Norwegian web sites are campaigning to have users dump Microsoft's Internet Explorer 6 for a modern browser. Two of the country's three largest newspapers as well as local newspapers, search engines and ISPs, the Yellow Pages, and other communities have posted a message that ask users to upgrade. Microsoft is also reported to be …
Technical details may be missing the point.
As I recall (I haven't used it in a long time), IE7 changed the user interface rather drastically. Heck, similar irritation is why I'm still using Firefox 2 rather than Firefox 3. For a lot of us, how we interact with the software matters the most. As I've said many times before, I'll upgrade when Mozilla restores functionality; Microsoft's heavy-handed insistance on inflicting new widgetry on its indentured servants is even more smug and unpleasant.
Yes, IE7 is undoubtedly a technically superior product under the hood. Firefox 3 is undoubtedly a technically superior product under the hood. But if the would-be user perceives the driver's seat as having a large, uncomfortable spike sticking up out of it, he or she may reasonably conclude that a used Yugo may actually provide a better experience.
Well done Norway
Here in Australia most Government Departments and corporates are still stuck on IE6 as we cross-browser compatibility was considered a needless expense for web apps and there's still no impetus to upgrade - even though it breaks all their security models. But cognitive dissonance is something senior ITC management excel in...
Please! Kill it! Kill it NOW! Spread this campaign everywhere.
A very tired web developer
the next step......
now if we can only get people to dump IE7 for Firefox life would be great :-)
MS used to require crappy validation to get their crappy browser. Surely that would go part way to explaining the slow uptake, at least in the earlier days.
Here's some more realistic current browser statistics from NetApplications MarketShare, in addition to the web-developer biased stats from W3Schools.com:
Microsoft Internet Explorer 7.0 = 47.32%
Microsoft Internet Explorer 6.0 = 19.21%
Firefox 3.0 = 18.30% (my browser of choice)
Safari 3.2 = 4.16%
Safari 3.1 = 2.89%
Firefox 2.0 = 2.84%
Chrome 1.0 = 1.08%
Microsoft Internet Explorer 8.0 = 0.92%
Opera 9.x = 0.67%
I truly wish with all of my heart that IE6 would die, and die soon.
If it wasn't for management idiots
believing the hype that using a web browser as a thin client front end for applications was sexy, we might be able to switch browser at my place.
Instead, we have 3rd party apps that have absolutely no fucking standards compliance shackling us to the abomination that is IE6.
The next phase
Thanks for picking this up.
The campaign has sent a clear message to the users, but the next phase is both more difficult and more time consuming.
We need to get the companies to upgrade their standard browser. Ironically, many of them have standardized on the browser that doesn't support the web standards.
It will be painful for some of them to do the upgrade, but it has to be done - both in Norway, and in other countries. The internet depends on it.
Damn good idea!
The sooner that piece of shit is buried the better. After that we've all got to hope that IE7 and 8 gets buried as well (and IE9+ is stillborn).
Well, it's a hope - oink, flap.
No Chance Here!
One of the biggest collections of computers in the UK, (and the biggest budget on IT in history?) is the NHS. As far as I can see, we are sticking with IE6 for now.
Why? Because this huge spend only supports IE6. We all know that IE7 works. It certainly does for me on nice new Dell laptops, but it is "not supported" by the clowns that have sold us these new applications and systems for £XXX billion..
My home PC runs FF3 although I have put IE8 on it for comparison. Too early to make a judgement. It keeps trying to open Messenger, so it's not looking good so far!
@ Pink Duck
Checkout global stats at thecounter.com if you actually want unbiased....and raw data from 10000's of sites without axes to grind. Hideous though it is, IE6 is far from dead, those Firefox stats (sadly) are far from believable - and you must be quackers to believe Safari has anywhere near 7%
1. MSIE 7.x (42%)
2. MSIE 6.x (34%)
3. FireFox x.x (17%)
4. Safari (4%)
5. Opera x.x (1%)
6. Unknown (1%)
All Others (<1%)
"Norwegian web sites are campaigning to have users dump Microsoft's Internet Explorer 6 for a modern browser."
