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UK Government Rejects Calls To Upgrade From IE6

Soulskill posted about 4 years ago | from the it-was-good-enough-for-churchill dept.

Government 233

pcardno writes "The UK government has responded to a petition encouraging government departments to move away from IE6 that had over 6,000 signatories. Their response seems to be that a fully patched IE6 is perfectly safe as long as firewalls and malware scanning tools are in place, and that mandating an upgrade away from IE6 will be too expensive. The second part is fair enough in this age of austerity (I'd rather have my taxes spent on schools and hospitals than software upgrade testing at the moment), but the whole reaction will be a disappointment to the petitioners." Update: 07/31 11:43 GMT by S : Dan Frydman, the man who launched the petition, has posted a response to the government's decision.

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Frosty Pizzo? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#33093420)

Methinks! Oh, and IE6 is terrible. But then again, so are IE7 and IE8.

Re:Frosty Pizzo? (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#33093434)

The internet itself has become terrible.

Re:Frosty Pizzo? (1)

91degrees (207121) | about 4 years ago | (#33093480)

What's so bad about IE 8? I've not used it much but it seems quite usable.

Re:Frosty Pizzo? (4, Informative)

Tubal-Cain (1289912) | about 4 years ago | (#33093534)

Opera is far more configurable.
Firefox plugins leave Opera's configurability in the dust.
Chrome's interface is cleaner and more compact.
Only mobile and cli browsers score lower on Acid3.
Everything else runs circles around IE's rendering times.

Re:Frosty Pizzo? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#33093546)

Al 3 are terrible to program for:

IE6 was a disaster,
IE7 was a disaster too, only a few things were better.
With IE8 it is much better, but it still doesn't support anything interesting. Like round corners, scrollable tbody-tags.

And as long as people are still using XP, IE9 is not interesting at all, just another extra browser, that costs extra in development time...

Re:Frosty Pizzo? (1)

digitig (1056110) | about 4 years ago | (#33094010)

It broke a fully W3C compliant website I'm responsible for, which had worked fine under earlier versions and all the other browsers I'd tested it under, from Lynx to Chrome, a couple of days before we were due to go live. We had to postpone launch, because it was an automatic update and we thought we'd get the blame, not MS.

Cleanup (5, Insightful)

Tubal-Cain (1289912) | about 4 years ago | (#33093432)

The second part is fair enough in this age of austerity (I'd rather have my taxes spent on schools and hospitals than software upgrade testing at the moment), but the whole reaction will be a disappointment to the petitioners."

That AutoRun virus that was going around a while back, how much did that cost to clean up?

An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.

Re:Cleanup (3, Insightful)

timeOday (582209) | about 4 years ago | (#33093536)

Upgrading may or may not prevent problems. Many times it's a huge hassle with little or negative improvement. I don't upgrade software OR hardware any more just because I can; it's too much trouble, so I wait until I have a specific reason.

Re:Cleanup (4, Insightful)

phoenix321 (734987) | more than 3 years ago | (#33094226)

Software being too old, insecure and barely compatible is reason enough. A browser is a must-have piece of software nowadays and if you absolutely depend on a specific version of a specific product line, you're doing things wrong in the first place.

As IE6 is absolutely not available on any new version of Windows, it's effectively holding back all significant upgrades on the core operating system. Without updates to the operating system, the entire IT landscape is not only severely hobbled for innovation, but thoroughly insecure on major issues.

Don't allow yourself to fall prey to the illusion that software upgrades are an entirely voluntary - or useless - effort. In the best possible scenarios, holding back upgrades is saving a few percent of the cost and postponing the rest of upgrade expenditures. In friendly real-world scenarios, it's not saving any, merely postponing all upgrade costs. In any case, it's very very likely that during decade-long upgrade holdouts, IT department will lose it's edge and sharpness, get complacent and behind on the current state-of-the-art. And with that, the whole company will lose its pace.

Upgrading from Vista to Windows 7 is easy. Upgrading from XP to Windows 7 is a major undertaking and upgrading from any older version is financial disaster.

Just because you CAN use old equipment until it literally falls apart, it doesn't mean it's the most sensible or cost-effective option to do so.

Re:Cleanup (1)

AfroTrance (984230) | about 4 years ago | (#33093728)

An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.

What's the ratio in SI units?

Re:Cleanup (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#33093750)

Ratio's always going to be 16:1... Ratios, by definition, have no units.

Re:Cleanup (2, Informative)

maxwell demon (590494) | about 4 years ago | (#33093926)

Ratios, by definition, have no units.

Wrong. Only ratios of quantities of the same type are unit-less. For example, the ratio of distance covered and time needed, also known as speed, very clearly has an unit.

Of course in this case we have units of the same type (namely mass), so the ratio is, indeed, just a number.

Re:Cleanup (1)

zippthorne (748122) | more than 3 years ago | (#33094158)

Uh.. It's the UK. The units are clearly *not* the same type: ounces are mass, but pounds are money!

Re:Cleanup (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33094280)

Are you stupid or just trying to be funny?

Re:Cleanup (1)

JustOK (667959) | more than 3 years ago | (#33094288)

but I thought time was money and money was power. But the British pound has no power.

Re:Cleanup (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33094334)

£1 an ounce? sounds like druggies paradise.

Re:Cleanup (1)

maxwell demon (590494) | about 4 years ago | (#33093840)

The ratio is 0.0625. Therefore it's 62.5 grams per kilogram.

Re:Cleanup (1)

tokul (682258) | about 4 years ago | (#33093820)

That AutoRun virus that was going around a while back, how much did that cost to clean up?

That autorun virus vulnerability was introduced after upgrade to XP SP2. How many vulnerabilities will be introduced with upgrade to other major browser version? Who will handle support issues introduced by changes in Windows Explorer behavior. If IE is only a browser, why it changes the way Windows Explorer works.

Re:Cleanup (3, Informative)

phoenix321 (734987) | more than 3 years ago | (#33094268)

XPSP2 was not a browser upgrade.

Either way, no one is forcing the IT department to stay at the bleeding edge. It may be profitable to do so, because usually, newer systems have some perks the older ones did not. But staying half a decade behind on current issues is not prudent, but paranoid.

