Former Microsoft execs launch IE 6 migration product

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.

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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 has covered the tech industry for 30 years for a variety of publications and Web sites, and is a frequent guest on radio, TV and podcasts, speaking about all things Microsoft-related. She is the author of Microsoft 2.0: How Microsoft plans to stay relevant in the post-Gates era (John Wiley & Sons, 2008).

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  • RE: Former Microsoft execs launch IE 6 migration product

    XP and IE6 are dead. It's time to start letting go.
    The one and only, Cylon Centurion
    • RE: Former Microsoft execs launch IE 6 migration product

      grats on getting it. totally something a mac user would say though
      domma
  • RE: Former Microsoft execs launch IE 6 migration product

    Gotta think that folks like Spoon.net are already able to do this.
    Rod@...
    • RE: Former Microsoft execs launch IE 6 migration product

      @Rod@...
      1) Virtualizing IE6 is a violation of the EULA, if you can successfully do it. Much bigger names in the application virtualization space like Thinstall, App-V, & SVS have dealt with this for far longer than Spoon.
      2) Virtualization and sandboxing doesn't work if the the web app hosts Java, COM, Flash, or Silverlight objects that directly interact with drivers, hardware, applications or locally installed services. This is the vast majority of app compat issues. These are often unresolvable without a partial rewrite taking into consideration the abstraction necessary.
      3) The majority of migration issues exist because some version of a 3rd party line-of-business application critical to operations is not supported on any other browser. A company can't upgrade off the version because they've modified it to hell, and the 3rd party that manufactured it has long moved past that version.
      Many people don't understand how incredibly widespread issue #3 is above and how difficult this issue is to resolve when you're talking about an application that is mission critical to a business. This is the singel greatest reason companies look at the issue and say, "Screw it. We'll live with the risk and run an N-3 version of the browser." I don't know if UniBrows is the answer but if it gives companies another alternative to say YES to in moving forward with their migration plans, I'm all for it.
      bruinsensei
      • RE: Former Microsoft execs launch IE 6 migration product

        @bruinsensei
        Windows 7 has Windows XP Mode already to solve this issue, and its free. http://www.microsoft.com/windows/virtual-pc/default.aspx
        SneakerZ
      • RE: Former Microsoft execs launch IE 6 migration product

        @SneakerZ
        XP Mode is unmanageable in the enterprise on anything other than small scale.
        It's a whole XP VM. Meaning you have to run another AV client, and software delivery client etc etc
        rik9000
  • Could have picked a more serious name

    This really brings to mind people with eyebrow issues.
    cgarrett
  • RE: Former Microsoft execs launch IE 6 migration product

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