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IE6 Addiction Inhibits Windows 7 Migrations

Soulskill posted more than 3 years ago | from the second-verse-same-as-the-first dept.

Businesses 470

eldavojohn writes "As anyone in the industry will tell you, a lot of money went into developing web applications specific to IE6. And corporations can't leave Windows XP for Windows 7 until IE6 runs (in some way) on Windows 7. Microsoft wants to leave that non-standard browser mess behind them, but as the article notes, 'Organizations running IE6 have told Gartner that 40% of their custom-built browser-dependent applications won't run on IE8, the version packaged with Windows 7. Thus, many companies face a tough decision: Either spend time and money to upgrade those applications so that they work in newer browsers, or stick with Windows XP.' Support for XP is going to end in April 2014. In order to deal with this, companies are looking at virtualizing IE6 only (instead of a full operating system) so that it can run on Windows 7 — even though Microsoft says this violates licensing agreements. IE6 is estimated to have roughly 16% of browser market share, and due to mistakes in the past it may never truly die."

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What do you expect? (4, Insightful)

obergfellja (947995) | more than 3 years ago | (#34062510)

When people get comfortable enough with something, they don't look for new products to replace it. IE is just another reason why people don't change.

Re:What do you expect? (5, Informative)

bunratty (545641) | more than 3 years ago | (#34062596)

The problem was that IE had a 95% share of the market, so developers thought they could get away with developing web applications that would work only on IE 6 for Windows. And, of course, they did. The companies that bought these applications because they didn't realize this would mean that the applications would not work in other operating systems, other browsers, or even other versions of IE are now stuck with IE 6, which means they're stuck with Windows XP. It's worse than vendor lock-in. It's vendor/version lock-in.

Re:What do you expect? (5, Funny)

daid303 (843777) | more than 3 years ago | (#34062754)

It's vendor/version lock-in.

In other words, Microsoft overdid it. They just wanted to vendor lock-in not the version lock-in. And they are having a hard time recovering from it.

Re:What do you expect? (2, Interesting)

Goffee71 (628501) | more than 3 years ago | (#34062892)

Nah, I think the coders/devs/IT depts will see a world of money in upgrading all these old apps (think of it as the Millennium Bug Lite)

Plus, think of all the machine upgrades they can get away with in the name of system requirements and so on, its going to be a right old cake fest []

Re:What do you expect? (1)

xSauronx (608805) | more than 3 years ago | (#34062976)

The hospital I work in *just* got their several thousand (think 6000+) workstations upgraded to XP. It took almost 2 years.

We're just *now* only beginning to roll out IE7 because it took a while to test vendor apps and make sure things would work for IE7....a few machines are keeping IE6 because they have something that doesnt.

IE8 support isnt even a considering at this point, and probably wont be for the foreseeable future. Windows 7 couldnt happen if they wanted it to...a lot of the workstations are too old and underpowered to run it well, and much of the hardware certainly isnt going to be supported in any way.

Its crap, but theres not really a good way around it with that many workstations unless you have a boatload of money to dump into it.

Re:What do you expect? (1, Insightful)

EraserMouseMan (847479) | more than 3 years ago | (#34062968)

We're talking about custom corporate web apps here, folks. It doesn't matter if your web app runs perfectly on Mozilla/Netscape/Opara, etc. If your corporate IT standards mandate that all web-apps must run on the standard corporate-supported browser then that is what you develop the web apps for. Period. In that situation, back in the 2000 time-frame, the market share of IE in most large companies was 100%.

Re:What do you expect? (1)

StuartHankins (1020819) | more than 3 years ago | (#34062990)

+1 Insightful, not funny. Most companies BTW want some sort of vendor lock-in it's just that it can be done in different ways: Consistent good experience, support options, problem escalation, fewer defects, ease of use, ease of integration etc. Not that all of these necessarily apply in this situation. It's better to have your customers want to use your product than feel forced to use your product.

Re:What do you expect? (1)

Monkeedude1212 (1560403) | more than 3 years ago | (#34062688)

When people get comfortable enough with something, they don't look for new products to replace it.

This is what I don't get:

People are willing to put in the money and effort to try and virtualize IE 6 but the same amount could probably have gone in to upgrading their web application to run on IE8

Re:What do you expect? (3, Insightful)

mark72005 (1233572) | more than 3 years ago | (#34062768)

If a prepackaged, working solution currently existed to virtualize IE6 and solve all these problems with just the receipt of a licensing fee, this would not be a story.

Similarly, if it were cheap to rewrite all these web applications for IE8, it would also not be a story.

Re:What do you expect? (1)

MachineShedFred (621896) | more than 3 years ago | (#34062840)

You can do this with some of the management suites out there.

We'll be virtualizing all browsers on Windows 7 - be it IE6, 7, or 8.