That doesn't apply to real-time systems, systems of major criticality and systems with human lives at stake, but for regular office systems, holding back on upgrades forever is not prudent but complacent and possibly paranoid. Some day in the future, even Big Bank, SCADA and mission control systems WILL need to be upgraded. How will paranoid IT departments handle *that* if they never dared to upgrade even a single notebook in the least important offices? How will they gain any experience with the new stuff?

We all like to rave about prudence and ultra-mission-criticality of our IT, but unless we're working for NASA, NORAD, Big Bank or Big Energy SCADA, it's self-aggrandizing paranoia to think upgrading from IE6 to IE8 will bring the enterprise down, financially or otherwise.

Re:Cleanup (1)

Billly Gates (198444) | about 4 years ago | (#33093960)

I worked for a shop a month ago that infected customer pcs with the autorun virus STILL.

We install WIndowsXP and unfortunately our flashdrives got infected with every pc we used including my laptop. The good news is that my Windows Vista on my laptop was not compatible with the virus. It is amazing how things just do not go away for IE 6,5 users with AVG anti virus.

Re:Cleanup (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33094344)

Every time I hear this, the only thing I can think is that there are offices still running on bootlegged Windows 2000. Prevention/Cure isn't the real debate here.

Lifting the Lid on the Guilty Yid (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#33093438)

The liberals got it exactly right. For years now they’ve been telling us how “vibrant” mass immigration has made stale, pale White societies. Well, London was certainly vibrating on 7th July and that got me thinking: What else have the liberals got right? Mass immigration “enriches” us too, they’ve always said. Is that “enrich” as in “enriched uranium”, an excellent way of making atom bombs? Because that’s what comes next: a weapon of real mass destruction that won’t kill people in piffling dozens but in hundreds of thousands or millions. Bye-bye London, bye-bye Washington, bye-bye Tel Aviv.

I’m not too sure I’d shed a tear if the last-named went up in a shower of radioactive cinders, but Tel Aviv is actually the least likely of the three to be hit. What’s good for you ain’t good for Jews, and though Jews have striven mightily, and mighty successfully, to turn White nations into multi-racial fever-swamps, mass immigration has passed the Muzzerland safely by. And mass immigration is the key to what happened in London. You don’t need a sophisticated socio-political analysis taking in Iraq, Afghanistan, Bosnia, Jewish control of Anglo-American foreign policy, British colonialism, and fifteen centuries of Christian-Muslim conflict. You can explain the London bombs in five simple words:

Pakis do not belong here.

And you can sum up how to prevent further London bombs – and worse – in three simple words:

PAKI GO HOME.

At any time before the 1950s, brown-skinned Muslim terrorists would have found it nearly impossible to plan and commit atrocities on British soil, because they would have stood out like sore thumbs in Britain’s overwhelmingly White cities. Today, thanks to decades of mass immigration, it’s often Whites who stand out like sore thumbs. Our cities swarm with non-whites full of anti-White grievances and hatreds created by Judeo-liberal propaganda. And let’s forget the hot air about how potential terrorists and terrorist sympathizers are a “tiny minority” of Britain’s vibrant, peace-loving Muslim “community”.

Even if that’s true, a tiny minority of 1.6 million (2001 estimate) is a hell of a lot of people, and there’s very good reason to believe it isn’t true. Tony Blair has tried to buy off Britain’s corrupt and greedy “moderate” Muslims with knighthoods and public flattery, but his rhetoric about the “religion of peace” wore thin long ago. After the bombings he vowed, with his trademark bad actor’s pauses, that we will... not rest until... the guilty men are identified... and as far... as is humanly possible... brought to justice for this... this murderous carnage... of the innocent.

His slimy lawyer’s get-out clause – “as far as is humanly possible” – was soon needed. Unlike Blair and his pal Dubya in Iraq and Afghanistan, the bombers were prepared not only to kill the innocent but to die themselves as they did so. And to laugh at the prospect: they were captured on CCTV sharing a joke about the limbs and heads that would shortly be flying. Even someone as dim as Blair must know you’ve got a big problem on your hands when there are over 1.6 million people in your country following a religion like that.

If he doesn’t know, there are plenty of Jewish journalists who will point it out for him. There’s the neo-conservative Melanie Phillips in Britain, for example, who never met an indignant adverb she didn’t like, and the neo-conservative Mark Steyn in Canada, who never met an indignant Arab he didn’t kick. Reading their hard-hitting columns on Muslim psychosis, I was reminded of a famous scene in Charles Dickens’ notoriously anti-Semitic novel Oliver Twist (1839). The hero watches the training of the villainous old Jew Fagin put into action by the Artful Dodger:

What was Oliver’s horror and alarm to see the Dodger plunge his hand into the old gentleman’s pocket, and draw from thence a handkerchief! To see him hand the same to Charley Bates; and finally to behold them both running away round the corner at full speed! He stood for a moment tingling from terror; then, confused and frightened, he took to his heels and made off as fast as he could lay his feet to the ground.
In the very instant when Oliver began to run, the old gentleman, putting his hand to his pocket, and missing his handkerchief, turned sharp round. Seeing the boy scudding away, he very naturally concluded him to be the depredator; and shouting “Stop thief!” with all his might, made off after him. But the old gentleman was not the only person who raised the hue-and-cry. The Dodger and Master Bates, unwilling to attract public attention by running down the open street, had merely retired into the very first doorway round the corner. They no sooner heard the cry, and saw Oliver running, than, guessing exactly how the matter stood, they issued forth with great promptitude; and, shouting “Stop thief!” too, joined in the pursuit like good citizens.

“Wicked Muslims!” our two Jewish Artful Dodgers are shouting. “Can’t you see how they hate the West and want to destroy us?” Well, yes, we can, but some of us can also see who the original West-haters are. Mark Steyn claims not to be Jewish, but his ancestry shines through time after time in his writing. Above all, there’s his dishonesty. One week he’s mocking anti-Semites for claiming that the tiny nation of Israel could have such a powerful influence for bad on the world’s affairs. The following week he’s praising the British Empire for having had such a powerful influence for good. You know, the world-bestriding British Empire – as created by a tiny nation called Britain.

