.

        I don't ever touch that system, so I upgraded mine to IE8 and then proceeded to set FireFox with NoScript as my primary browser. I only use IE when a site I actually need for work refuses to work in FireFox or requires flash/shockwave which I have NOT installed on my FireFox (for my own sanity).

        If I want to do personal browsing while at work, I plug my MacBook into the visitor network to protect both my employer and myself from any Interwebz baddiez.

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by DdJ ( 10790 )

        Doesn't security mean anything?

        Yes! It simply doesn't meaneverything.

        A perfectly secure system that doesn't do anything is useless. But an insecure system that malfunctions and loses $5 with a 50% chance time you press a button is still worth using if it earns $11 when it doesn't malfunction.

        There's a cost/benefit analysis going on. For a lot of businesses, even with the insecurities and incompatibilities, the result of that cost/benefit analysis is "keep running IE6". The solution really is to take tho

        • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

          by Kjella ( 173770 )

          But you also have to remember the corporate politics of it. Ordering all web apps to be upgraded or replaced to be compatible with IE7/8 is a huge cost that's easy to put up on a powerpoint. A flow of IE6 problems may be hard to all count and estimate, and while it might add up over time it won't have nearly the same impact on this quarter's earnings. Particularly if it involves the risks of future security breaches where the estimates can be dismissed as alarmist. If you have the right (wrong?) kind of man

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      but I'm working on it! The only way to get Corporate/Management off of IE6 is to fix any web apps you have in your organization that won't work on anything but that.

      At the same time, more and more important sites out there need to stop supporting IE6. Where I work now, we are forced to use IE6 because it is "company standard", but it is accepted, at the same time, that we need to look up stuff on external web sites all the time. If those sites no longer support our browser, that would be an increasingly urgent reason to upgrade.

      Once that decision is taken, it would probably only take between 4 and 6 years to actually get the project implemented...

      • by Z00L00K ( 682162 ) on Tuesday April 27, 2010 @10:08AM (#31998980) Homepage

        In any case - all those in the surveys must be very lucky to see such low numbers when it comes to IE6.

        A system that I run still has more than 65% of the traffic from IE6, luckily the last clients have abandoned using IE 5.5.

        Other figures are 21.1% for IE7, 12.7% for IE8 and 0.8% for the other browsers (Firefox, Safari.)

        • 99.2% is absurdly high a market share for IE; most surveys put it somewhere in the 60-80% range, so I can only imagine that your site is highly Windows-specific. You don't run MSDN do you?
    • Re: (Score:2, Flamebait)

      by Lumpy ( 12016 )

      Yup they will get right on that right after they recode all the internal apps from VB6 to

      you have any idea how much VB6 crap is still rolling around inside corporations, even HUGE ones?

      you think they will be replacing the horribly borked .asp webapps soon? They wont fix them until forced to do so.. In other words, Microsoft stops issuing any patches for IE6 and warns everyone against using it for any reason.

    • by eln ( 21727 ) on Tuesday April 27, 2010 @10:47AM (#31999520)
      Exactly. Anyone who's had to deal with trying to get an internal development organization to update anything knows how painful it can be. Absent a clear and urgent need expressed from corporate executive management, they'll put your concerns on the back burner forever, especially if they also develop for external paying clients. So, if you have a tool that's only used internally, updates to that tool can take many months or even years to get done. Meanwhile, the poor downtrodden IT guys have to support the ancient monstrosity the whole company depends on but no one wants to spend the time or money updating because it doesn't immediately generate revenue. Thus, we get stuck with IE6 years beyond when it should have been retired.
    • by Lord Ender ( 156273 ) on Tuesday April 27, 2010 @10:49AM (#31999534) Homepage

      You are wrong. This is not "the only way." Another way to get off of IE6 is to create a "legacy application terminal server" which contains shit that you can't get rid of but don't want to have widely-deployed. Such a system should have tight security controls and should be very difficult to use (to encourage people to upgrade their apps).


        You don't have to go as far as making people connect to a terminal server IMO but I think you've got the right idea. Basically treat IE6 as what it now really is: a proprietary, lecagy client application. IE6 == 5250 terminal emulator is as charitable as you should any case an enterprise app that uses IE6 (and no later version) is a proprietary, legacy application no different from those other old, early client-server systems with pre-WWW proprietary client a

    • by rwa2 ( 4391 ) * on Tuesday April 27, 2010 @10:51AM (#31999564) Homepage Journal

      It's pretty hopeless, as far as I tell. The past 2 major aerospace/defense corporations I've worked for have invested heavily in rolling out all of their mandatory on-line training and timecard accounting using software that happens to only work in IE6. This mandatory training is required to meet all kinds of legal and policy requirements... ethics training, security training, etc. So it's not really the IT department per se that's holding everything back, other than not being more successful in standing by web standards back when they were deciding to deploy all that cruft.

