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Microsoft has finally joined the campaign to warn the online world about what many consider their most ill-conceived software product. IE6 was widely panned for security vulnerabilites and incompatibility with established HTML standards.

Friends don’t let friends use Internet Explorer 6. And neither should acquaintances. Educate others about moving off of Internet Explorer 6.
There are many benefits of upgrading to a newer version of Internet Explorer – improved speed, tabbed browsing, and better privacy settings to name a few.
The web has changed significantly over the past 10 years. The browser has evolved to adapt to new web technologies, and the latest versions of Internet Explorer help protect you from new attacks and threats.
Link to IE6 countdown
 

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This website is dedicated to watching Internet Explorer 6 usage drop to less than 1% worldwide, so more websites can choose to drop support for Internet Explorer 6, saving hours of work for web developers.
They make it sound like someone has a gun to the web developers head saying "make this work with IE6". Just cut off IE6 at the door. I doubt the 12% that are still using IE6 have the capacity to change their browser. Until recently my employers used IE6. You could not install another version without running afoul of the systems management software. I did manage to get Chrome running and have not looked back.
 

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The problem is all the in house applications out there which were designed to cope with the weird stuff in IE6. Business critical systems internal to companies. Getting off IE6 may be as difficult as Y2k was.
 

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So you are saying it is the web developers not the users who are holding up the progress?
 

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At the time of IE6's release did a better browser exist?
I believe both Netscape and Firefox were available at the time. Firefox may have been an early release or still in beta but Netscape was mature, reliable and much more secure. There certainly were other browsers available. Don't forget that MS did not invent the graphical browser. Netscape did. There were text based browsers around long before Netscape as well.
 

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So you are saying it is the web developers not the users who are holding up the progress?
Actually, the web developers bosses who don't want to pay to have these applications updated to current standards.

Penny wise and pound foolish as Mom used to say.
 

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It's not just the bosses and bean counters. IT departments in large companies are notoriously slow to adopt new technologies. Software development companies are usually better in this regard but I've seen cases where developers were told to write software with management style tools. For example, making developers edit code with MS Word instead of a good programing editor. It's sometimes not so much money as ignorance that drives misguided standardization. I've seen my share of problems caused by penny pinching bosses and bean counters as well. That kind of stuff usually causes bad moral and loss of talent so they get what they deserve in the end.
 

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ScaryBob said:
I believe both Netscape and Firefox were available at the time. Firefox may have been an early release or still in beta but Netscape was mature, reliable and much more secure.
That's pretty funny. Around the time IE6 was released I also ran one of those early incarnations of Netscape based on the same Mozilla code that evolved and now powers Firefox. Netscape 6 (as it was named) was anything but stable or mature. In fact, I recall running it, it crashed almost immediately after I navigated to Ars Technica, and then the "please send us the crash dump" application launched where I could input what I was doing. Before I could type anything in *that* application also crashed. This was in spring/summer 2001 (i'm estimating the time frame based on the software that I was developing at the same time that I tested Netscape 6). I do remember that IE6 had very recently been released and I was running it on Windows 2000. Windows XP had recently RTMed, but wasn't available on the market quite yet.

Unless you're talking about Netscape 4.7 being stable, reliable and secure. That is also pretty funny. It's CSS implementation was so buggy that you could cause Netscape 4.x to chew up huge amounts of memory and/or crash by using CSS in your page.

It wasn't until late 2003 or 2004 when Firefox became a high quality browser, something that Netscape 6 never was.

I'm also not saying that IE6 is an amazing browser now, I'm just saying that it was much better than it's contemporaries. I was a software developer at the time and I had a pretty solid understanding of the capabilities of each browser was. I think anyone claiming that Netscape 6 was anything other than a big bloated, buggy mess is writing some revisionist history.

BTW, if program input causes an app to crash (like, say a null pointer exception) then that is a pretty good signal that there is also a possible security exploit based on the same bug.
 

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IE 6 Is really a zombie browser

Every time someone anywhere in the world installs a bootleg WIN XP on older pc hardware, without the upgrade service packs, it springs back into existence. I know so called home techs that do it all the time when their friends get what they think is virus trouble. So go figure.

Unfortunately it is also true that Windows XP after service pack 3 with IE 8 does not run very well on older PCS with less than about 512 meg of ram or an older integrated board with less than 16 meg of onboard vid ram.

My daughter had a boy friend that had his and his parents ¨tech friend¨ re-install XP on a regular basis....the only browser that they ever use is 6...

Face it in the real world a big part of the reason why IE6 won´t finally die is Microsoft´s policies, the public perception that there is no viable alternative to Windows software and the number of bootleg copies of XP floating around in the wild.

Microsoft is being hurt by its very success at creating fud against other operating systems and by their corporate bottom line need to force customers to upgrade so that they can sell more software.

