Former Microsoft execs launch IE 6 migration product

Summary:A handful of former Softies who worked on the Microsoft Internet Explorer team have launched a company that is tackling the IE 6 migration problem faced by many businesses.

A handful of former Softies who worked on the Microsoft Internet Explorer team have launched a company that is tackling the IE 6 migration problem faced by many businesses.

The new Redmond, Wash.-based company, Browsium, launched on March 15 its first product, known as UniBrows. UniBrows will enable "legacy IE 6-based Web applications to run on Windows 7 and IE 8 on Windows XP without modifying a single line of code," according to the company's Web site.

One of the main reasons that many businesses (in the U.S., at least) are still running IE6 on XP is they've built internally-facing applications that are dependent on IE 6. Microsoft has been encouraging customers, even those running on XP, to upgrade to IE 8 -- but not IE 9, since Microsoft doesn't support IE 9 on XP. But the upgrade process is difficult and costly. In fact, Gartner analysts dinged Microsoft last year on the cost of its IE 6 migration tools.

Browsium is touting UniBrows as a way for organizations to free up their Windows 7 upgrade path. The product makes use of an IE 8 add-on that enables IE 6 web applications to run in an IE 8 tab, enabling enterprises to upgrade PCs to Windows 7 while keeping their legacy IE 6 applications running unmodified, according to the company.

"UniBrows delivers complete IE6 functionality and behaviors by using the original, native IE6 rendering, JavaScript, ActiveX and security design," company officials said in today's press release. Administrators can create the rules and profiles for specifying which web applications should use the IE6 browser engine and legacy ActiveX components and which can use the IE 8 ones.

Browsium has been testing UniBrows with customers for the past six months, the release added.

UniBrows is licensed to organizations with 5,000 to 50,000 PCs with a $5,000 base license fee plus $5 per seat. Licenses, renewable yearly, include all updates and upgrades at no additional cost. Volume discounts are available. There's a 60-day free evaluation kit available at www.browsium.com.

Browsium's management team includes three former Microsoft IE execs: Matthew Heller, Browsium's Founder and CEO; Gary Schare, its President and Chief Operating Officer; and Matthew David Crowley, its Chief Technology Officer.

Topics: Windows, Browser, Microsoft

About

Mary Jo Foley has covered the tech industry for 30 years for a variety of publications, including ZDNet, eWeek and Baseline. She is the author of Microsoft 2.0: How Microsoft plans to stay relevant in the post-Gates era (John Wiley & Sons, 2008). She also is the cohost of the "Windows Weekly" podcast on the TWiT network. Got a tip? Se... Full Bio

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