If the Brits could do it openly and honestly, Mr Steyn, why can’t the yids do it by fraud and deception? And the yids have done it, of course. They’ve run immigration policy and “race relations” in Europe and America since the 1960s, and Steyn is very fond of pointing out what’s in store for Europe as our Jew-invited non-white guests grow in number and really start to show their appreciation of our hospitality.

Funnily enough, I’ve never seen him point out that the same is in store for North America, which has its own rapidly growing non-white swarms. And when Steyn launches one of his regular attacks on the lunacies of multi-culturalism and anti-racism, a central fact always somehow seems to escape his notice. He recently once again bemoaned the psychotic “Western self-loathing” that has such a “grip on the academy, the media, the Congregational and Episcopal Churches, the ‘arts’ and Hollywood”. Exhibit one: the multi-culti, hug-the-world, “Let’s all be nice to the Muslims” memorial for 9/11. This was his list of those responsible for it:

Tom Bernstein... Michael Posner... Eric Foner... George Soros...
Well, that’s a Jew, a Jew, a Jew, and a Jew – sounds like a lampshade collector showing off his Auschwitz shelf. But fearless “Tell It Like It Is” Steyn, ever-ready to mock the “racial sensitivity” of deluded liberals, is himself very sensitive about race when it comes to the Chosen Ones. He’ll kick dark-skinned Muslims and their liberal appeasers till the sacred cows come home and he can start kicking them too, but just like Melanie Phillips he never whispers a word about the Jews who created liberal appeasement or about the enormous power Jews wield in “the academy, the media, the 'arts', and Hollywood”.

The same is true of all other Jewish “conservatives”. They’re shouting “Stop thief!” at the top of their voices and hoping that no-one will notice that they all belong to the biggest race of thieves who ever existed. Those bombs went off in London because Jews have stolen large parts of Britain from their rightful White inhabitants and handed them over to the non-white followers of a psychotic alien religion. When non-whites commit more and worse atrocities in future, you won’t need to ask who’s really responsible: it’s liberal Jews like Tom Bernstein and George Soros, who organize mass immigration and the anti-racism industry, and “conservative” Jews like Mark Steyn and Melanie Phillips, who distract White attention from the racial motives of Jews like Soros and Bernstein. Heads they win, tails we lose – liberal, “conservative”, they’re all of them Jews.

Reading Comprehension? (4, Informative)

Manip (656104) | about 4 years ago | (#33093440)

Their response was to the suggestion of changing browsers. Their post sets out very clearly that they're migrating their applications and workstations to IE8.

Complex software will always have vulnerabilities and motivated adversaries will always work to discover and take advantage of them. There is no evidence that upgrading away from the latest fully patched versions of Internet Explorer to other browsers will make users more secure

And:

Upgrading these systems to IE8 can be a very large operation,

Does make one wonder if the submitter or the editor even read it.

Re:Reading Comprehension? (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#33093608)

I think they are stupid, upgrading for IE8, and then? IE9 arrives, they can start all over, the should change there browser, use firefox or chrome or anyting else, at least then, when Ie9 of Ie10 comes out, it will start to work better instead of working different...

Until microsoft has join the other browser developers in compatibility, every next version will be a different beast to program against. Yes I know IE9 is better, but as long as it isn't finished, and a lot of people haven't used it, it's still not there, you can't use it... And I'm not going to install it...

At the moment I need XP + IE7, Windows 7+IE8, and no IE8 compatibility mode is not equals to IE7.

So IE9 has no place yet here... At least firefox you can install on the same machine more than once, by using different profiles...

Re:Reading Comprehension? (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#33093746)

Jesus. Another brainless fan boi.

Re:Reading Comprehension? (5, Informative)

maxwell demon (590494) | about 4 years ago | (#33093860)

Their post sets out very clearly that they're migrating their applications and workstations to IE8.

I wonder if you have read it. Here's the complete paragraph from which you quoted one (partial) sentence (emphasis by me; the first emphasized sentence is the one you quoted):

It is not straightforward for HMG departments to upgrade IE versions on their systems. Upgrading these systems to IE8 can be a very large operation, taking weeks to test and roll out to all users. To test all the web applications currently used by HMG departments can take months at significant potential cost to the taxpayer. It is therefore more cost effective in many cases to continue to use IE6 and rely on other measures, such as firewalls and malware scanning software, to further protect public sector internet users.

So it's quite clear that they are not upgrading IE versions.

Re:Reading Comprehension? (1)

rich_r (655226) | about 4 years ago | (#33093886)

Apart, of course, from the departments that are. Like the Home Office, and other departments running a Fujitsu contract.

Re:Reading Comprehension? (1)

Yvanhoe (564877) | more than 3 years ago | (#33094162)

Good.
Still I don't understand how works the mind of people who believe that government should depend on software they don't have the source of, they didn't compile themselves, they didn't audited, and that comes from a company that has many interest on spying on them.

Re:Reading Comprehension? (1)

bev_tech_rob (313485) | more than 3 years ago | (#33094208)

Oh, please. You think most governments are going to pay the money required to have someone on staff with enough expertise to review and compile open source code? They are going to do whatever it takes as cheaply as it takes to get the software it needs from the lowest priced vendor or whomever gives them the best deal... Wait, spend $$$$$$$ to hire a competent programmer or systems engineer to evaluate, compile and SUPPORT this code or spend $$ to buy copies of Winxp or Vista from CDW and buy ready to go software from large vendor who can sell below cost to take out open source vendor? You tell me...

Assume IE 6 earns them 1 million dollars a day. (-1, Redundant)

Zombie Ryushu (803103) | about 4 years ago | (#33093444)

I have a bit of a mantra when I talk about IE6. Whenever anyone asks me why anyone would run IE6, I give this response:
Assume IE 6 earns them 1 million dollars a day. If they stop using IE6. They start losing 1 million dollars a day. Thats the reality of the situation. If the government stop using IE6, it costs them 1 Million British pounds a day. (Or whatever the correct currency conversion is.)

Thats why businesses and governments use IE6.

