What enterprise still uses IE 6? Try Intel

What enterprise still uses IE 6? Try Intel

Summary: Internet Explorer 6 is a relic, but corporations continue to cling to it. At this point, IE 6 in the enterprise is common, but it's nonetheless surprising when Intel---Microsoft's long-time partner---is still using the ancient browser.


Internet Explorer 6 is a relic, but corporations continue to cling to it. At this point, IE 6 in the enterprise is common, but it's nonetheless surprising when Intel---Microsoft's long-time partner---is still using the ancient browser.

In a blog post walking through its implementation of Windows 7, Intel talked a lot about the "heavy lifting" involved with moving from XP to Windows 7.

Turns out the browser is part of the heavy lifting. Intel writes:

The requirement to use Internet Explorer 8 introduces even more challenges.  Intel has delayed deployment of IE7 and IE 8 in our intranet due to known issue with some very important applications.  With the move to Windows 7, IE8 becomes a "must have" compatibility.  IE8 does offer an IE7 compatibility mode, which can mitigate some issues, but other applications are written to require IE6, and mitigation of these issues must be addressed.  There are also known issues with such things as Office Web Components, IE plug-ins, java versions, etc., that can really make this a challenge.

In a nutshell, despite security concerns, users that are tired of a primitive browser and other issues IE 6 chugs along---even at Intel.

Ed Bott: It's time to stop using IE6 More on IE 6: Die IE6! DIE!!! Will switching from Internet Explorer make you safer? If IE6 decommissioned; Google attack may never have happened? Microsoft's compatibility conundrum: When is it wrong to do the 'right' thing?

Intel's post is also notable because it highlights user account control (UAC) as a implementation challenge for a company its size---more than 80,000 users. Intel skipped Vista, but was an early partner with Microsoft on Windows 7. However, Windows 7 is still a lot of work.

Intel writes:

What does all of this mean?  It means that a significant amount of work needs to be invested to prepare for Windows 7 application readiness. Comprehensive application inventories,  application owner engagement, user segment analysis, test environments, testing workflow, remediation plans & tools, and "safety net" environments all have to be managed.

In an update to the post, Intel said that it sees value in moving to Windows 7 and plans to cut operating costs by $11 million over the next three years by moving to the latest operating system. However, those savings don't amount to anything more than a rounding error for Intel, which had operating expenses of $13.8 billion in 2009.

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Topics: Browser, Intel, Microsoft, Operating Systems, Software, Windows

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  • there is a right way to support legacy browser on intranet...

    simply restrict it's use to the intranet only, and don't allow traffic to/from the internet.

    I have XP sp2 on a VM under ubuntu and combined with the free zonealarm it is painfully easy. If corporations upgrade to Win7 even a cheap dual-core 2gb+ should be able to run XP virtualized without a performance hit at all.

    VMware workstation is nice it allows seamless windowing so you don't even notice you have a vm session at all. painless...
    • But watch out for Intel processors that don't support VT.

      Be careful for what computer you're choosing to buy.
      Grayson Peddie
      • More AMD processors have VT support, and at a lower price.

        The best solution might be for Intel to switch to AMD.
        Lester Young
        • Hold your breath.

          This will happen about the same time that Apple programmers use Windows machines.
    • RE: What enterprise still uses IE 6? Try Intel

      CSS has released a solution running Virtual IE6/IE7/IE8 on any Windows OS including Windows 7 leveraging Microsoft App-V; Solution could be found here:<br><a href="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3cccFGXORmE" target="_blank" rel="nofollow">http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3cccFGXORmE</a>
  • Did Intel perform any testing with Vista?

    Even if they had no plans to move to Vista testing it would have gone a long way towards identifying issues and giving them the chance to work towards a resolution before the release of Windows 7.
    • Naaah, that would require foresight. (nt)

      Lester Young
    • Yes, they did

      They found that many of their internal applications, many of which are essential to their business, were not written following MS' guidelines and so would require modification, testing and re-deployment before they'd work on Vista/Win7.

      Like many companies, Intel has many thousands of internally developed applications. Many of these apps have been around for YEARS and were build by teams of contractors with little architectural oversight. I know many of their apps, for example, write data to subfolders of the Registry's HKLM rather than HKCU resulting in frequent UAC pop-ups.

      Alas, for all their chip-building prowess, they invest very little in maintaining their internal infrastructure. This is why they're still predominantly on XP today!
      • Old, time honored, saying:

        The shomaker's son walks bare foot.
        Yam Digger
      • Seriously?

