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.
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.