Re:What do you expect? (1)

DJRumpy (1345787) | more than 3 years ago | (#34062890)

Eventually support for IE6 will be gone, and that is a concern for corporations. We considered virtualization under Win7 and rejected it for that reason. The out of the box solution to run XP VM is meaningless if XP support dries up, and it doubles the desktop footprint for the support areas. A nightmare in the making.

We are going through the painful process of rewriting and certifying IE6 specific apps and migrating to IE8. Only after that is complete will we migrate to Win 7.

Re:What do you expect? (1)

MightyMartian (840721) | more than 3 years ago | (#34062992)

It's the best road, providing you stick to the standards as much as possible. If your web apps are as loosely tied to a specific browser as possible, you won't have this issue in the future. I doubt true blind portability for most apps is impossible.

For better or for worse that's why I'm pretty much redoing all our web-apps in Joomla. I'm not really all that big a fan, because it adds that layer of bloat, but at least dealing with browser-specific oddities is someone else's problem.

Re:What do you expect? (1)

Monkeedude1212 (1560403) | more than 3 years ago | (#34062984)

I never said it was cheap - but you basically nailed it; If the option were to spend the money licensing a Virtual IE6 or spent rewriting the apps - what would companies do?

Lets say it takes you 6 months and 3 programmers at 80k annually to rewrite the software - so 120k + the cost of not having them work on other projects.
Or you had the alternative to license virtual IE 6 at 30 dollars a month per machine. Lets say you've got 500 PC's in your company.

Your money breaks even after 8 months, and the first option cuts off your spending and has a higher probability of lasting longer. If you want another 2 years out of your product, are you willing to spend 240000 dollars just to save your 3 programmers 6 months of time?

Re:What do you expect? (1)

obergfellja (947995) | more than 3 years ago | (#34062784)

Who are you gonna call? IE BUSTERS... i mean GHOST BUSTERS!!!

Re:What do you expect? (4, Insightful)

Critical Facilities (850111) | more than 3 years ago | (#34062828)

It reminds me of when I used to work for a very large, US based Financial Services Provider. They would waste so much money doing things in these roundabout, haphazard ways despite being shown very plainly how planning project progression carefully would save them money and heartburn. Of course, they'd never listen. So, we came up with what we felt best summed up their mission statement:

"There's never enough money to do it right, but there's always enough money to do it again."

Re:What do you expect? (1)

cynyr (703126) | more than 3 years ago | (#34062862)

but you missed, re-training, lost productivity, re certifying, supporting, and probably a few other costs as well. Re-training and lost productivity are going to have major $$ values with them. If your app handles sensitive data and needed to be certified, any re-write will cause you to have to pay for that again as well.

In short it's not dev costs that are the issue.

Re:What do you expect? (3, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34062950)

Sensitive data and IE6 in the same sentence.. lol..

What forethought by Microsoft (5, Insightful)

ByOhTek (1181381) | more than 3 years ago | (#34062512)

They used IE6 to E^3 (Embrace, Extetnd, Extinguish) Windows 7 long before it even came out!

Re:What forethought by Microsoft (1)

clarkn0va (807617) | more than 3 years ago | (#34062756)

Parent should be modded insightful, not funny (although this story packs its share of irony). The E^3 strategy was very much behind IE6's idiosyncrasies, and after all these years it has proven quite effective against competing products, including those put forward by Microsoft itself. Where are the defectivebydesign and lockin tags?

IE Patch (2, Interesting)

alphatel (1450715) | more than 3 years ago | (#34062524)

It's like smoking: If you don't quit, they'll eventually pass laws that force you to.

Re:IE Patch (2, Interesting)

FreonTrip (694097) | more than 3 years ago | (#34062558)

That, or the filthy habit catches up with you.

Re:IE Patch (2, Funny)

obergfellja (947995) | more than 3 years ago | (#34062620)

is that is why I feel so dirty when I am forced to use IE?

Re:IE Patch (3, Insightful)

FreonTrip (694097) | more than 3 years ago | (#34062704)

It's akin to wading in filth when you haven't had any shots. Paranoia is probably a more appropriate response - on a system with IE6 installed, the only places I visit are Windows Update and Mozilla, to download Firefox. Doing anything else is basically throwing a malware fiesta, and advertising your computer as a buffet..

Re:IE Patch (1)

obergfellja (947995) | more than 3 years ago | (#34062894)

*Washing Hands vigorously* UNCLEAN!!! UNCLEAN!!!

Re:IE Patch (1)

martas (1439879) | more than 3 years ago | (#34062868)

ok, that does it, i'm starting an "americans against discrimination agains smokers" party, or AADAS

The Browser That Wouldn't Die (4, Funny)

jejones (115979) | more than 3 years ago | (#34062540)

Seems appropriate for Halloween.