      On the bright side, Firefox has really taken off as a secondary day-to-day browser. Microsoft really shot themselves in the foot with their vendor lock-in this time, since no major corporate customer could successfully upgrade to IE7 or IE8 because it would break all of their meticulously tested training and timecard apps. But they can certainly install and develop new apps for alternative browsers.

      This has also been a boon for virtualization... I've been running the corporate load of WinXP+IE6 under VMware, so I can actually have a 64-bit OS on the bare metal, yet comply with all the corporate application and security and encryption policies on my VM. As a nice side benefit, Outlook can't thrash more than 1 CPU or gobble up all my memory this way.

      I think Microsoft might finally regain some ground with corporate deployments with Windows 7 only because it provides a WinXP mode that might let them run all their legacy cruft. But it will still take 6 months to a year after Windows 7 was released for the IT departments to finish testing and remastering for widespread deployment, so we won't know for sure for another while yet.

  • I'm not exactly sure at this point why we are still using IE6...for a while we were sticking with it because we were using some legacy software that required IE6 to function properly (it literally didn't work with any other version, apparently), but we no longer use that stuff, idea why we are still stuck with IE6.

    I can understand why we still use XP, but not IE6.

    • by courteaudotbiz ( 1191083 ) on Tuesday April 27, 2010 @10:26AM (#31999218) Homepage
      I work as a consultant in a 5000 users company where the ONLY standard is IE6. The reason why we're stuck here is because mainly of poor development practices, using non W3C compliant standards to develop in house web applications that rely on IE6 proprietary features.

      The only way to get rid of it is to put a LOT of resources (see money) on making our in house apps standards compliant. The problem is that the developpers do not have the budget necessary because the top company managers (non tech) say "Hey, we can browse the web with IE6? So no money until it does not work anymore!"

      I just HOPE that in the future, development teams will fucking stick to standards!
      • by natehoy ( 1608657 ) on Tuesday April 27, 2010 @11:14AM (#31999872) Journal

        I just HOPE that in the future, development teams will fucking stick to standards!

        Microsoft sold senior management on a series of rapid application development tools that allowed developers to write very effective applications very quickly. Rational companies use the most effective tool to solve a business problem, and in a lot of heavy-Microsoft shops those tools were FrontPage, SQL Server, Visual(insert language here), and the rest of the Microsoft development suite that was almost free once you drank the whole glass of kool-aid, Cherry Redmond flavor.

        I don't think in all fairness that anyone could have predicted that Microsoft would not only break compatibility with other browsers, but also break compatibility with their own. The fact remains that a lot of software written with Microsoft toolkits from the IE6 era will only run on IE6. There is no IE6 compatibility mode in any meaningful sense of the term, and there is no "take the source code, shove it into this tool, recompile, now you're IE7+ compatible!" magic bullet, even when you have the original source code and the latest Microsoft tools. It requires recoding. Long, tedious, manual recoding.

        As far as external vendor software goes, hell, "follows Web standards" isn't even on the RFP checklist at many companies now, and it certainly wasn't back then. The "standard" was Microsoft, because that's what everyone ran. If you could write your software more cheaply by using an ActiveX widget, so be it. That's what you did. And Microsoft will always support this stuff, because that's what they do, right?

        The business shops around for the software that best solves the problem they have at the lowest price they can get away with. IT might get involved to make sure it works with the back-end systems, but very few people care too deeply about the desktop.

        Tons and tons of companies used those tools to write applications for their internal use and also for sale to other companies. Then Microsoft came out with IE7 and basically told all of those developers that their applications would need to be almost completely rewritten.

        Development teams will fucking stick to standards, but they are the standards of the company they work for, and last I checked IEEE doesn't run most companies unless I missed the global memo about the planetary business reorganization.

        I'm just glad I never got into desktop application development. Writing useful programming is a whole lot easier on the midrange field, because my apps run on a single box, and I don't give a rat's ass what version of telnet you use to access my apps as long as it supports the 5250 function keys. I'm free to think about functionality, performance, security, and stability. I don't deal with desktop compatibility and what shade of cerulean the "Accept" button needs to be.

