Why is Microsoft really hitting down hard on IE6?

Why is Microsoft really hitting down hard on IE6?

Summary: Microsoft has had enough with the IE6 browser and wants users to migrate to newer versions. Or, is it just washing its hands of a flaw-filled browser?

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TOPICS: Microsoft, Browser
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If Microsoft is serious about users upgrading from its out of date, insecure Internet Explorer 6 browser in older versions of Windows, it should also promote other browsers to accelerate its demise.

The company is getting desperate and has resulted in reverse marketing its own predicted death of the browser, by drawing attention to it.

Frankly, the fact that Internet Explorer 6 still has a 12% browser share, it makes Microsoft look bad compared to these younger, better looking and more advanced browsers like Chrome and Firefox.

(I bet at least 1 in 3 members of the Generation X reading this article just spat out their coffee in fury).

But there is a solution to get there quicker, Microsoft, but you might not like it.

Mary Jo Foley reported that many businesses are stuck with the browser for the way web applications interact with it. Another theory is the rise of piracy in developing centers of the world, which are using pirated copies of Windows XP even still, and has the browser set as default in the outdated operating system.

If businesses can't afford to upgrade, and pirate copy holders are too poor to buy a genuine copy of Windows, it adds to Microsoft's sticky situation.

If the company was so serious about this objective, it would promote other browsers - just as it was forced to do by European regulators which questioned the dominance of Microsoft's pre-installed browser.

But it isn't.

Naturally it wants to hold onto its browser marketshare for all of its most recent browsers, Internet Explorer 7 through to the new soon-to-be released Internet Explorer 9.

But I am not all that convinced Microsoft is entirely focused on its seemingly sole objective of having "a less than 1% usage worldwide". The security flaws alone keep Microsoft in the counter-threat business by forcing it to plug the holes in its own software.

It was only last month I was so enraged by the fact that nearly a billion people were affected by one flaw which had the potential to wreak havoc across the entire planet, I quit using any version of Internet Explorer altogether.

I strongly suspect that if Microsoft's IE6 reaches a global browser marketshare of less than 1%, it can effectively wash its hands of a browser which at first gave it the much needed worldwide boost over rivals, but has now dragged it through the negative press bureau and sullied its initial victory to a point of no return. 

Is Microsoft washing its hands of the browser in the right or wrong way?

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Topics: Microsoft, Browser

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48 comments
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  • RE: Why is Microsoft really hitting down hard on IE6?

    Lazy IT admins are also to blame. If they really cared about security they would push to move away to newer browsers (IE or otherwise)
    antonio_tirado@...
    • RE: Why is Microsoft really hitting down hard on IE6?

      @antonio_tirado@... "Lazy IT admins are also to blame. If they really cared about security they would push to move away to newer browsers (IE or otherwise)"
      What do you expect the IT admins to do about this? Remember that the article said that many organizations (read large organizations) still use IE6 because they have web applications that will only run on it. Do you really expect, for example, city/county governments to undertake large and costly upgrades of their existing web apps in these times of shrinking budgets? Not likely.
      tacticsbaby
      • RE: Why is Microsoft really hitting down hard on IE6?

        @tacticsbaby

        Yes! If they understood how much they could lose through a security breach they would do the upgrades immediately. It is up to the IT admins to educate management as to the risks.
        jorjitop
      • RE: Why is Microsoft really hitting down hard on IE6?

        @jorjitop
        "Yes! If they understood how much they could lose through a security breach they would do the upgrades immediately. It is up to the IT admins to educate management as to the risks"
        sure that people must be stupid, they don't understand that they just need to throw a few more millions to redo all they web infrastructure, developed under the premise "all the way, all Microsoft ", too bad the foundation was rotten, no problem, just they need to understand that they were wrong to be trapped by MS technologies.
        theo_durcan
      • RE: Why is Microsoft really hitting down hard on IE6?

        @tacticsbaby

        They can pay now and control their costs, [b]OR[/b] they can go bankrupt when they get hacked and have uncontrollable costs.
        CobraA1
      • RE: Why is Microsoft really hitting down hard on IE6?

        That's what happens when you get stuck with one monopolistic vendor. Back when IE6 was released, there really weren't a whole lot of alternatives out there and M$ was pleased with all this. They had their captive audience already with .NET and all.

        Now it's bitten them back on the bum and they can't get rid of it. They get what they deserve.
        LTV10
      • RE: Why is Microsoft really hitting down hard on IE6?