Re:The Browser That Wouldn't Die (1)

obergfellja (947995) | more than 3 years ago | (#34062700)

IE6 - the undead browser

Re:The Browser That Wouldn't Die (1)

EraserMouseMan (847479) | more than 3 years ago | (#34063018)

It's really about all the un-dead web apps/sites. Blame IE all you want. But it's the devs/companies who wrote the sites, or failed to upgrade them as the world moved on.

So sue them. (5, Insightful)

Hatta (162192) | more than 3 years ago | (#34062562)

In order to deal with this, companies are looking at virtualizing IE6 only (instead of a full operating system) so that it can run on Windows 7 -- even though Microsoft says this violates licensing agreements.

Then Microsoft should sue them. That would teach them, right? After all, violating intellectual property licenses is the same as theft.

Re:So sue them. (1)

snowraver1 (1052510) | more than 3 years ago | (#34062662)

I doubt that Microsoft actually would sue them. You don't bite the hand that feeds you.

Re:So sue them. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34062758)


easy (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34062570)

i blame the niggers and tea-partiers

I'm scared (1)

randomned (669691) | more than 3 years ago | (#34062574)

being a web developer, this frightens me.

Re:I'm scared (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34062744)

being a web developer, this frightens me.

Have about being a web developer and not an IE developer or flash developer?

Re:I'm scared (1)

hodet (620484) | more than 3 years ago | (#34062864)

Why its mostly enterprise, and a good chunk of users in said enterprises also run Firefox or Chrome. I couldn't care less if a new site does not support IE6. That's that Intranet web browser.

Encapsulating IE6 (3, Informative)

mlts (1038732) | more than 3 years ago | (#34062576)

A while back, I remember offering IE6 in a Thinstall (Now VMWare ThinApp) package. It was taken down, but something like that would be the best thing for places that need IE6, but don't have the hardware to virtualize an ACE VM just for this program. Even better would be running the IE6 package under sandboxie so when (not if) it gets compromised, the damage is very limited what malware could attempt.

Re:Encapsulating IE6 (4, Informative)

NJRoadfan (1254248) | more than 3 years ago | (#34062622)

Windows 7 Pro, Enterprise, and Ultimate come with a solution at no extra cost..... its called Windows XP Mode.

Re:Encapsulating IE6 (4, Insightful)

mlts (1038732) | more than 3 years ago | (#34062912)

Very true. However it isn't as easy to get set up and pushed out on an enterprise basis as a single app file. Another downside is that because XP Mode is complete VM that can easily get compromised, it requires an instance of antivirus for corporate IT reasons. Having a single executable that runs in a "jail" is a lot better performance-wise, and means one doesn't have to set up virtualization on company desktops.

Probably the simplest solution for a company that needs IE6 on desktops for one task or application would be to use Citrix or Terminal server, and just keep a well locked down copy of IE6 on a dedicated server.

Never Upgrade, Never Surrender! (4, Insightful)

VoiceInTheDesert (1613565) | more than 3 years ago | (#34062582)

Just goes to show you that no matter how annoying you can claim Microsoft to be, their user base can be equally so with their instance that decade-old software be their ONLY solution.

You gotta upgrade sometime, people.

Re:Never Upgrade, Never Surrender! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34062668)

I use a rolling distro for myself but do not upgrade windows stuff unless forced. The user base is terrified because of previous experiences? I have for you a windows ntfs backup image that is unusable because somehow installed apps there refer on a cifs share and look for them when trying to deinstall. That share was discontinued. A sane deinstaller would say "warning: i couldn't delete such and such" and go on. Guess what xp does? Abort deinstallation. FUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUU

Re:Never Upgrade, Never Surrender! (2, Interesting)

shentino (1139071) | more than 3 years ago | (#34062742)

IE6 conveniently breaks Web 2.0 stuff like youtube, facebook, and a lot of other stuff that PHBs simply do not want their employees accessing on the job.

It's brokenness is a feature in this case.

Re:Never Upgrade, Never Surrender! (1)

Bert64 (520050) | more than 3 years ago | (#34062748)

This is not entirely the fault of the users, sure they deserve some blame but only for allowing themselves to be suckered by microsoft's lock-in strategies...
It is microsoft that chose to ignore standards and build a browse designed to lock people in.
Had they built a standards compliant browser, then modern browsers being a superset of the standards available at the time would continue to run these old application just fine.
Similarly if these application developers had developed using standard technologies instead of using proprietary microsoft crap this wouldn't be a problem.
You would hope that people would learn from these mistakes, but you see people being suckered in by proprietary crap all the time still, and they will be just as screwed in a few years time.

Re:Never Upgrade, Never Surrender! (1)

Mongoose Disciple (722373) | more than 3 years ago | (#34062982)

Have we forgotten that for several years, IE6 was basically the only free-as-in-beer browser that existed, or are we ignoring that sad truth?