    • We have it here, there are several webapps we use that are built for IE6. They have rolled out IE8 to select users to see if compatibility mode works for those apps. It appears to, so now they are scheduling a roll out of IE8 for later this year or early next. There is a more business critical roll out going on right now and they don't want to make such a change until the higher priority system has had all the bugs worked out.
    • by Ltap ( 1572175 ) on Tuesday April 27, 2010 @10:54AM (#31999612) Homepage
      One part resistance to change, two parts stupidity, three parts laziness, one part cheapness (don't want to dedicate time to testing and rolling out a major upgrade), and three parts apathy on the part of everyone.
  • Well... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by drolli ( 522659 ) on Tuesday April 27, 2010 @09:58AM (#31998838) Journal
    Once the crappy internal web applications for managing some forms have been duct-taped together by a student worker, nodody dares to touch a single thing. You can only get burned.
    • Call in a consulting team, get a quote for reworking it. Doesnt that neatly solve the problem?
      • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

        Call in a consulting team, get a quote for reworking it. Doesnt that neatly solve the problem?

        Pfft. Post the job on Rent A Coder. You'll get the job done cheap and good by some really hungry laid off IT guy that needs the money.

      • by drolli ( 522659 )

        Not if the consulting team messes up. If you are the one who called for them and something is fucked up in the eye of the upper morons (who may have hired the student doing the crap back then), it does not matter if the consulting team did their job right.

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

        by gstoddart ( 321705 ) on Tuesday April 27, 2010 @10:45AM (#31999482) Homepage

        Call in a consulting team, get a quote for reworking it. Doesnt that neatly solve the problem?

        I think you're grossly mis-underestimating the size of the organizations which are still mandating IE 6 as a corporate standard.

        For instance, the government of Canada, I believe, still uses IE 6 as a standard -- that represents something like 200,000+ users.

        The scope of the project to re-certify that much software isn't a small consulting team, and it's sure as hell not a "Rent-A-Coder" fix as suggested in a sibling post. You're talking about vast quantities of commercial software which are already deployed to a large user base.

        The problem becomes that IE 6 is deeply entrenched, and involved in a lot of tasks organizations aren't really willing to have too much down-time with. So, the status quo tends to become a factor.

      • Re:Well... (Score:5, Funny)

        by Captain Spam ( 66120 ) on Tuesday April 27, 2010 @11:16AM (#31999910) Homepage

        Call in a consulting team, get a quote for reworking it. Doesnt that neatly solve the problem?

        Now presenting: The Bean Counter - A one-act play.

        You: "This code is a mess! It was written by a bunch of low-grade college kids for cheap and is impossible to maintain! We need to call in a consulting team to get a quote for-"

        (in a flurry of papers, a tweed-suited bean counter appears, apparently from a pocket dimension, as there is no visual evidence to suggest where he came from, nor are there any obvious entrances to where he is standing now. You don't even recall him ever working in the company before; he just IS)

        Bean Counter: "NO! We need to save money over that plan! The money must be saved! SAVE IT! It's endangered!"

        You: "But... save money over what?"

        Bean Counter: (eyes grow wide) "MONEY! You save MONEY!!! Now look, we can easily solve this problem by hiring a bunch of low-grade college kids for cheap. That'll save us all sorts of money. Do this now."

        You: "But that's what got us in this mess in the first place! We can't-"

        Bean Counter: "Listen, you young punk, I know how money works. You don't. I've already gone over all the specs, and these college kids can write the same amount of codes for much less per-code than some fancy-schmansy overpriced professional. See this chart? It proves it."

        You: "That's not how code works! There's quality concerns that-"

        Bean Counter: (now furious) "DO YOU SEE THE CHART? LOOK AT THE CHART! THE CHART! THE CHART! It CLEARLY shows that the college kids can write an average of 650 lines of code more than your stupid 'trained professionals' per every dollar spent. That's called 'economical', you miserable snot! Are you TRYING to run this company into the ground?"

        You: "Do you even understand the basic economics of programming at all?"

        Bean Counter: "No! I don't waste my precious time and money with your worthless hobbies! I understand MONEY. Now shut up and do whatever it is you're paid to do, I've already got your boss putting MY plan in motion."

        (end scene)

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

      by scamper_22 ( 1073470 ) on Tuesday April 27, 2010 @10:47AM (#31999506)

      I'm an firmware engineer, but I recently built a few sites for internal applications. I wouldn't say I'm a web expert, but IE specific simply make things infinitely easier for an intranet.

      For example:
      We needed a way to submit jobs to a server and it required the full network share of a directory to process.