I must have misread this. IE 7 and "modern" in the same article. Obviously put there for comedic effect.
Does MS make a web browser?
Well I never!
Who'd a thought Redmond would risk it's customers web security with one of their own Crap-O-Ware applications?
IE6 rendering engine in latest IE Mobile
The rendering engine used in IE Mobile has (or will be) updated from IE4 (shudder) to IE6. I wonder if this version of IE Mobile will be included in the IE6 stats at various tracking sites, and/or if users of this version of IE Mobile would see the warning described in the article? I don't expect that Internet Explorer Mobile has any significant market share, but unlike it's desktop equivalent, there's simply no upgrade path available.
You should be ashamed!
GEE. I wonder why IE 6 is still so popular. Maybe because it's the last version of IE to work on Windows 98? It's the same reason I use Firefox 2 instead of Firefox 3.
Now all we need…
…is for Google to join the campaign, and we can all watch IE6’s browser-share drop to the 3% of people out there who neither use Google nor an alternative browser.
and you must be quackers to believe Safari has anywhere near 7%
but you posted 4%
If you look at thecounter.com stats, they are for hits between 1 Feb 2008 & today. So they are a little historic.
Thaking the total figures for each month & doing a few calculations given the following %ages.
IE 7 44.4%
IE 6 26.7%
6 is plenty
All of the sites we design and build render and work fine in IE6, no extra effort required. Actually, add IE 5.5 on windows and IE 5.2 on the Mac to that list too. I don't see what the issue is with 'supporting' IE6 on a web site, just write some decent HTML and CSS in the first place.
IE6 is still the browser of choice for many public bodies and other 3rd sector organisations, as well as large corporates. It will be another 3+ years before we stop supporting it.
I reckon its generally NOT users to blame. Corporates are shocking. I work for a large banking corporate, who still maintain IE6 as the desktop browser across the estate. Thats 10's of 1,000's of 'users' forced to remain in the internet dark ages.
I agree with the spike up the driving seat analogy - no matter how I fiddle with view toolbars IE7 insists on uselessly taking up more screen space than IE6.
"I don't expect that Internet Explorer Mobile has any significant market share, but unlike it's desktop equivalent, there's simply no upgrade path available."
Opera or Opera Mini are great browsers for mobile phones. So will Minimo be when it finally gets unleashed on the world.
more alternate stats
Here are this morning's stats from a website that I look after.
Gecko (Firefox) 37.49%
Gecko (Camino) 0.28%
The stats don't differentiate between the different versions of Firefox and Safari like they do with IE and Opera.
Sod the article, who gives a shit?
But the tagline had me spit coffee all over my keyboard!
"Piece of shit" ???
I'm with the first poster, I use what I want to use. Just because someone tells me a later version is better doesn't mean it is for me. Most often I find otherwise.
I didn't upgrade from IE6 because it did the job for me. Same reason why I'm now with FF2 and not FF3 - which isn't supported on my old WinOS anyway which I haven't upgraded because I do not need to ( which I doubt will even run IE7 or IE8 ).
The real irony is IE6 renders some sites far better than IE8 - "Piece of shit" is an entirely subjective assessment. That's my assessment of Opera because it won't play ball with my particular choice of Windows Color Schemes, frequently rendering black-on-black, while others may equally reasonably assess it as the dog's gonads.
Sick to the back teeth and beyond
I sat with a client the other day, she had here sparkly Windows system with IE and I had my laptop with Open Suse and Firefox. I decided that we needed to build our own in house help menu using screen shots. Oh dear. rather than bore you all here is what she said after half an hour: "But this doesn't make sense, you can do all these things so much faster, very easily and everything works for you. I can't seem to do any of these things, it is all so difficult and awkward and I can't get the answers I want. But what really makes me mad is that I paid for all this software and you didn't pay for any of yours. That can't be right!" This was followed by, "And yes,um, yes, I think I understand what you said about our logo not looking so good, it's not that our site is bad it's the browser isn't it....no...that can't be right!" And of course it is not right, it never was right and it never will be right: IE = Intelligence Exhausted
I use it because i like it
I like IE6, and i'm not going to install IE7 or IE8 until websites stop working with IE6. I do not like Firefox.