You don't have to be crazy to build for what works on a specific browser when it's the only browser there is.

Re:Never Upgrade, Never Surrender! (2, Informative)

gstoddart (321705) | more than 3 years ago | (#34062812)

Just goes to show you that no matter how annoying you can claim Microsoft to be, their user base can be equally so with their instance that decade-old software be their ONLY solution.

I don't think you understand the scope of the problem. Not even a little.

Companies and governments have massive amounts of custom code which runs only on IE6. The time, money, and effort to rewrite this would be absolutely huge.

Are you seriously suggesting that organizations just toss out a mission-critical bit of software either because it's old or proprietary? If so, then I think you have absolutely no understanding of what IT works like on a corporate scale.

I believe the entire Government of Canada has to use IE6 because they have apps that tie them to it. I suspect many really large organizations have this issue as well. It's not like these organizations can just stop using that software that they have.

If Microsoft didn't make stuff that was incompatible with everything else by design, companies wouldn't have this problem. But, as long as Microsoft continues to decide that their way is the best way, companies who have had to work around this are the ones who bear the burden.

Re:Never Upgrade, Never Surrender! (1)

chemicaldave (1776600) | more than 3 years ago | (#34062818)

I would wager that the majority of the user base still using IE6 is doing so out of ignorance (home users) or are forced to use it (employees). In the latter case, usually some technologically ignorant (and I mean that in a derogatory way) manager is afraid of making the switch to IE7 or *gasp* IE8. Of course some of the blame should be placed on developers who still decide to support IE6, although often times it's that same ignorant manager threatening to stop purchasing software that doesn't conform to their standards that forces developers to use one of the worst pieces of software ever developed in the history computing. But for developers making sites for the public, I have to wonder why some of them support IE6 at all.

Re:Never Upgrade, Never Surrender! (2, Interesting)

clarkn0va (807617) | more than 3 years ago | (#34062832)

You gotta upgrade sometime, people.

My brother is the HVAC chief for one of Canada's larger cities, and he recently purchased Windows 98 on ebay because it is required to run the climate controls in city hall.

Yeah, sooner or later they'll have to upgrade, but if you think IE6 is going to magically vanish tomorrow or even in a couple years when support officially runs out, prepare for a shock.

Re:Never Upgrade, Never Surrender! (1)

orangeyoda (958347) | more than 3 years ago | (#34062874)

The Franken-app that I am supporting now, runs only on IE6, 90% of the code could be submitted to DailyWTF. To rewrite it would take 2 - 3 years, to fix it to run in IE8, 2 years or so. Neither is going to happen so it will keep running. The previous developper left because of it, and I can see a future at another company very soon.

Quirksmode (1)

tehniobium (1042240) | more than 3 years ago | (#34062586)

This should be a one-line fix to their existing systems to enable IE8 legacy/quirks mode. Then perhaps a couple of days weeding out the odd bug that pops up.

It really shouldnt be a big upgrade.

Re:Quirksmode (3, Informative)

ifrag (984323) | more than 3 years ago | (#34062886)

This should be a one-line fix to their existing systems to enable IE8 legacy/quirks mode.

One line... really? Perhaps you have not noticed how fail the "compatibility mode" in IE8 actually is. If that component actually worked as advertised then maybe it would be simple to get it working but it doesn't. What they have today is far from having a quick fix option.

Re:Quirksmode (1)

Mongoose Disciple (722373) | more than 3 years ago | (#34063020)

For what it's worth, IE8 in compatability mode has worked perfectly with the not-small amount of legacy IE6 apps I've encountered since across three or four unrelated clients.

I'm not sure what features you're using that it doesn't support the same way, but for a lot of companies it really will be a quick fix.

Re:Quirksmode (1)

cynyr (703126) | more than 3 years ago | (#34062916)

If anything looks different you will need to re-train staff, and if it had some 3rd certification that will need to be re-done if you touch the code.

Re:Quirksmode (1)

MudflapSoftware (773087) | more than 3 years ago | (#34062928)

This is absolutely correct. There are meta elements you can add to the html payload which will force IE8 to run with specific rendering rules. However, the *rendering* of the content isn't the biggest problem.... A *LOT* of internal applications were written without sandboxing and security in mind. So, in the early days of javascript/dhtml, it was the wild wild west, and bad code simply will not work. The security semantics of iframes also changed along the way. ... and then there is the white elephant in the room.... ActiveX/OCX's in the browser ... which enabled vb6 developers to get 'fat client' functionality running in a browser. In this case, many of the legacy control toolkits are marginally functional on Windows7. The bottom line is that IE6, VB6 and IIS made it VERY easy for devs to develop solutions *quickly* for the enterprise. Now, they are reaping the harvest of bad security decisions, bad coding, etc...

