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IE6's long farewell: What does it say about us?

IE6's slow death says a lot about the enterprise, which is one reason the browser stuck around as long as it did.
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Written by Larry Dignan on

Usage of Internet Explorer 6 has dropped below 1 percent. Microsoft and security pros everywhere are happy about IE6's demise.

Microsoft has some shtick about the whole IE6 death meme, but it's worth asking why this decrepit browser lasted as long as it did. In many respects, IE6's slow death---it was like watching paint dry---says a lot about the enterprise, which is one reason the browser stuck around as long as it did.

Here are some thoughts on the meaning behind IE6's end:

  1. Corporations moved at a glacial pace. Yes Virginia, you still can get a laptop with a Windows XP image and an IE6 browser. What's it mean? A few companies still don't value modern Web standards and may never upgrade PCs again until employees walk out.
  2. Enterprises boxed themselves in by programming applications to work with IE6. As Microsoft moved on, companies stayed in place. Tight budgets meant that IE6 stuck around way past its useful life.
  3. People view change and then puke. You'd think a browser swap would be simple. It's odd that Microsoft had to mount a kill IE6 campaign. People---who happen to make up companies---frequently resist change. IE6 was like an old blanket that wore thin after being carried around for a decade.

Check out the tortured tale of IE6:

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