IE = Intelligence Exhausted
I couldn't agree more. Somedays I feel like a Dolphin having to jump through Microsoft Hoops® all day long.
It's quite irritating that you make a nice standards compliant page and then have to muck up all the good clean work just to make IE6 work properly. It really is a sub-standard, competition stiffling product that should be eliminated as soon as possible.
Unlike Bill Hicks, it'll be when I hear "but everybody uses Internet Explorer" that makes me snap.
stuck with IE6 for now.
Realistically, we're stuck with IE6 as long as we're stuck with XP.
I browse with firefox, as do many web developers, the stats from 'a site I look after' would be very distorted since a large percentage of them are 'me' thus bumping up the firefox stats hugely, as would the visits of many people I know. W3Schools would also have a more alternate browser bias. Unfortunately IE6 is huge, as I have discovered as many of my clients run IE6 and will immediately point out some quirk I missed.
Fortunately, for the most part, you can put in IF IE and do custom CSS for IE6/7. If you write your sites carefully, you only need to do a very minimum of this, sometimes none at all. My pet hate is the few things that work fine in firefox 2, but broke in firefox 3, or vice versa, since there is no easy way to fix that. Some things you can just rewrite from scratch to work in both, some others don't work quite right in either.
I regularly use IE6/7, firefox 2/3 and Chrome, and I find all of them are deficient in some manner or another. I often lament things in Firefox that IE does better, and vice versa. Chrome just brought another (albeit small) batch of things I had to fix that worked fine in every other browser on Mac/PC.
IE8, I don't care about, I don't care about anything that is incompatible with a browser that is in beta still.
One thing is sure, regardless of which browser you like, my job would be a heap easier if everyone just liked the ONE browser, or hell, maybe even three.
IE6, it would be great to see it die, but since it came as default with XP, we're not going to see the end of it, until we see the end of XP.
Re: IE6 rendering engine in latest IE Mobile
Dear God I'd forgotten about that hideous application. First thing I did when getting my latest win mobile (couple years ago now) phone was buy (for something daft like £8) a copy of Opera Mobile. Heaven! Someone I know downloaded a trial of the LATEST version the other day - VERY nice look and feel. And much more thumb compatible (I think I'm seeing iPhone influence here).
And I can see the flames coming regarding why I'm using a winmobile phone.... Synchronization mostly. I have experimented with trying to get contact lists on a Samsung that supposedly supported such things to backup/sync with desktops before... yee gods what a mess that was to sort out. Even trying it without using Outlook. MS may do several things badly, but in our house we have a 2PC+2Phone 3 way ActiveSync going on that has survived for years, through 4 PC upgrades and probably similar phone changes, at one point we had a 3rd PC in the mix too. That's why I like the winmobile phone. Other PDA phones are also good. Other email clients are often better. But for the simplicity of keeping it all going, Outlook and ActiveSync are (in this case) my chosen option.
Re: 6 is plenty
"All of the sites we design and build render and work fine in IE6, no extra effort required. Actually, add IE 5.5 on windows and IE 5.2 on the Mac to that list too. I don't see what the issue is with 'supporting' IE6 on a web site, just write some decent HTML and CSS in the first place."
You're having a laugh: decent HTML and CSS with IE6? Ever heard of standards? Everyone has been doing tons of workarounds for IE6 for years because Microsoft hoped that their fancy ActiveX/COM hooks and other distractions would be adequate to cover the gaps in their CSS support.
"IE6 is still the browser of choice for many public bodies and other 3rd sector organisations, as well as large corporates. It will be another 3+ years before we stop supporting it."
I can see what's going on here because I've experienced it myself. Management wants to roll out a Web application, but their definition of Web is "serving the application over the Internet to Windows users" which either means "works with IE and the Mac (upon enough squealing, one day)" or "the browser is that thing which launches those Windows components".
This is the problem with a lot of Web development work, especially in brand-fixated Britain: everyone focuses on maximising the technological bling in order to "deliver an experience" within a narrowly defined technical window, thus completely missing the point of having a standards-based medium in the first place.