XP Mode? (3, Insightful)

dilbert627 (561671) | more than 3 years ago | (#34062592)

Isn't that the point of XP Mode? To run legacy applications that aren't 7-compatible?

Re:XP Mode? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34062660)

Then they would only be using Win7 to run XP Mode 24x7, which defeats the whole purpose of upgrading. Until they update their web applications to run on a modern browser, they're stuck using IE6 on XP.

Re:XP Mode? (1)

frozentier (1542099) | more than 3 years ago | (#34062738)

Unless you are running a premium version of Win7 (not the standard version that ships with most computers), XP mode is disabled.

Xp mode is still running a full XP + VM overhead (1)

Joe The Dragon (967727) | more than 3 years ago | (#34062826)

Xp mode is still running a full XP + VM overhead.

So you still have the 2014 deadline and may have to run AV and other stuff in the VP and the host OS.

Re:XP Mode? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34063000)

That's the point of the compatibility view lists feature in IE7/IE8. You can still use the IE6 rendering engine if you put your own site into the Compatiblity View List for your machines. This has worked for my crappy old apps at least.

IE6 on WIndows 7 (2, Informative)

greap (1925302) | more than 3 years ago | (#34062598)

I use [] for cross browser testing and IE6 runs fine on Win7. Also you can install IE6 for XP mode with a couple of hacks.

Dependent Programs (1)

rakuen (1230808) | more than 3 years ago | (#34062600)

There's a lot of dependent programs out there. In addition to organizations running older versions of Internet Explorer, there are also those running earlier versions of Java and other constructs which have changed over time. I know some of this is happenstance, you can't force a language to continue supporting everything you put into your program. But some of this is people putting in deprecated objects and functions. Why would you do that? Maybe it'll be faster, but they've already warned you that, "Hey, this probably won't be here in the near future!" Doing it another way isn't going to be better for you now, but it'll keep you from being completely locked in later.

Seems like an opportunity (3, Interesting)

Just_Say_Duhhh (1318603) | more than 3 years ago | (#34062614)

...for some other browser maker to work with these companies to create a compatibility module that would let them use a NEW browser with their old applications. If Mozilla wasn't so busy on Firefox 4.0, they could probably get something coded up to help these companies put IE6 where it belongs (trash bin).

Has anyone from these companies tried running XP in a VM to maintain compatibility, while giving them an avenue to load a new OS, and start rolling out new applications? It would seem like the smoothest way to get over this problem.

Re:Seems like an opportunity (1)

colin_young (902826) | more than 3 years ago | (#34062706)

Assuming it's even possible, that's just going to encourage people to continue to to use and rely on the IE specific features. We're talking about stuff like ActiveX, behaviors and IE "quirks". Please, don't let any of that stuff infect other browsers.

Re:Seems like an opportunity (1)

reaper (10065) | more than 3 years ago | (#34062810)

Actually, Windows 7 has Windows XP available as an option. It runs XP apps in a VM and displays the window as a native window on the 7 desktop. You would need to tweak the default install to get IE 6 on there (it ships with 8), but it's still cheaper over the long haul than not upgrading to windows 7.

Re:Seems like an opportunity (1)

gstoddart (321705) | more than 3 years ago | (#34062876)

Has anyone from these companies tried running XP in a VM to maintain compatibility

Did you even make it through the summary?

In order to deal with this, companies are looking at virtualizing IE6 only (instead of a full operating system) so that it can run on Windows 7 — even though Microsoft says this violates licensing agreements.

Yes, they have looked at it. As usual, Microsoft are being asshats. Heck, I think Microsoft even claims you can't run their operating systems on virtual machines unless it's their version of it.

Re:Seems like an opportunity (1)

clarkn0va (807617) | more than 3 years ago | (#34062914)

...a compatibility module that would let them use a NEW browser with their old applications...It would seem like the smoothest way to get over this problem.

As long as IE6 and Winxp are still in support, how is your suggestion smoother than just cruising along with status quo?

Don't get me wrong, I'm not condoning the choice, but it's not hard to see why some people and organisations are reluctant to get on the treadmill.

Let that be a lesson (2, Insightful)

C_Kode (102755) | more than 3 years ago | (#34062626)

Let that be a lesson to all those idiots who wrote IE only web applications.


Re:Let that be a lesson (1)

icebraining (1313345) | more than 3 years ago | (#34063024)

They've already been paid are move on. Their clients are the suckers who got bitten, not the people who wrote the apps.

Serves them Right (1)

segedunum (883035) | more than 3 years ago | (#34062628)

I have no sympathy for these organisations. When you create web applications that are designed for one web browser then you're going to get burned. Maybe they will eventually learn that Microsoft lost the API war, but I doubt it: []

Re:Serves them Right (1)

shentino (1139071) | more than 3 years ago | (#34062778)

I think organizations rather like having a browser that screws up social networking.