      So we show an openfiledialog. The user chooses a file (abc.tsv). The server processes the entire directory where that file is..

      In IE, you can extract the full path name of the file \\server\log\abc.tsv
      In firefox, you can only get the file name itself (abc.tsv).

      I fully understand why firefox does it this way from a security point of view. Anytime you upload a file, you certainly don't want the server knowing the harddrive structure of your local pc.

      But from a get things done point of view, I went with the IE way. I didn't have to have a special server file browser or anything like that. The user is presented with a standard windows file browser...
      As I said, I'm not a web developer, so maybe there were more elegant ways around this. Yet I don't consider my case very strange.

      The fact that IE gave me a relatively straight forward and familiar way to do something solved my problem.
      Firefox and other browsers don't.
      Hence, my app is now IE independent (well it works on all versions of IE).

      I can only assume others have taken a similar path.

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

        by plague3106 ( 71849 ) on Tuesday April 27, 2010 @12:03PM (#32000620)

        Yes, the path you describe is exactly the problem. You stepped outside your field, and did a poor job. Not your fault really, nobody should have asked you to do it, and I understand that you probably couldn't say no. But someone with the proper skills could have done it correctly and probably around the same kind of cost.

  • IE6 won't die until it's more painful to stay with IE6 than to upgrade away from it. So if you want to kill IE6, that means dropping support for IE6, or if you have paying customers, charge them more if they're using IE6, and tell them that. Game! [] did the former ages ago.

    • So if you want to kill IE6, that means dropping support for IE6, or if you have paying customers, charge them more if they're using IE6, and tell them that.

      Unfortunately, not all the people using IE6 are customers trying to access shopping sites.

      The non-profit I work receives a pile of grant money from several state and local governments, and because of this, we are required to submit grant activity data back to the sources. Guess which browser their reporting sites demand?

      One of the state agencies act

  • ... is another Google-like IE 6 attack. I'm not saying this should happen to Google again, just another large public company. That type of press coverage is the only way to get the attention of top brass.
  • Legacy apps (Score:3, Interesting)

    by GoJays ( 1793832 ) on Tuesday April 27, 2010 @09:58AM (#31998862)
    Many apps that run on IE 6 will not run correctly on IE 7 (not even thinking about IE8 yet). It can cost a company millions of dollars to upgrade or redevelop their proprietary applications and for what? Tabs? A fully patched IE 6 is just as secure as IE7, so why upgrade? I think many companies will skip over IE 7 and go straight to IE 8 when they upgrade machines from XP to Win7.
    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by Em Emalb ( 452530 )

      Many apps that run on IE 6 will not run correctly on IE 7 (not even thinking about IE8 yet). It can cost a company millions of dollars to upgrade or redevelop their proprietary applications and for what? Tabs? A fully patched IE 6 is just as secure as IE7, so why upgrade? I think many companies will skip over IE 7 and go straight to IE 8 when they upgrade machines from XP to Win7.

      Pretty much this, but I would like to expand this to state that at my company, we'd LOVE to upgrade and get the hell off of IE6 f

      • Re:Legacy apps (Score:5, Insightful)

        by DrgnDancer ( 137700 ) on Tuesday April 27, 2010 @10:35AM (#31999342) Homepage

        I realize this probably wasn't your fault in the first place, but it *is* your company's own fault. Eventually, Microsoft *will* stop supporting IE6 (XP is supposed to go out of support in a few years, and there's no IE6 for Vista or 7). Those millions of dollars *will* have to be spent. Why not start working on it now and spread the pain out. All of this "but it will cost us million of dollars to make our stuff work like it should have in the first place!" whinging by various corporate managers kind of ridiculous. You (not you personally, but generically "you IT managers") know they won't support this stuff forever, you could fix this over time and spend very little quarter by quarter, but you'd rather cry about the million of dollars it will cost all at once when you eventually HAVE to deal with it.

        • Re:Legacy apps (Score:5, Interesting)

          by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday April 27, 2010 @11:05AM (#31999756)

          Oh but you forget the joys of virtualization. IE6 can live forever in a VM. Enterprises can go for the next 20 years forcing their workers to use something that barely worked and was horrible even when the tech was current. I know there are people out there virtualizing Netware and NT4 which I fully expect to be doing some critical operations inside a VM like controlling machinery or whatever 100 years from now. I doesn't have to die, even though it probably should die.

      • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

        by sjames ( 1099 )

        This may not directly apply to you, you might not have been there at the time, but:

        Remember last century when a whole pile of GNU hippie types warned you that MS was trying to lock you in and you should make sure your apps comply with web standards and work with other browsers? Remember how they said you'd be very sorry one day if you didn't? Remember how you laughed off their concerns and said MS would never leave you in the lurch that way and it would all be fine? How surely MS would provide a painless up

    • That's just it. MS is not supporting IE6 anymore. To me that sounds like no more patches.

    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward

      Oh, the millions of dollars excuse again. You can keep IE6 for accessing internal applications, just deploy a modern browser for using the web and b2b web applications. It can't cost more to support than the cost of cleaning up a malware'd network. If it costs millions of company dollars to install and maintain a web browser, that is incompetence.

    • by dingen ( 958134 )
      How exactly will it cost millions to make an IE6 webapp compatible with IE7 or 8? IE has changed little to nothing between those versions and all the crap like ActiveX is still supported, so what's the problem?
      • Well, if they're using implementation quirks of IE6 which were not 100% faithfully replicated in IE7/IE8's compatibility mode (possibly due to security concerns), that would be one reason. And ActiveX, while still supported, is much more restricted in IE7/IE8; they may be assuming that the failure to work with a default configuration in IE7/IE8 means it isn't supported, rather than restricted by default but configurable.
        • by dingen ( 958134 )
          So the worst case scenario is the case of an exceptionally terrible webapplication which depends on weird IE6 quirks which aren't available in any other application. Isn't the solution as simple as getting some kid as an intern in the summer to fix the stuff that doesn't work? How will that cost you millions?
  • We still see 22% (Score:5, Informative)

    by ducomputergeek ( 595742 ) on Tuesday April 27, 2010 @09:59AM (#31998866)

    22% of all hits to our site are from IE6, but IE 6 users still account for something like 40% of all orders (i.e. revenue) for the site. And anytime we break anything with IE6 we hear about it quickly. This is down from about 45% of all browser hits and nearly 60% of all orders last year.

  • One really big reason is there are some business software companies out there that wrote specialized applications using M$ tools that ONLY WORK in IE6. We have a huge problem with a CRM system at my company, and the vendor is very-very slow to change it. We've managed to get it to work in "Compatibility Mode" with some tweaking in IE8, but I can see why some larger companies don't want to invest the time and money in it right now. It really is ridiculous- IE6 is a pox on the Internet and NEEDS to die.
  • Hey Taco (Score:5, Interesting)

    by epiphani ( 254981 ) <epiphani@ d a l . net> on Tuesday April 27, 2010 @10:00AM (#31998876)

    Just out of curiosity, what is the browser breakdown here?

    • FF 3.6/Chrome/IE8 (in order of most used to least used, with the last two having never been used in the past 6 months).

    • by sznupi ( 719324 )

      OS breakdown here would be interesting, too.

      • Re:Hey Taco (Score:4, Funny)

        by Thanshin ( 1188877 ) on Tuesday April 27, 2010 @10:36AM (#31999366)

        OS breakdown here would be interesting, too.

        27/04/2010: The day slashdotters discovered they were all connecting with windows using IE6 and lying about just about everything. The page was closed and replaced with a porn site, for ever and ever.

    • We run a javabased VNC through IE on an NT box that connects to to a Win7 box running Feisty Fawn on VirtualBox running Ice Weasel for Gopher sessions.

  • by Palestrina ( 715471 ) * on Tuesday April 27, 2010 @10:00AM (#31998878) Homepage

    If you are still using I.E. 6 then you do not have "Corporate IT". Someone should go into the server room and poke the guy with a stick, and see if he moves. If not, call 911 on your rotary phone.

    • I was about to tell you you were wrong. I was about to tell you that some places are stuck with web apps that don't support anything but IE6.

      ...then I remembered that the last of our web apps finally implemented IE7 support several months ago, but no one has bothered to implement the simple pilot test it would take to confirm IE7 support for all applications and then migrate to IE7. I guess I better get the stick out and start poking.

    • by nosfucious ( 157958 ) on Tuesday April 27, 2010 @10:25AM (#31999208)

      Go poke the CIO instead. That's where the buck stops.

      An IT department can make all the technical cases it want to. However, until the equation of $$$StandStill is less than $$$Moveforward, $$$StandStill is where you'll be.

      And no, the CIO is almost never a technical weenie. It's just another seat on the board, with fat shareholder priviledges.