You shouldn't be stipulating "IE versions x.y through x.z" as if you're trying to be a technical wizard micromanaging some kind of Jobsian event. You should be supporting standards-based Web browsers.
The timing on this is rather interesting:
IE8 is nearly out, but not quite, so what do they want people to do? There is a damn good reason why people haven't changed to IE7 and that is because it provides only one tiny advantage: tabbed browsing. So it really doesn't count as a modern browser. (IE8 probably won't either, but that is a different story.)
If someone is stuck on IE6, then there is basically zero chance that they are going to migrate to FF, Safari, or God Forbid: Opera.
It's all the web developers' fault!
Pushing for standards compliance might be a good thing, but not all browsers are created equal. Even if nerdy web developers don't know it, managers should tell them that they live in the real world (that's Planet Earth).
I'm sure that it's sexy and a challenge to eek out every feature of every browser if you're a web developer. Also means that they can rebuild the site every six months, stay in jobs and congratulate themselves on how clever they are.
Think of it this way:-
IE6, Chrome, Nokia and webTV compliance = sexy & expensive
Simple and works = gran can walk again 'cause spent money on doctor
Stuck at work with IE6 and no admin privileges?
Is your C drive locked down to all but administrators? If your documents reside on a "D drive," you can instruct FireFox to install under D:\Documents and Settings\[Your Name]\My Documents.
I couldnt agree more & like the cut of your jib - IE = Intelligence Exhausted,
I use an operating system from a Californian fruit company, for which I accept the price of their offerings, however in my opinion its reasonably priced for the job it does, I have used Linux & found it impressive.
Like you, I get things done quickly & efficiently, my clients always seem impressed by the ease & speed of what I achieve & without the constant tirade of meaningless garbage or their once fast computers slowed to a crawl festooned with every imaginable program sucking resources dry & thats before the viruses & scumware.
As for Internet Explorer, if it was something we'd downloaded as opposed to being concreted into Windows, wed chuck it away without a thought.
So in my opinion IE = Internet Exploit
IE6 and before
I dislike IE as well it's swiss cheese when it comes to security sometimes. I use it very rarely normallty only to check how a site I've just played about with looks in IE6 and older.
I do have to put hacks in but the hacks I've put in only trigger if document.all exists which it does only on IE 6 or below as IE 7 finally got smart and uses document.getElementById which IE6 doesn't do at all and rather than write some JS to put it in to translate for IE 6 I have IE 6 checks and it all works nicely now well most of it..
IE 8 well is more broken than IE 6 I feel IE 7 being a bit of a step forward at least if they would tweak IE 7 a bit more and actually take on board what people want...
Oh hang on this is Microsoft!!!! we are talking about, they don't listen they just say this is how we are going to do it and your going to love it.. case in point the "ribbon".....
A shame that Norway's home-made browser (Opera) has such a tiny market share! If they have to push for people to upgrade, why not offer some support to their fellow countrymen (perhaps a link under a "you could try this" message)?
I agree with the above comment, that as long as XP is still around then the default install of IE6 will keep the figures higher than they should be.
Personally I have the mess that is IE7 to thank for driving me to try Firefox! And I've never looked back.. :-D
Nowegians and Finns: Don't waste time trying to persuade people to dump a tool they rightly or wrongly believe is just what they need. Simply take out all the "clever" clag your crappy websites have in them and they'll load in Notepad!
People are trying to claim here that browsers matter. They don't, or wouldn't if anally retentive idiot webmasters didn't keep adding more and more unnecessary cruft to their websites, most of which is taken up in (entirely futile) attempts to get us to read the adverts (usually at the cost of exposing the hapless reader to exotic attacks on his/her computer by rapacious East European ID thieves).
What's next? Some of us actually resize the browser window to off-screen the sidebar animations that add SO much to the browsing experience. I can see the headlines now: Norwegian Website Insists You View It Full Screen.
As always, telling the users they are stupid and uninformed will work about as well as it ever has. See the Linux Lobby for stats.