IE6: bigger mess than Y2K (3, Insightful)

CAIMLAS (41445) | more than 3 years ago | (#34062636)

IE6 is beginning to be a bigger mess than Y2K. It's not yet such a long-term problem, but the scope is pretty board due to the fact that it's the entire program, not just date fields, which are broken.

Not just IE specific apps (1)

weicco (645927) | more than 3 years ago | (#34062644)

A lot of applications are developed against directions in MSDN. For instance a lot of apps write stuff under %ProgramFiles% or replaces DLLs under %SystemRoot%. This means that they don't work well (read: at all) in Vista or 7 without administrator rights. As a member of our IT staff I'm really reluctant to give administrator password or administrator rights to, well, anyone. That's why we've been sticking to XP.

In fact, I can't think a single ActiveX component that's holding us back. In fact we just upgraded IE6 to IE8 on all our machines. Some internal website didn't look so good in IE8 but that was easy to fix. Personally I've been running Windows 7 and IE9 beta for couple of months now.

Re:Not just IE specific apps (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34062814)

If you don't give admin access to anyone, how do apps that write to %ProgramFiles% work on XP? Surely they'd work better on Vista and Win7 which have file system redirection to handle this kind of problem?

IE6 needs something like Mozilla Prism (1)

smartr (1035324) | more than 3 years ago | (#34062648)

I don't understand why Microsoft doesn't just make something like Mozilla Prism that runs IE6 or whatever flavor of IE that you need to run their browser-dependent applications. If users need these internal apps they keep running them in a sort of sandbox, while not making life hell for everyone by surfing the web on IE6. I'm sure most MS Administrators would breath easier knowing their users can still run the corporate applications while not running a vulnerable browser all over the web...

Nobody Blame Microsoft. Seriously. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34062666)

The short-sighted software developers who ever wrote anything that ran exclusively on IE 6 are to blame. You cannot blame the gun maker for the murder. It has been clear for half the decade that web technologies were moving beyond the stagnating IE 6. Still, so many web applications have since been tailored to it, with complete disregard for standards and ignorance to tools (e.g., cross-browser JavaScript libraries) that allow easy migration elsewhere. Now those who tied themselves to the platform will rightfully feel the pain, either in being saddled with antiques or the costs to develop what they should have developed in the first place.

I'm no anonymous coward... (1)

Antony-Kyre (807195) | more than 3 years ago | (#34062674)

I love IE6! I love the feel of it, where the buttons and everything are. I love the way it acts when I go to websites.

I detest IE8. The only thing IE8 has going for it would be the ability to drag and drop sites into the toolbar. But everything else, I don't like.

Re:I'm no anonymous coward... (1)

LingNoi (1066278) | more than 3 years ago | (#34062852)

Dude you should join my IE6 supporters group [] . It's a community that's pressuring Microsoft to continue support for IE6.

Who's fault is it? (1)

LordNimon (85072) | more than 3 years ago | (#34062684)

I wonder if the Microsoft employees who made the decision to make IE6 incompatible with HTML standards have been disciplined in any way for the money that they're costing Microsoft now?

Re:Who's fault is it? (1)

rakuen (1230808) | more than 3 years ago | (#34062958)

Whose fault, whose fault?
It's San Andreas' Fault!
'Cause Mister Richter
Can't predict her
Kicking our asphalt!

To be a bit more serious though, it probably didn't even come up. At the time, I imagine Microsoft was thinking, "We want our browser to do this." So they did it, even if it broke the standards. Of course, a few years down the line that mentality became a problem.

Short sightedness (1)

jshriver (707916) | more than 3 years ago | (#34062690)

Perhaps they should have written the code in a portable way rather than require IE6. Who still does that? It was bound to be obsolete eventually. Guess it's time for them to pay out for vm software for old XP or pony up the money to make the software correctly. Willing to be Active X is involved.

Re-develope (1)

Murdoch5 (1563847) | more than 3 years ago | (#34062710)

If you have a web browser app it's time to reprogram it and have it work on better more robust browsers. Back in the day IE was decent but now it's one of the worst browsers on the market. I understand that money is tied up with these old application but how long do you want to sit there on IE6 and stop any chance of updating.

More so then reprogramming web apps to run on new IE versions, why not reprogram the web apps so it runs on any browser, this will prevent future update issues. Web development is very similar to desktop programming, the best way to make the app in the first place is to start fresh and make it 100% compatible with all platforms or in the this case all browsers.

Spend the money once and make a great cross browser program and never look back. Nothing will be gained by waiting for IE6 to be ported up to Windows 7, the problem is that the programs aren't really made right in the first place, if they were IE6 would not be the only issue.