Unfortunately there are still a great many P111 and early P4s or Athlon Dells, HP, etc that have either 256-512 meg of ram and HDD that are under 40 gig churning away on the net accessing facebook and the like. Not every grandma and grandpa can afford to run out and buy a 7 capable system!

And just about every gramma and grampa that owns one and goes on the net believes there is no browser other than Windows. This is how effective Microsoft has been at brainwashing computer users.


Just for the record the number of Busy-Box based devices that can access and browse the internet is now almost as great as the number of PCs that access the net with Windows. Grandma may own a Samsung Tv, LG or whatever BlueRay player and use it to access YouTube and the net and not even know that in reality she is using Linux!

So the old saw that ¨if Linux had the same market share as Windows it would be just as bad for the user¨ does not hold water. And the number of Android based devices is getting up there too.
Not that malware cannot happen it is just really hard to peddle it if everyone can see what you have actually written and what it really does!

It will take a pro-active response from ISPs and web developers to finally get rid of it. If a PC is an IE6 WinXP bot zombie then kill the customer access plain and simple. I can just hear the howl that will ensue if it comes to this.
 

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DancesWithLysol, I agree that Netscape was not good by contemporary standards and Firefox was in early stages. However, I never used IE6 and never felt the need. IE6 was quite a mess when it was released as well and continues to be to this day. Which browser is better is simply a matter of opinion that has been discussed elsewhere.
 

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DancesWithLysol, I agree that Netscape was not good by contemporary standards and Firefox was in early stages. However, I never used IE6 and never felt the need. IE6 was quite a mess when it was released as well and continues to be to this day. Which browser is better is simply a matter of opinion that has been discussed elsewhere.
You lose a little credibility if you actually believe that Netscape was a better browser than IE. Netscape was not only a buggy POS but it also had proprietary standards like IE6 but no one howled because Netscape wasn't Microsoft.

IE6 is still used heavily in the corporate and business world and that has to change if MS is serious about killing it off.
 

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ScaryBob said:
IE6 was quite a mess when it was released as well and continues to be to this day.
... except that it was less of a mess than all the other browsers available at the time. That is my point. What you are saying about IE6 being a mess when it was released would be like saying that Chrome 10 is a horrible browser because at some point in the future there will be much better browsers. Or that the iPad is a horrible tablet because in the future there will be much better tablets.

I would argue that a product should be measured at the time it was released, so in 2010 the iPad was the best tablet available and in 2001 IE6 was the best browser available.

I don't think you'll catch any web developers saying nice things about IE6 today, but a decade ago web developers preferred IE over the alternatives. At the time we were wishing the world would just ditch "Netscrap" so that we could get proper implementations of Javascript and CSS, and that we wouldn't have to design our websites twice.

BTW, from one of your earlier posts:

ScaryBob said:
I believe both Netscape and Firefox were available at the time.
I checked Wikipedia on Firefox (called Phoenix at the time) and apparently the first version, 0.1, wasn't created until September 23, 2002.
 

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A real IE6 threat comes from cheap old thin clients being reactivated.

IE6 is still used heavily in the corporate and business world and that has to change if MS is serious about killing it off.
You can bet that Microsoft is serious about killing it off. And they have government help. For example what I saw last week at the BC asset recovery depot here in Victoria.

The depot doubles as an electronic recycle drop centre...I dropped off my old dual p11 450 server there and low and behold the Government of BC was recycling 3 skids of IBM thinkcentre desktops ..you know the thin client variety ones that came with either 256 or 512 meg of ram.

Each skid contained at least 100. At one time they were reselling them cheap with their XP stickers attached...I guess they are stopping the practice. I have visions of them being loaded on a freighter then sent to some Asian sweat shop where the gold and rare earth stuff will be extracted by low paid manual labour before the rest is sorted for either disposal or metal recycle.

So there is help on the way for poor beleaguered Microsoft there will be at least 300 less re-installs of windows xp here in BC for them to deal with.

The more I see the truth about what is really happing the more cynical I become. Microsoft deserves to be finally brought to task for the economic waste, fud, and political motivated financial nonsense that it has helped to promote and create in the digital world!

If they say they really want to get rid of IE6 they can but it will cost them...and what this really means is that we will wind up paying to rid Microsoft of its daemons.
 

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I don't think I ever said that Netscape was better than IE6, just that I never felt the need to use IE6. IIRC, there were two versions of Netscape. There was the terrible, bloated AOL version and the lighter weight Open Source version. I used that latter. It was still badly bloated and buggy but it was no worse then IE6 in daily use. That effort became the Firefox project.

As to standards, MS was the worst offender, always has been and still is. It's just that the MS camp believes that their newly invented, de facto "standards" are better than all the others. It's true that Netcape was struggling to catch up with new standards. OTOH, MS just blatantly ignored them whenever possible in order to bully competitors and gain market share.