Re:Assume IE 6 earns them 1 million dollars a day. (2, Funny)

EricX2 (670266) | about 4 years ago | (#33093532)

Assume IE 6 earns them 1 million activex exploits a day. If they stop using IE6. They start losing 1 million activex exploits a day. Thats the reality of the situation. If the government stops using IE6, it costs them 1 Million British fake antivirus's a day (Or whatever the current malware conversion is.)

Re:Assume IE 6 earns them 1 million dollars a day. (2, Insightful)

The Master Control P (655590) | about 4 years ago | (#33093586)

Assume I can fly...

Oh wait.

Re:Assume IE 6 earns them 1 million dollars a day. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#33093898)

And with my steel toed size 10 and 1/2's, you can get an earlier start on your flight, fancy that?

Re:Assume IE 6 earns them 1 million dollars a day. (3, Informative)

Gordonjcp (186804) | about 4 years ago | (#33093596)

Assume IE 6 earns them 1 million dollars a day. If they stop using IE6. They start losing 1 million dollars a day. Thats the reality of the situation.

Except it's nothing like reality. They *only* lose 1 million dollars a day if they stop using IE6 *and then don't use anything else*.

Here's a car analogy. Using a Mercedes Vito van makes me a certain quantity of thousands of pounds per year (I'm British, we don't disclose ages or wages). So, if I stop using a Merc, I stop earning money, right? Wrong. If I stop using a Mercedes Vito, I start using a Citroën Berlingo, or a Ford Transit, or some similar van.

It's really a pretty simple idea.

Re:Assume IE 6 earns them 1 million dollars a day. (2, Insightful)

phoenix321 (734987) | more than 3 years ago | (#33094278)

If I earned a million bucks a day by using IE6, I would sure as Hell put half a million aside for upgrading to the next version of that browser or even migrate to a browser I can upgrade independently from the core operating system.

Eating all you earn and not planning one or two years ahead is a mistake that even in prehistoric times happened only once per tribe.

Re:Assume IE 6 earns them 1 million dollars a day. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#33093626)

An upgrade away from IE6 will be too expensive. It'll cost a lot of money to go to a website, perform a download and wait a few minutes for a browser to install.

Re:Assume IE 6 earns them 1 million dollars a day. (4, Insightful)

mlts (1038732) | about 4 years ago | (#33093792)

Actually, the tech details are just pushing a .MSI file out with IE8, or just approving it from a WSUS server.

My rant: IE6 is 10 year old technology. A Web browser is on the front lines of keeping a machine secure, almost as much so as a router. IE6 is meant to deal with spyware from the year 2001. Not the botnets and SCADA-seeking malware of 2010. Anyone who has any sense can see this.

There is just no reason to run IE6 on XP unless it is testing backlevel versions. IE8 fixes a lot of security issues. Even Windows XP needs to be binned because it is going to be a decade old, and organizations need to move forward to operating systems more able to handle the security issues of this decade.

This doesn't even need a car example, but a war example: You don't send out Greek phalanxes in formation against people with 10,000 rpm chainguns, Apache helicopters, and flamethrowers. Fielding Windows XP is doing just this.

The blackhats, phishers, scammers, spammers, criminals, and other miscreants are not going to be easing up attacks anytime soon. So why deal with threats of 2010 with an OS made nine years ago?

Of course, firewalls mitigate this, but there is something sort of wrong with compensating for a poor OS's security by having to fortify the router and perimeter instead of having the OS be reliable enough so a blackhat isn't home free once they get into the core network fabric.

Re:Assume IE 6 earns them 1 million dollars a day. (1)

kanad (541484) | more than 3 years ago | (#33094178)

IE6 may be 10 years old but even today many software depends on it. In my company the QA tool is HP Quality Centre, a very expensive tool at that. It is a ActiveX control that only runs on IE 6 and IE 7 (that is if it doesn't crash every few hours). Several hundred man hours has been spent since many years to create requirements and test cases and it is not easy to replace it just for this reason alone. So IE 6 stays.

Re:Assume IE 6 earns them 1 million dollars a day. (2, Interesting)

phoenix321 (734987) | more than 3 years ago | (#33094312)

Let me introduce you to the heretical idea of sunk costs.

Having erroneously paid big bucks for something that turned out to be crap is no reason to keep eating shit all day.

If *Quality Control* software is crashing every few hours and holding back the whole company on upgrades, despite being ridiculously expensive, IT or procurement will have to stand up to some rather unpleasant questions some day anyway.

Re:Assume IE 6 earns them 1 million dollars a day. (1)

takev (214836) | more than 3 years ago | (#33094220)

I don't think it is actually about upgrading the workstations to IE8, this is about all the internal websites that have been created to work with nothing but IE6.

There are many companies that have these problems, they have their intranet stuff like registration of hours, personnel phonebook, documentation server, etc. All of these intranet websites have been bought from different companies, and they haven't upgraded these sites and some of these companies no longer exist. All these websites don't work with IE8, or firefox, or any other browser except IE6.

And even worse, often, after upgrading these websites, they no longer work on IE6. So you have to upgrade everything in one go; all the websites and all the workstations.

Re:Assume IE 6 earns them 1 million dollars a day. (4, Insightful)

dangitman (862676) | about 4 years ago | (#33093648)

I have a bit of a mantra when I talk about IE6. Whenever anyone asks me why anyone would run IE6, I give this response:
Assume IE 6 earns them 1 million dollars a day. If they stop using IE6. They start losing 1 million dollars a day. Thats the reality of the situation.

That's about the most nonsensical thing I've ever heard. If this is your mantra, then you should not be employed anywhere, for any job.

Re:Assume IE 6 earns them 1 million dollars a day. (1)

linebackn (131821) | about 4 years ago | (#33094092)

I have a bit of a mantra when I talk about IE6. Whenever anyone asks me why anyone would run IE6, I give this response:
Assume IE 6 earns them 1 million dollars a day. If they stop using IE6. They start losing 1 million dollars a day. Thats the reality of the situation.

That's about the most nonsensical thing I've ever heard. If this is your mantra, then you should not be employed anywhere, for any job.