    • Rotary phone! You're lucky to have a rotary phone! In our office, all we use for communication are large, heavy, stone tablets. When our CEO goes overseas for meetings, we have a team carrying the Ark of Covenant containing all the contracts carved in stone. THAT, and IE6, is what a company with a long and glorious history should be using. You little startups need to get off our lawn.
  • Embedded Computing (Score:4, Interesting)

    by maxrate ( 886773 ) on Tuesday April 27, 2010 @10:02AM (#31998902)
    A lot of embedded devices (example, ThinClients) won't allow you to upgrade to a later version of IE. That could be a small part of the reason.
    • Embedded devices? The kind without a file system, right?

      TRWTF is that this is slashdot, not TDWTF...
  • We have a crappy 3rd party system that replaced our printed paystubs. It's called MyHR. Only works with IE6, and only works with "real" Adobe PDF viewer. The only way employees can check their pay information is to use a computer at work, through a VPN Citrix session, or to have the old crap programs on their home PC.

  • by Anonymous Coward

    Most IT departments have their hands tied for a majority of their projects. Be it, homegrown app compatibility, budget, balancing higher priority projects, upper management or what have you. I'm not surprised by this at all. Just because a piece of software is "retired" doesn't mean everything that relies on it is. IE6 is not going away completely for a LONG time.

  • Usually it's IE forcing crappy standards on websites. In this case, it's crappy web design ( slashdot ) forcing itself on the browser.

    Love slashdot, miss the old design that made what I'm interested in one click away.

  • We are in the same state because our IT hires the cheapest vendors for any given task, and historically, they provide IE6-only web apps, like our expense management system and our Siebel ticketing system. If I even try 50% of internal web apps with a standards compliant browser, I only get a partial page or a blank page. Why not publicly humiliate the vendors who write only for IE?
  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday April 27, 2010 @10:24AM (#31999188)

    We're using the security hole in IE 6 and 7 where you can execute code with IE's image parser.

    Our customer comes to our office for a meeting where he demands IE 6 & 7 support. We tell him to open his laptop and go to When downloading the google logo image we have configured our router to redirect to our infected image file.
    Then we tell our customer to reboot. After the reboot we tell him to check his mail inbox in outlook and then tell us what the new mail he has says.

    He gets really suprised when he sees his login password in clear text. And from that moment IE8 is a minimum requirement.

    This works on every customer we have tried it on, they take it seriously when they see the security threat in action. Most people think anti-virus and firewalls protects them. Our job is to tell them that updated software also protects them, and we've failed bigtime when it comes to that.

  • let ie6 only access the intranet and the applications inside the company it is needed for

    you don't even have to inspect packets for HTTP_USER_AGENT, no such filtering or gatekeeping nonsense at a network level: since you control the employee's desktop, just lock ie6 out programmatically. lock it down by subnet filter and make the property read only so savvier employees can't change it. employees get used to using two browsers: one for outside access, one for legacy apps

    thus you decouple the legacy app argum

  • by Entropy_ajb ( 227170 ) on Tuesday April 27, 2010 @10:38AM (#31999400)

    The company I work for is begrudgingly moving to IE8 starting a couple weeks from now. The only reason they are moving to it is because they are also starting to role out Windows 7, and IE6 isn't available for Windows 7.

    Therefore they have had no choice but to go through all of the internal sites and fix the numerous ones that only support IE6. Which was the only thing holding them back from pushing IE7/8 onto the XP machines. The good side effect of this is that for the most part all of the internal sites that have been upgraded to support IE8 also support Firefox now.

  • ...will be browsers like Firefox and Opera that have been set to report themselves as being IE6 just so corporate websites will let them on.

  • I love how this is always said like it is a sign of a failed IT dept. We still run IE6, we have to for more than one essential business apps that will not run in any other browser. Because of buyouts upgrades are not possible and we aren't given any funds for anything but keeping things barely running. Sure, it sucks, in a perfect world, we'd have been long off of it. Eliminating positions (mine included) and the current state of the economy on many businesses make this a pretty minor issue as far as those

  • by LanMan04 ( 790429 ) on Tuesday April 27, 2010 @12:17PM (#32000852)

    I run a large website in the financial sector. About 30k visits per day from "normal people", not techies:


    Within IE:

  • Corporate proxy (Score:3, Interesting)

    by gmuslera ( 3436 ) on Tuesday April 27, 2010 @01:49PM (#32002242) Homepage Journal
    Make internal users to have to use a proxy to access internet sites, and block in the proxy configuration external requests from IE6 user agent. That way they could still use IE6 for internal applications that require it, and force them to use another browser to access internet.

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