Like many Open Source projects, early versions of Firefox (prior to the 1.0 release) were quite usable and relatively stable (unlike MS releases that are often more like beta versions of Open Source software.) I used both Netscape and early versions of Firefox (called Phoenix initially.) I wouldn't say they were better than IE6. OTOH, IE6 was a bloated, buggy dog that didn't adhere to standards either. When Firefox reached 1.0 release status in 2004, it started winning awards as the best browser.
 

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ScaryBob said:
I don't think I ever said that Netscape was better than IE6, just that I never felt the need to use IE6.
Well, if we go back a number of posts I asked:

DancesWithLysol said:
At the time of IE6's release did a better browser exist?
... to which you replied:

ScaryBob said:
Firefox may have been an early release or still in beta but Netscape was mature, reliable and much more secure
Which certainly sounds to me like you were saying that Firefox and Netscape were both better than IE, except there are two problems with that statement:

1. Netscape (at the time) was certainly not better than IE6, nor was it more secure.
2. Firefox didn't exist in mid-2001.

I'm not debating that you may not have felt the need to use IE6. I'm debating the statements that you made about Netscape and Firefox circa 2001.


ScaryBob said:
There was the terrible, bloated AOL version and the lighter weight Open Source version.
Can you specify which version of Netscape you were talking about (version, release number)? By the "open source" version do you mean Mozilla? If so, then I used that too, and it was incredibly buggy. So much so that I'd say it was unusable, and it certainly wouldn't have met your "more secure" claim from earlier. It was well behind IE6 at the time. Perhaps you could be more specific about what version of what browser you were using?

ScaryBob said:
As to standards, MS was the worst offender, always has been and still is. It's just that the MS camp believes that their newly invented, de facto "standards" are better than all the others. It's true that Netcape was struggling to catch up with new standards. OTOH, MS just blatantly ignored them whenever possible in order to bully competitors and gain market share.
This is revisionist history. When IE6 was released it was the most standards-compliant browser available. They also implemented stuff like XMLHTTPRequest that weren't standardized (there was no W3C standard for them) and it was many years before the W3C versions were specified in a RFC. Sure, as a result there are a number of apps that were coded at the time to use IE6 specific features and not to a standard, but remember there was no standard at the time for that functionality.

Browser makers implement things that aren't standard all the time to push web technology forward, or to try out prototypes that can eventually be standardized. For example "Web SQL Database" was implemented by Chrome, Safari, and Opera. It's not a standard, and the W3C has even backed away from it. That doesn't mean that the browser vendors that implemented those features were "ignoring standards", indeed, they were trying to push the state of the art relating to web technologies forward. Just like Microsoft was doing in 1998-2001 with IE releases 4-6.

I can tell from your rhetoric that you don't have a technical background in web development. You're repeating statements that I've seen other people have made. I want you to understand that web standards isn't nearly as black-and-white has you make it seem. Indeed, these statements have been repeated so often that Microsoft is shy on implementing anything that hasn't been finalized by the W3C now. In fact, the reason why IE9 doesn't score 100% on ACID3 is because they didn't implement the ACID3 "standards" that aren't actually W3C standards yet where Google and Apple have. I'm curious, would you accuse Google or Apple of "believing that their newly invented, de facto "standards" are better than all the others"?

I prefer to look at this subject another way: standards that are designed by committee typically take forever to come out, and are often not embraced by developers. An example of this would be XHTML and how XHTML 2.0 got dropped due to lack of interest. In order for developers to determine the relative usefulness of a new standard/technology it is nice to have a working prototype so that you can take it for a spin and see if it helps you make better applications. By producing these prototypes of prospective standards Google, Apple, Mozilla and Microsoft (in 1999-2001, not anymore) are innovating and pushing the state of the art forward.

It should work like this:

1. Microsoft comes up with XMLHTTP.Request, releases it in IE
2. Developers use it to make AJAX applications
3. W3C notices it and creates a similar (but not identical XMLHTTPRequest standard)
4. Developers retrofit their existing software with the now standardized version

The "M$ sux0rs, they don't follow standards" bitching that subsequently follows is because step 4 isn't always carried out for legacy web applications, and these apps only work in IE. This is the fault of the custodians of this legacy software, not Microsoft.

If I were to fault Microsoft on IE, it would be due to their decision to release IE at the same cadence as their operating system releases and then taking forever to come out with Vista. This hurt the web, and Microsoft leadership is totally to blame. That is a completely different criticism than you're calling them out for. On the other hand this sort of lapse in concentration on the browser market on Microsoft's part is the reason why we have a competitive browser market today, so I'm not all together sorry that it turned out the way it did.

I applaud all the browser makers (aside from Microsoft since they're not doing that anymore) that implement prospective standards in their products so that developers can kick them around and see if they're any good and the W3C can notice them. This is where innovation happens in web technologies. Not in the W3C meeting rooms.

ScaryBob said:
When Firefox reached 1.0 release status in 2004, it started winning awards as the best browser.
... and this was a good thing. 2004 was around the time that Mozilla Firefox legitimately became better and more stable than IE6. That doesn't change IE6's status as the best browser in 2001.
 
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