That is only nonsensical if it is being supportive of the reality. The reality is unfortunate and stupid: If you stop using IE 6 for IE7/8, Firefox, Chrome, whatever but IE 6 was the only tool with which you could get your job done... then you are going to start losing money as productivity stops.

Of course it is idiotic to paint yourself in to a corner where you can only do your job with one specific tool if you don't have to. You put your business in serious risk if you do that.

Like the car analogy above, would you set up your business so you could ONLY ever use a Mercedes Vito van? That would be stupid. Your business would suddenly be unable to make money if it broke beyond repair and you couldn't get the exact same vehicle. Spend a little extra time and money so you can use any vehicle and reduce the risk to your business. Makes sense, but all people see is that they save a few bucks up front.

Re:Assume IE 6 earns them 1 million dollars a day. (3, Insightful)

thegarbz (1787294) | more than 3 years ago | (#33094348)

That's about the most nonsensical thing I've ever heard. If this is your mantra, then you should not be employed anywhere, for any job.

Yet your post is one sided at best and naive at worst. If your company has 30000 employees who use tools that they quite heavily depend on that only runs on one particular application and you push out and update because "hahah I'm IT and I make the rules" which breaks everything then YOU should not be employed anywhere.

IT is an internal service. If IT just focuses on the enterprise (security, stability etc) at the expense of usability then the IT department should be dissolved and rebuilt (the reverse is also true). You the admin may push an update to IE6 to my computer once you have replaced all, and I mean ALL of the applications that depend on it, and in the fortune 50 company I work for that's actually a lot of web based applications. How you do it, and who funds it is none of my concern. This is a discussion for your department to make with upper management.

Don't forget, users are a nice and quiet bunch of people ... when everything is working.

Re:Assume IE 6 earns them 1 million dollars a day. (1)

Ice Tiger (10883) | about 4 years ago | (#33093656)

Assume they are now using IE 7 which hasn't been dropped or going to be dropped in the supported list of browsers by many vendors in 2010 and they can earn 1.5 million pounds a day! A silly figure but then your argument only makes sense if people switch from IE6 to nothing.

IE 6 has an increasing opportunity cost associated with its continued use over time not to mention that it dramatically increases any software development cost of any project that has to support it AND modern browsers i.e. external facing government web sites.

The company I work for is upgrading from IE 6 to IE 7 because it is becoming too expensive to stay on IE 6 for the reasons above and others.

Re:Assume IE 6 earns them 1 million dollars a day. (3, Funny)

Warll (1211492) | about 4 years ago | (#33093706)

...ladies and gentlemen of this supposed jury, I have one final thing I want you to consider. Ladies and gentlemen, this is Chewbacca. Chewbacca is a Wookiee from the planet Kashyyyk. But Chewbacca lives on the planet Endor. Now think about it; that does not make sense!

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chewbacca_defense [wikipedia.org]

Oh, here's the problem (3, Insightful)

phantomfive (622387) | about 4 years ago | (#33093450)

The petition creators goofed, they started it out with this sentence:

The German and French governments have started to encourage people to upgrade away from the browser Internet Explorer 6

Heh, can't start copying the French and Germans now, can we? Next thing you know we'll be on the Euro! That killed it right there. Made it politically unfeasible. All those petition signers are stupid francophiles.

UK Gov won't go past IE6, but MasterCard need IE8? (4, Interesting)

Ocker3 (1232550) | about 4 years ago | (#33093460)

Some online vendor sites have started requiring that you use IE8 to access the site, apparently because Mastercard is forcing them too. My company's standard is IE7, good thing I'm in IT so I have the rights to install 8 on one workstation for when I have to buy software from that company-selected portal that requires IE8 now...

Re:UK Gov won't go past IE6, but MasterCard need I (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#33093492)

You should use a real standard browser instead.

Re:UK Gov won't go past IE6, but MasterCard need I (0, Troll)

91degrees (207121) | about 4 years ago | (#33093842)

IE8 is a standard. Microsoft making it pretty much makes it so.

Re:UK Gov won't go past IE6, but MasterCard need I (1)

gdshaw (1015745) | more than 3 years ago | (#33094250)

IE8 is a standard. Microsoft making it pretty much makes it so.

IE8 has perhaps 20-30% market share currently, and it is about to be superseded. Not to be sniffed at, granted, but not enough to give it much weight as a de facto standard.

Even if you lump all versions of IE together (which from a web design standpoint you can't), its days of market-dominating influence are long gone.

Re:UK Gov won't go past IE6, but MasterCard need I (1)

91degrees (207121) | more than 3 years ago | (#33094320)

Accurate stats aren't available but estimates put IE (all version) at between 43% and 63% of users.

So I'm not sure if I agree with your or not. That sort of share does mean you're obliged to consider Microsoft as some sort of alternative standard if you're a web developer, even if it doesn't mean that everyone else is forced to implement Microsoft's bugs.

Re:UK Gov won't go past IE6, but MasterCard need I (1)

dbIII (701233) | about 4 years ago | (#33093986)

While on the other hand a major Bank based in Australia just broke IE7 and firefox support for their pages only accessible by smartcard, turning it all into time consuming security theatre on IE6. Pull your finger out guys.

Ignorance is Bliss (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#33093470)

(I'd rather have my taxes spent on schools and hospitals than software upgrade testing at the moment)

Will you be thinking that when your medical records, your children's school records and any tax or government data held on you is stolen away because some idiot government employee doesn't follow the IT Policy to the letter and visits a malware loaded site/link using an outdated browser? How about you just update the god damn infrastructure and next time don't develop systems which require bullshit (Like ActiveX or IE specific HTML) to run. Oh right, for some reason it's seems to be an impossible task to develop suitable Government IT systems for any government even though companies seem to do it everyday.

Re:Ignorance is Bliss (1)

dna_(c)(tm)(r) (618003) | about 4 years ago | (#33094142)

Oh right, for some reason it's seems to be an impossible task to develop suitable Government IT systems for any government even though companies seem to do it everyday.

Don't underestimate the stupidity of (large) companies.

Re:Ignorance is Bliss (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33094168)

Well yeah, we all know of bad company IT projects but when was the last time you heard of a successful IT project from any government? Whether it be travel cards, police databases or websites, no government seems to be able to make a competent solution even when they contract out to third parties. Why is it government have such higher failure rates when it comes to IT projects?