        "I know many of their apps, for example, write data to subfolders of
        the Registry's HKLM rather than HKCU resulting in frequent UAC pop-

        What?! Seriously?! Man... I remember thinking back when ActiveX
        came on the scene in IE 3 and what a BAD IDEA? that was for security
        (I know there's more security now and all that hoo-hah) but why in
        God's name does a web app need to write to your registry? That's
        seriously messed up...

        It's like corporate America is saying:
        "Please China and all other corporate espionage outfits, come take all
        our IP, we don't want it, we have left the doors wide open, send some
        user an enticing link and own owr corporate boxes, PLEASE, we are
        practically begging you!"

        Gosh, do they have pages with Frontpage extensions they need to
        migrate too :P
        • Every App. does that

          Every Application writes to the registry, I haven't seen one that doesn't,
          get a copy of SysInternals Process Monitor;
          start it and set the display to auto scroll and watch the list as it scrolls by with everything that's open accessing reading & writing to the registry,
          as a test, I opened Process Monitor and then opened notepad, which generated almost a full page of registry events, just to open it.
          everything you do on windows is recorded in the registry.
          Who Am I Really
  • VB apps: IE7 runs them, IE8 doesn't

    We've tested IE8 with our VB apps, and we've found they don't work under IE8. It's not my area, but I spent 20 minutes trying to tweak security settings on IE8, virtually disabling all of the security on IE8, and it still wouldn't work. I ended up uninstalling IE8 and going back to IE7 so I could use those apps.
    • Um...

      VB apps don't actually use a browser to run...do you perhaps mean VBScript web apps?
      • He means ActiveX VB 6 Apps...

        Heard that story from a friend...

        Seems the security scope of IE8 is broken or over paranoid. People are having trouble executing simple VB 6 ActiveX plugins in IE8 which should run. One friend of mine told me it's worst on Vista SP3 (have no idea if Windows 7 remedied this).

        Bottom Line: There's lot's of inhouse ActiveX "enhancements" that can't cope with UAC and Vista/7 strange file system. Those are no longer maintained 'cause there's very few people who know VB 6 at this time.
  • Hey Intel:

    upgrade your apps to make them compatible.

    If not their best bet is to Virtualize IE6, using an Application Virtualizer or use remote app, and as another user suggested, limit it to be able to work on the local Intranet only.

    Running IE6 Intel and others are a big target.
  • All to True - Especially for bigger companies

    I work for a Fortune 50 company that is still stuck in the XP/IE6 time warp, and from what I know, there are no plans to upgrade. The bigger the company, the more out of control the IT environment gets. We have distributed, enterprise Java apps (yuck) that would break in IE7 or 8 and so we trudge along with ancient XP and (dangerous) IE6. Probably 5 years from now we will still be using them (sad).
    • i feel your pain

      i'm at a large regional hospital with 5000
      desktops, we're anchored to xp/ie6 by a ge
      centricity medical records software package. to
      add insult to injury, parts of this software
      require java 1.4 to run. so not only old
      browser, but old java, then when an app comes
      along that requires a NEW version of java you
      have to kludge something together to get
      everything to work just right, then of course
      after you do this enough times it seems as if
      just the slightest odd breeze can make the
      machine crash hard.

      fun times.
      Valis Keogh
      • Same app and same problem here.

        I have to go through the same conversation every time someone asks why we aren't on IE7 or IE8. The worst part is some of the websites the billers here use no longer support IE6 so I have to have them use Firefox instead.

          Would you not say that the actual problem with this (and other people's similar stories here) situation is the fact that the vendors is the problem? I mean, a vendor creates a program for IE6 and is too lazy to fix it for IE7-8?

          The medical industry seems the worst at this situation! My Cardiologist (who is also a good personal friend) has the same story, in that their system is on wi-fi, but uses (and he's stuck with) Windows 2000, because his medical programs vendor won't update it for even XP! I asked him if they had tried to use XP and he told me that they did, and the entire system crashed and they had to get back to 2000 to come back up!

          I think a lot of our problems in the computing world is NOT Windows vs Mac vs Linux, but really lazy programmers that want to get their software to market as quick as possible, and so they write it with archaic tools, and when it doesn't work with Windows Vista, they tell you "it's not designed to do that! You need to stay with XP!"
          I get tired of hearing this! When I show a client how fast and secure Win7 is, then find out that his software for his printers won't work with it, and the Vendor will not provide an upgrade to make it work. Even though his machines will upgrade to Win7, of course he's NOT going to buy new printers to do so until he has too. Whatcha think?
  • RE: What enterprise still uses IE 6? Try Intel

    I can understand why they want to stay with IE6, but for me I upgraded to IE7 then IE8 almost immediately. The tabs were a must have feature. No more multiple windows, just one window with multiple tabs.
    Loverock Davidson