Still stuck on Microsoft's IE 6? There's an updated tool for that

Browsium has a new version of its 'get off IE6' tool that is no longer based on Microsoft's IE6 browser engine.
Written by Mary Jo Foley, Senior Contributing Editor

Browsium -- the company formed by a number of former Softies to tackle Internet Explorer (IE) migration challenges -- is back with a new and improved version of their tool.

The new Browsium Ion builds on Browsium's UniBrows product, introduced last year. Unlike UniBrows, which used the original, native IE6 engine, Ion uses the engines Microsoft built into IE8 and IE9 to enable legacy Web apps to run on Windows 7.

Browsium's tools are targeted at business users who are stuck running IE6 on XP because 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 IE8 — but not IE9, since Microsoft doesn’t support IE 9 on XP. But the upgrade process can be difficult and costly.

IE6 usage in the U.S. is currently under one percent, according to Net Applications, but is higher in many other countries. At the end of last year, Microsoft announced plans to begin pushing automatically in 2012 the latest version of IE to users via Windows Update, which the company is hoping will further erode IE 6’s marketshare.

Browsium is targeting those users who want to get off IE6 and Windows XP but are hampered by internal dependencies on those products.

With Ion, which doesn't use the older native IE6 rendering, JavaScript, ActiveX and security design, Browsium is eliminating possible licensing uncertainties due to Microsoft prohibitions against running two different versions of IE on a single Windows installation. Ion also allows multiple versions of Java to run side-by-side in Internet Explorer tabs. It also provides granular control of Internet Explorer security settings, allowing administrators to customize settings per web application rather than for the browser as a whole, according to the company's press release.

As of January 30, the Browsium Ion 60-day Evaluation Kit is available for download from the company’s website. Ion pricing varies by the number of PCs in an organization with the base and per-seat licenses sold on a yearly subscription. (The original UniBrows tool cost $5,000 for a base license fee plus $5 per seat.) Ion is available as a free upgrade f or existing UniBrows customers.

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