Re:Ignorance is Bliss (1)

phoenix321 (734987) | more than 3 years ago | (#33094332)

Big X has a high failure rate when it comes to IT projects, with X being any lumbering beast of an enterprise, office or agency.

They want standardization, homogeneity and identical software tools and IT workplaces for not one office, one city, one branch but the entire multinational group of companies.

Any project involving more than 300 clients is hard or ridiculously expensive. Projects trying to make a one-size-fits-all tool for 100.000 employees of a multinational corporation or agency is financial suicide.

But watch CIOs keep talking about synergy effects and purported savings in the billions for the group when in reality, all they manage to achieve is IT tools set in stone for decades, with change procedures filling entire floors if printed out and grinding the whole thing into a permanent halt from which there is no way but burning millions to get out. Relying on Monolithic IT means betting the farm for large companies and agencies and some will fail spectacularly by doing that.

pus ies (1)

globalsnake (1345027) | about 4 years ago | (#33093530)

What a bunch of pusies send me an email stating not to worry about tomorrow instead of a quote. A broken network as supposed truth as a lie is still a lie. Go away pussies. If not pussies come and get me bitches am waiting.

Info :) (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#33093556)

I work in a council environment and to implement ie7 or 8 would take to the point we would have to go round every machine plus we have in house built software which has only just started working for ie6 (weeyyyy council coders) so yeah would cost to much to go around 3000 machines each just to install it when it works fine as it is (Minus all the exploitive stuff) but all anti crap picks that stuff up anyways so.. xP. -- Would log in and make sence but 2 days of boooze doesnt help the matter.

Re:Info :) (1)

Ice Tiger (10883) | about 4 years ago | (#33093680)

And what about your increasing opportunity cost with using an increasingly vendor unsupported browser?

You do know that supporting IE 6 in modern web applications is very expensive as can take up 50% + of developers time on workarounds? So having to support your internal population as well as your external user base increases the costs of any external facing web sites you do.

Re:Info :) (1)

jabuzz (182671) | about 4 years ago | (#33093862)

What are you going to do in less than four years time when XP support is completely removed by Microsoft then? I would suggest that having all internal web applications not be tied to a specific version of Windows and/or IE would be a good starting point in planning your migration from XP.

If you bury your head in the sand then in three years time there will be a major panic and you will have to do something.

Re:Info :) (1)

jonbryce (703250) | more than 3 years ago | (#33094216)

A lot of government computers still run NT4, so I think they have an answer to that question.

it shouldn't cost anything (1)

thetoadwarrior (1268702) | about 4 years ago | (#33093594)

Upgrading to IE7 or any IE is free. Just run Windows update.

Re:it shouldn't cost anything (2, Informative)

kvezach (1199717) | about 4 years ago | (#33093664)

Unless you use old ActiveX programs that don't support newer versions of IE, that is.

Re:it shouldn't cost anything (2, Insightful)

JohnVanVliet (945577) | about 4 years ago | (#33093766)

"Unless you use old ActiveX programs that don't support newer versions of IE, that is."
And if you are , then you DESERVE to get infected.

And if you're using IE, you deserve to get (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#33094040)

And if you're using IE, you deserve to get infected.

yes?

Re:it shouldn't cost anything (1)

thetoadwarrior (1268702) | more than 3 years ago | (#33094322)

No point in putting off changing those applications because you can't run IE6 forever.

Re:it shouldn't cost anything (5, Insightful)

Skrynesaver (994435) | about 4 years ago | (#33093692)

When you are a large institution who have (over)paid consultants to create workflow tools on your intranet, upgrading is far from free. The new approved browser will have to be validated against your existing tools, then you'll have to do rewrites where you had horrible IE6 kludges. The cost of the software isn't the issue, it's the cost of delivering your applications on that platform that is the issue.

With that said it provides a wonderful example of why organisations should avoid proprietary extensions to standards. One day the world will move on and you'll be stuck with an un-integrateable piece of shit platform.

Re:it shouldn't cost anything (1)

RulerOf (975607) | about 4 years ago | (#33093982)

The cost of the software isn't the issue, it's the cost of delivering your applications on that platform that is the issue.

That thing kinda gets me thinking... Wouldn't it be possible to run ActiveX inside of an IE Frame on top of another browser? Probably not a later version of IE, which is a shame, but it'd be neat if you could migrate the default browser up and then whitelist in all the broken shit to a frame running on the older rendering engine via group policy or something. That'd be nice I think, but from what I've experienced, IE is easier to deploy and manage (at the moment, at least) than any other browser when considering group policy, and MS won't support side by side installs... funny considering that whole WinSXS platform they've got going ;)

Dictionary (2, Insightful)

gmuslera (3436) | about 4 years ago | (#33093598)

Someone should inform them about the meaning of targetted attack. Malware detectors find widely known malware, but could have little clue about things made specially against you.

Re:Dictionary (1)

dna_(c)(tm)(r) (618003) | more than 3 years ago | (#33094160)

Their security advisor is probably a Zimbabwean member of Al Qaeda with a deep sympathy for the Taliban due to his Afghan roots - but only since he lost his communist party membership in the USSR when it was abolished.

Besides that, he probably has only the interests of the UK in mind.

Reality: deal with it (4, Informative)

DNS-and-BIND (461968) | about 4 years ago | (#33093610)

This is something called reality that has to be dealt with. I know this is typically not what petition signers encounter in their daily lives, but endure this explanation. The truth is that critical applications depend on IE6 to function, and upgrading from IE6 would cause work to stop. They shouldn't have built their apps on IE6? Blame Microsoft, their ruthless tactics led to that situation.

Re:Reality: deal with it (2, Insightful)

dangitman (862676) | about 4 years ago | (#33093678)

The truth is that critical applications depend on IE6 to function, and upgrading from IE6 would cause work to stop.

I wasn't aware that you could only have one browser installed on a computer at a time. What's wrong with installing Firefox for 99% of tasks, and also having IE6 available for the obsolete and soon to be extinct tasks that require it?