        @tacticsbaby
        ABSOLUTELY! The excuse (a poor one, at that)is self-defeating since it has been known for a very long time that IE6 would be phased out completely! One would think that 15 years would provide sufficient time to engineer a workaround at the least or a outright replacement being ideal.

        City/county governments lease their software/hardware packages. Few own their equipment outright. Hardware doesn't last forever and neither does software. Leases can be structured to ease the financial burden up front. With city and county governments being on short financial leashes as tacticsbaby suggests, it may be time for them to change vendors.
        nkfro
    • RE: Why is Microsoft really hitting down hard on IE6?

      @antonio_tirado@...
      Rubbish. Most of them are locked due to stupid web developers who developed their wares to MS standards and not open standards. This is why open standards are the best thing for all.
      IE4, 5, 6 developers == stupidity (or maybe it was their managers)
      deaf_e_kate
  • RE: Why is Microsoft really hitting down hard on IE6?

    IE 6 is only ten years old now and three versions behind. It's a crime that Microsoft isn't going to support it for a quarter century. :-)
    Tiggster
    • RE: Why is Microsoft really hitting down hard on IE6?

      @Tiggster
      IE6 is 4 years old, considering that XP/IE6 was the flagship OS/browser combo they were selling until recently, when they started shipping Win7.
      theo_durcan
      • News Flash!

        @theo_durcan
        Microsoft released Windows XP in [b][u]2001[/u][/b]. The browser it came with was IE 6. This is 2011. Do the math...

        Did you completely forget about Windows Vista? That was released in 2007. It came with IE 7. (Yeah, yeah.. I know. Who remembers Vista... Blah blah blah...)

        Windows 7 arrived in October 2009 with IE 8. And now we're getting IE 9.
        Wolfie2K3
    • Disagree

      @Tiggster
      "It's a crime that Microsoft isn't going to support it for a quarter century."

      No, the crime was MS bringing out this bloated, incompatible browser in the first place!
      rahbm
      • RE: Why is Microsoft really hitting down hard on IE6?

        @rahbm
        Microsoft is a crime
        deaf_e_kate
      • RE: Why is Microsoft really hitting down hard on IE6?

        @rahbm Stupid comments do not support your argument. Before complaining about 'bloated, incompatible' software, remember that some IT personnel think they know more about the software than its creator. The tweaks they make may not turn problematic for weeks or months - even years, depending on how often new software is introduced into the system environment. Not every IT guy is as sharp as you...or as sharp as you think you are.
        nkfro
  • You're over-reacting there

    [i]It was only last month I was so enraged[/i]

    OK. To most others it was just a different browser with a different problem. Big Deal.

    [i]I strongly suspect that if [Microsoft] (IE6?) reaches a global browser marketshare of less than 1%, it can effectively wash its hands of a browser which at first gave it the much needed worldwide boost over rivals, but has now dragged it through the negative press bureau and sullied its initial victory to a point of no return.[/i]

    Was that a mistype?

    [i]If the company was so serious about this objective, it would promote other browsers[/i]

    Right, just as Apple does with it's platforms. And who's browser does Google push to everyone? So sayin that if they were "so serious about this objective, it would promote other browsers" is idiotic at best.

    I'm serious about ending global conflict, but I won't sacrafice my family and freinds lives to that end. Hello, same thought process!!

    I think on this day, you aren't really talking from a logical starting point.
    Will Farrell
    • RE: Why is Microsoft really hitting down hard on IE6?

      @Will Farrell Agreed!
      tacticsbaby
    • RE: Why is Microsoft really hitting down hard on IE6?

      @Will Farrell Agreed!
      xplorer1959
  • RE: Why is Microsoft really hitting down hard on IE6?

    "Another theory is the rise of piracy in developing centers of the world, which are using pirated copies of Windows XP even still, and has the browser set as default in the outdated operating system."<br><br>So what? Internet Explorer 8 installs fine on pirated copies of Windows XP.<br><br>"Mary Jo Foley reported that many businesses are stuck with the browser for the way web applications interact with it."<br>
    So what? Enterprise can use UniBrows so that those legacy applications for IE6 can run on IE8.
    illegaloperation
    • RE: Why is Microsoft really hitting down hard on IE6?

      @day2die Yes, but for a long time it required genuine validation.
      zwhittaker
  • RE: Why is Microsoft really hitting down hard on IE6?

    "Another theory is the rise of piracy in developing centers of the world, which are using pirated copies of Windows XP even still, and has the browser set as default in the outdated operating system."

    I wish more bloggers would see XP as such. Many on here still think XP can be used to preform measurable analysis, and still think XP can be used to judge Microsoft by.
    The one and only, Cylon Centurion