Standalone IE6 (1)

Barefoot Monkey (1657313) | more than 3 years ago | (#34062734)

I personally believe that if Microsoft were to release an official, properly working standalone edition of IE6 then people wouldn't have reason to cling to the old version just because they need it for a particular case. They could even brand it as "Microsoft Intranet Viewer" or something.

Huge Success! (3, Insightful)

Pentium100 (1240090) | more than 3 years ago | (#34062760)

Well, Microsoft made IE6 not compatible with standards so that people would make sites compatible with IE (because the majority use IE, since it came with Windows) so that the sites would be less compatible with standard browsers that work on other operating systems, so that people would use Windows and IE, since a lot of sites only worked with IE.

Corporate software also requires IE6, since it comes with Windows XP, why make a program that's compatible with other browsers, except IE and then require that browser when all your users have IE6 by default? Now it is inconvenient, but redoing the app to support standards would be expensive.

So, now IE6 is so entrenched in the corporate environment that not only it prevents the company from migrating to Linux or some other OS, but it also prevents the company from migrating to a newer OS made by Microsoft.

Whoever was in charge of the decision to make IE6 non compatible did a wonderful job - XP and IE6 will live for a long time. It will probably even outlive newer versions of Windows.

Re:Huge Success! (5, Insightful)

Cederic (9623) | more than 3 years ago | (#34062922)

Exactly. IE6 is fantastic, truly magnificent - it's a poster child for any architect.

Why? Because now we have the perfect "here's how to fuck up your organisation by not following standards" example. With the added bonus that almost any organisation I go to work for will have fallen into exactly that trap.

Karma is a bitch! (1)

whoever57 (658626) | more than 3 years ago | (#34062764)

MS created a deliberately non-standard browser and now suffers the consequences.

Let that be a lesson to Microsoft (0, Troll)

Conspiracy_Of_Doves (236787) | more than 3 years ago | (#34062770)

Don't write crappy software that locks people in and prevents them from upgrading.

New sales pitch needed (1)

RivenAleem (1590553) | more than 3 years ago | (#34062774)

I work on IE6 all day long. All our in-house apps were made for it. They ALL use Java.

Recently one of the apps was upgraded and it has caused havok all this week as the java platform is not running properly and it's pretty much borked six ways from sunday.

While trying to do some critical work yesterday, stuff that just had to be done as deadline was coming up, I tried, on a hunch to see if it ran in chrome or FF. I got a popup to tell me that my browser did not meet the requirements to run the app. I ignore it and continued on my way, hopeful that it would work in some small way. To my surprise, much of it did work. Not only that, but in chrome it worked bloody quick, like 20-30 seconds to do a task that usually took 3-4 minutes.

There were some thing it flat out REFUSED to do, but I was, ultimately, able to do my job and meet the deadline.

So the question is. With so many of these apps that run using java, and run so much faster on chrome than IE6, why has nobody managed to convince upper management that there would be a huge productivity boost if they invested in converting the apps to run on the newer browsers?

Who do I have to email to try to convince them of this?

(I work for a major multinational company, who uses these apps all over the world, all day long. I would estimate an increase in efficiency of at least 30% if the apps were converted to work in new browser)

Disclaimer: I'm not so computer savvy, my areas of expertise are in chemistry. I know that java and javascript are 2 totally different things, so a browser that's great a javascript doesn't automatically make it great at java. The increased speed of chrome and FF are not likely to be because of their javascript engines, in reality, I don't know why they should be that much faster, it just turns out like that from my observation.

Rejoice! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34062776)

We get to say "I told you so".

XP Mode Anyone? (0, Redundant)

klwood911 (731463) | more than 3 years ago | (#34062790)

Its called XP Mode, microsoft ships it with IE6 installed and can be legally run on any Windows 7 Professional PC. Just download and install for free. When the sites are upgraded, swap back over to IE8 and uninstall. Plus it has the added benefit of running all your old software that won't run under 7.

Let this be a lesson (1)

Matt Perry (793115) | more than 3 years ago | (#34062792)

Let this be a lesson to those companies who said it was too expensive to follow web standards when developing web sites and applications.

The Lesson (1)

assertation (1255714) | more than 3 years ago | (#34062830)

If Microsoft had take W3 standards seriously sooner, they wouldn't be losing potential sales on Windows 7 now.

The companies that built software targeted only at IE 6 are also reaping what they are sowing. For years many web designers and tech managers have been ignorant of the existence of W3 standards. I have seen many instances where upon being told that the internet and IE are not same thing these people brushed that piece of information off.

At the time when IE 6 was the most advanced IE, if you wanted to increase the chances of your web app working everywhere you would develop it using a standards compliant browser like Firefox and then test it in IE 6, adjusting your code if necessary to get it working in both.