Re:Reality: deal with it (1)

slinches (1540051) | about 4 years ago | (#33093918)

What's wrong with installing Firefox for 99% of tasks, and also having IE6 available for the obsolete and soon to be extinct tasks that require it?

1. In the corporate world "soon to be extinct tasks" run on HPUX boxes. IE6 based web apps are just reaching what they would consider as stable.

and

2. Most people don't even know what a browser is, let alone have the ability to choose which is best to use from a security standpoint.

Although, I did just recently join an IE8 beta program at work. So it seems that change isn't impossible, just really slow.

Re:Reality: deal with it (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#33094030)

Disable the ability of users to surf anything but specific "applications" (sites) dependent on it... and force them to use firefox for "Web" access. It's really not that complicated. This should be as trivial as setting up links on the desktop/favorites/or a home page with links to the "applications" dependent on IE6. No corporation should be using IE6. Even those applications that companies are relying on need to be "ported". IE6 is no longer available on new versions of MS Windows. It also isn't available on OTHER operating systems that SHOULD BE getting the attention of companies for better security practices and a lower TCO. Yes- it costs money to port these applications- but it has to be done one way or the other and the failure to do it to operating system neutral and open standards compliant technologies should be criminal if it isn't.

Re:Reality: deal with it (1)

dangitman (862676) | about 4 years ago | (#33094068)

IE6 based web apps are just reaching what they would consider as stable.

Bullshit. Nobody has ever considered those "applications" stable. In any but the most backwards companies, these IE6 web apps are not long for this world. The only companies interested in keeping them around are the companies which are soon to be extinct.

2. Most people don't even know what a browser is, let alone have the ability to choose which is best to use from a security standpoint.

Again, bullshit. Most people do know what a browser is. There are a few people around (like the elderly) who don't understand the concept. But those who don't won't be in a job for much longer.

Re:Reality: deal with it (1)

tehdaemon (753808) | more than 3 years ago | (#33094328)

"Most people do know what a browser is."

Yeah - it is that funny word the 'IT' guy mumbles when he tells me in that frustrated voice to click on the blue 'E'. I have no idea why he thinks I should have been able to figure this out myself, that blue 'E' thing was clear over on the other side of the screen. How was I supposed to know what to do! And I wish he would point at the desk instead of the screen when he is talking about the desktop. That is just so confusing!!!

Note: in RL I am that 'IT' guy. This minor exaggeration does not apply to most people, but it does describe a lot of them. They are not all elderly. If you call the company website, and IE, 'the internet' do you really know what a browser is?

T

Re:Reality: deal with it (1)

linebackn (131821) | about 4 years ago | (#33093962)

I wasn't aware that you could only have one browser installed on a computer at a time. What's wrong with installing Firefox for 99% of tasks, and also having IE6 available for the obsolete and soon to be extinct tasks that require it?

What's wrong is that it costs time and money for the variety of things that go in to supporting and maintaining an additional application. The bean counters would throw a fit at the idea of spending money on two applications that do effectively the same thing.

And thanks to Microsoft's brilliant "integration", it is not possible to remove the costs of supporting IE, even after any intranet sites that required it are extinct. IE is always installed with Windows. You can remove the icon, but it must still be configured, patched, and otherwise maintained for all of the idiotic Microsoft applications that potentially may embed its rendering engine.

Re:Reality: deal with it (1)

dangitman (862676) | about 4 years ago | (#33094088)

What's wrong is that it costs time and money for the variety of things that go in to supporting and maintaining an additional application.

It costs very little time and money to support Firefox. It probably costs a lot more to continue supporting the outdated IE6.

The bean counters would throw a fit at the idea of spending money on two applications that do effectively the same thing.

Well, the bean counters would be wrong. The costs of security vulnerability and help desk support for IE6 most likely outweigh the costs of Firefox deployment by a wide margin.

IE is always installed with Windows.

I didn't think it was even possible to install IE6 with Vista or Windows 7, at least without some serious work-arounds.

Re:Reality: deal with it (4, Insightful)

Ice Tiger (10883) | about 4 years ago | (#33093696)

That's why as part of your upgrade you upgrade / fix those apps to work on a modern browser, the alternative is you come to day when you can't upgrade anything in your IT ecology due to everything being so brittle.

Another way of looking at things is that as IE6 gets dropped from supported browser lists over the next few years you can be faced with the situation of critical app a stuck with IE 6 but critical app b needing to be upgraded but because it has dropped support for IE 6 you can't without incurring massive project costs.

Not keeping your software at least to supported versions is a false economy, much like the money you save not putting oil in your car, that is of course until the engine seizes.

Re:Reality: deal with it (2, Insightful)

rawler (1005089) | more than 3 years ago | (#33094364)

Blame Microsoft, their ruthless tactics led to that situation.

Fool me once: shame on you.
Fool me twice...

A fully patched IE6? (5, Informative)

nacturation (646836) | about 4 years ago | (#33093624)

IE8 is the patch to IE6.

Myopia (4, Insightful)

VincenzoRomano (881055) | about 4 years ago | (#33093640)

The consideration about costs is right, if you defer security decisions so much that you're still running IE6 in 2010.
The consideration about firewalls and scanners is also right, if your policy is to go on patching a broken roof instead or making proper repairs.
God save the Great Britain (as well as the Little one)!

Re:Myopia (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33094252)

The consideration about costs is right, if you defer security decisions so much that you're still running IE6 in 2010.

Deferring cost doesn't reduce it, likely makes it greater, as well as increasing exposure to risk. If managers were half as smart as they should be they should be clamping down on this. IT managers are under too much pressure to constrain cost, this means organisations will hang on to aging IT infrastructure until it outright fails.

Dare I say deferring it 12 months might mean staff turnover makes it Someone Else's Problem when it does all go FUBAR*

* Before you respond, yes I am aware that most organizations find it cheaper to let things go wrong then throw lawyers at the problem, than to prevent it in the first place.

Long live... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#33093772)

IE6! Let it never die!

Seriously, having used IE8, IE6 is much nicer in terms of the user interface.

Sad (2, Insightful)

sugarmotor (621907) | about 4 years ago | (#33093824)

Sad that something which appears so trivial turns out to be expensive.

Stephan

oyun (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#33093914)

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Yes sad indeed (2, Insightful)

pawnipt (822998) | about 4 years ago | (#33093846)

Can IE6 even render half of the internet anymore?! I don't believe facebook even works for it, not that facebook is educational lol. You know damn well all the kids at school are going to be like "Man this really sucks!"

Stupid argument (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#33093896)

"The second part is fair enough in this age of austerity"? I really don't get the editor's rationale. Once somebody breaks into the government's computer system, they can hurt state finances a lot more than an economic crisis. We'll see how much money will be left for schools and hospitals after somebody hacks your ministries.

Also, I'd really worry about my government if they're unable even to upgrade the system's default browser via Windows update. What does that mean for their ability to upgrade the whole system? Hell, what does that mean for their ability to build schools and hospitals?

Too expensive? Pah. (3, Informative)

Retron (577778) | about 4 years ago | (#33093900)

What a load of rubbish that "too expensive" excuse is. I work as a technician in a school with around 700 PCs (several hundred each of laptops and a mix of old/new desktops) and we ditched IE6 ages ago. The cost was near zero for the curriculum PCs, as RM issued an IE7 patch ages ago. Allocating it was as simple as selecting lists of PCs and clicking "allocate". We upgraded teacher laptops on a rolling programme, the same with desktop PCs. We're now redeploying Windows across the whole site - teacher machines now have Windows 7 so it's not an issue, while the curriculum builds of Windows XP have IE8 in the base image.
The only "expensive" bit was a day of my time fixing issues with some rubbishy Java applet that is used in the library, which isn't very happy with IE8. A day of my time is worth £40, so it wasn't exactly expensive to fix!
If a school can do it, I'm sure government departments can too.

Re:Too expensive? Pah. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#33094014)

"If a school can do it, I'm sure government departments can too."

Because they are comparable in scale, security issues and criticality, right?

Re:Too expensive? Pah. (1)

Retron (577778) | about 4 years ago | (#33094140)

Because they are comparable in scale, security issues and criticality, right?

Definitely. Imagine 1700 users eager to break out of the firewall, eager to get to places they shouldn't do and to install programs that they're not allowed. At least government departments don't generally have people working in them who'd do anything to install crapware from the Net! That's not including the 100 or so teachers and 100 support staff, some of whom would (and indeed did, until we blocked it) install anything they find with a "click here" button.
And I'm sure there are government departments with fewer PCs and users than ours.

Re:Too expensive? Pah. (3, Insightful)

rapiddescent (572442) | about 4 years ago | (#33094020)

most of the large ukgov departments have outsourced their IT support to companies like HP, Fujitsu, Logica, Capita and so on. Due to the ukgov ineptitude of writing good outsource contracts - an IE upgrade is off plan and so the outsourcer (in a monopoly position at that department) simply charge the earth - even if it is just to roll out an update automatically. Excuses such as testing, and verification of intranet applications simply make the cost even higher

Re:Too expensive? Pah. (1)

nabeshiniii (1225414) | about 4 years ago | (#33094120)

As a UK government worker, my current browser of choice is Firefox 4.0 Beta 2. Those of us in the office who are at least a bit tech savvy have Chrome or Firefox running on our desktops. Unlike schools, mainstream government departments have bespoke software that relies on IE to function (which I don't use, but I know about 80% of the office use). New laptops are now W7 with IE8, but until the IT department wants to upgrade all the bespoke systems so that they can function with IE8, it IS too expensive.

What happened to looking forward? (1)

DerPflanz (525793) | about 4 years ago | (#33093936)

I don't get it. if you run a organisation as big as the UK government IT department, you don't have a budget for maintenance? Part of the maintenance costs go to upgrades, bugfixes, etc. IE6 is an end-of-life product of about 10 years old. The costs of replacing it, should have been calculated and budgetted about 4 years ago (when IE7 came out). This isn't a case of 'we don't have money'. it is a case of 'we are too lazy to think further in the future than 1 month'.

Mismanagement.

Re:What happened to looking forward? (1)

phoenix321 (734987) | more than 3 years ago | (#33094346)

You can always save some bucks by postponing that oil change in your car. Until you have to change the entire engine because of that.

Costs? Look at the other side of the costs (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#33093998)

They forget to take a look at the other side of the costs: the maintenance costs of all web applications.
The costs of supporing IE6 vs. IE8 is huge. For example: You can't debug in a normal way in IE6, and it always behaves strange.

What I really want to know.. (1)

evJeremy (1721378) | about 4 years ago | (#33094000)

Who decided to build supposedly mission critical software as web apps to begin with, especially ones that only work in old versions of IE? It seems to defeat the whole purpose of using web apps in the first place (which I can't say I've ever understood the appeal of anyway).

gchq must love something (0)

AHuxley (892839) | about 4 years ago | (#33094116)

deep in the MS code that they dont want to see gone.
No 29th 1948 "black friday' when the Soviets tightened up their one time pads and stopped all chat, used hard lines ect. for the MS age.
Less open MS, more work :)

Launching boldly into last week (1)

HangingChad (677530) | more than 3 years ago | (#33094222)

Their response seems to be that a fully patched IE6 is perfectly safe as long as firewalls and malware scanning tools are in place, and that mandating an upgrade away from IE6 will be too expensive.

The UK government stood on the brink of upgrading to last week's technology and decided this modern technology thing was moving WAY too fast.

Bah, the UK Gov isn't the only IE6 only haven... (1)

mike_art03a (1722218) | more than 3 years ago | (#33094360)

Bah, the UK Government is the only place where IE6 reigns supreme in government departments. A number of Canadian Government Departments still use IE6 and have some broken proxy config that only allows IE6 to connect to the net. I work in a military office tower and I used to be able to use FF Portable to cruise the net until they rolled out a new baseline system that only allows IE6 to work for web access thanks to some proxy config and they block out all IE Config access as well as a number of things. The funny thing is that in the last 2 months, we were hit with a nasty little bug twice that spread through the network and intranet thanks to IE6 exploits on all the WinXP machines on the lan.
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