Too many programmers viewed this inconvenience as a pain in the ass and convinced managers in meetings to not mandate this practice.

I guess it comes down to pay now or pay later.

They didn't want to pay then as they were building things, so they have to pay now unless their users don't mind using a very old browser.

Too bad so sad. (1)

wazzzup (172351) | more than 3 years ago | (#34062842)

At what point don't they just buckle down and rewrite the apps to use standards-based methods? They put their money on a losing horse. Suck it up and move on.

I understand that Microsoft encouraged folks to write their apps with Active X and all that but they learned a valuable lesson - don't trust mission-critical operations to a single-vendor solution.

Yes, I know Exchange and Active Directory ft into this category as well but the only difference is that Microsoft hasn't dropped support for them. I mean, why is going 100% Microsoft a rational decision but if your CIO said "We're going 100% Apple." he'd be fired in a heartbeat?

There are many large companies and governments that seem to make things work without Microsoft technologies and I'm sure you can too.

This is why "integration" is bad. Hmkay? (4, Interesting)

linebackn (131821) | more than 3 years ago | (#34062872)

I would like to once again take this opportunity to say "I told you so" to all of the idiots who wanted IE "integrated" in to the OS. If IE was a normal application, like every other browser, then you would be able to run IE 6 on Windows 7 along side IE 8 in a fully supported manner without any fancy hacks or virtualization.

People would have been better off sticking with web stuff that only worked in Netscape 4. I'd need to double check, but I am pretty sure Netscape 4.8 will run fine under Windows 7.

But, of course, when Windows 9 comes out, people will still be stuck on Windows 7 and IE 8.

Easily fixable! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34062918)

Many of our clients (at have tens or hundreds of applications that were written years ago and run only on IE6. The solution is simple and inexpensive, just run IE6 off of a Citrix Presenatation Server (XenApp) platform. Users get their nice new Windows 7 desktop while not one line of code is changed in their "legacy" applications.

The whole thing can be planned in a day or 2 and executed over a few weeks.

Simples (sic).

Gotta love (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34062920)

Gotta love how IE6 is screwing over its maker more than anyone else these days ;) Now that it suits them, they need their customers to upgrade up to Windows 7 but what are probably some of their most lucrative customers can't do so because they are so heavily invested in IE6 !

Inhibits? (1)

Squeebee (719115) | more than 3 years ago | (#34062926)

If 175 million copies sold (a new record for Microsoft) is inhibited sales, I'd like to see what the uninhibited sales numbers would have been.

Re:Inhibits? (1)

Squeebee (719115) | more than 3 years ago | (#34062946)

Correction, 240 million.

Yay! (1)

Arancaytar (966377) | more than 3 years ago | (#34062944)

I am at risk of foaming at the mouth when I think of IE6, but the news that it is hurting adoption of Windows 7 and costing MS profits puts a smile on my face.


I have experience with this... (1)

JMZero (449047) | more than 3 years ago | (#34062986)

MS really screwed this one up, and I don't think they even really saw it coming.

For example, a lot of IE-specific web software from around 2000 used the DHTML edit control. At the time, it seemed like a reasonable option to, for example, add spellcheck into a web form and have a reasonable UI. Some of our pages used it. Yes I know it sounds dumb now, but 2000 was a long time ago and the set of options was very different. Things weren't the same. The amount of stuff you could do in a cross-browser friendly page was limited, and the amount of work to get it working was much greater.

When they decided to get rid of it (for Vista) the only notice I found was in some MS blog which pretty much read "we looked around the web and it didn't seem like many people were using this, so we're getting rid of it to have a smaller security surface area". Oh, and by the way, we'll give ourselves plenty of time to stop using it in Outlook Web Access. But yeah, no option to leave it available for trusted sites or something, just "screw you". Now, to be clear, there's replacements for that functionality in modern browsers, but nothing was a drop-in replacement and it was still a pain for a lot of users.

And it's not MS's normal MO... a lot of the reason they've done well over the years is understanding how glacially slow businesses can move and keeping software functional long after its natural expiry date. I think they just really didn't know people were using that, and they're only now starting to pay attention to people who are dealing with this - years after the mistake of not providing an easy transition.

Our internal site still uses IE custom print templates (to get well formatted boilerplate text on pages, allow interactive, persistent control of page breaks, and otherwise ensure consistent printing of HTML). These have been around and unchanged since IE 5 I think, and have been working for us since around 2000. But I know one day they'll just be gone. Again, I'm sure there will be some replacement tech - but I fully expect MS not to give a crap about how we transition.


digitaldc (879047) | more than 3 years ago | (#34062988)

Nothing will ever make me let you go, you are the one IE6.

As flawed as you are, I just got used to having you around.

It must be the "6" (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34062994)

It must be the "6": IE6, VB6, VC6

All workhorses.

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