Who CARES who makes the effing browser or what shiny animal is on the radiator filler? The effing sites are taking seconds to load over a bloody cable broadband connection, often just so I can "experience" a multimedia presentation on behalf of the Acme Dogfood Company. AOL is so in love with server-side ASPX conmtrols the Azathoth-damned site jams my network connection anytime some idiot navigates to it as it madly tries to second-guess user choices and tailors adverst to match the current state of the page. I've had to disable the "click" sound effect because my wife thought we had vermin in the computer room the last time.
And while I'm at it: Web-Store Webmasters! Get rid of your crappy data-mining suggestion bots! Just because I bought "A Study Of Fagging In The Edwardian Public School System" does NOT mean I am in urgent need of pile ointment, enema kits or "marital aids" of any description, no matter how many times you mail such links to me.
Disgruntled of Tunbridge Wells
Re: It's all the web developers' fault!
"Pushing for standards compliance might be a good thing, but not all browsers are created equal. Even if nerdy web developers don't know it, managers should tell them that they live in the real world (that's Planet Earth)."
Ah, the usual fallacy: that getting it to work on the most popular browser (forced on punters by the retail monopoly) is enough work; getting it to work on standards-compliant browsers is much more work. Well, in many people's experience, writing stuff to work with the standards is enough work, horsing around to make Internet Explorer not spray the content of a page into hitherto unknown places is the extra work.
"I'm sure that it's sexy and a challenge to eek out every feature of every browser if you're a web developer."
Another fallacy: that people working from the published specifications want to use all the features. In fact we just want the features we do use to work in the way they are specified, not the way the IE team decided on just before giving up.
"Simple and works = gran can walk again 'cause spent money on doctor"
You may have missed this, but the specified state of CSS since before the turn of the century has been all about making the HTML simpler instead of using some megatable containing megatables to do brochureware-style layout tricks. And for many reasons, not limited to accessibility, this benefits even the simplest sites.
But hey, why not use a completely peripheral argument and fail to justify whatever it was your argument was all about?
Re: It's all the web developers' fault!
But Mr Badger, that's exactly my point!!! You want, you want. The specs may say one thing, but if that's not how the browser works then why are you complaining about the specs and still coding to them? Some developers are the sorts of people that would get on a plane because the brochure says it's a right good flier, but has never actually had a flight test. Would you get on the plane? Would you then feel that it's someone else's fault that it crashed?
The text fragment [script type] appears 15 times in the source of this page.
NoScript is telling me that it's blocking 22 scripts on this page.
Why are you telling me that it's a lot simpler now, and that it's more likely to render properly than my megatable that downloads in 1 millisecond via my broadband connection?
4 The Badger
But those tables within table have one significant advantage over CSS in this multibrowser age: They pretty much work on them all as expected whereas CSS renders based on a number of factors, only ONE of which is the choice of browser.
Want to see the abortion a netnanny-scripted firewall can make of a CSS-intensive webpage? I often find links scattered all over the place, even superimposed on each other (and then rendered in the body of an El Reg article yesterday), on my workstation because for some arcane reason the CSS didn't follow the page properly. I can only imagine the aural chaos this would produce on a speaking browser.
I miss Opera, but after many years of using it, I had to quit.It brought up the same page in nyt, blocked by an ad for Ann Taylor.It signals 're-directs'.No U.S. bank uses Opera.Opera could beef up their security more, I wouldn't hesitate to use it.It was so intuitive.Now, I've been in ff3 for 2 months, still, I don't find it intuitive at all.
IE7 adoption has failed for 1 simple reason
I'm surprised no one has mentioned the primary reason why IE7 has failed to catch on. IE6 is supported by NT4, Win2K and XP. I have all 3 of those running in my shop. Aren't Win2K numbers still running around 25%? When MS declined to support Win2K they guaranteed IE7's failure.
Not that it matters to your stats because all my users are running Firefox thru a proxy that reports that they are running Macs.
Oh and to whoever said Firefox 3 is better under the hood than 2.... hah! It renders poorly, truncates prints all the time, has reduced functionality (Tools/Page Info???), about the only thing it got right was reduced memory usage.
Someone with some clout should organise an Upgrade Day in the same vein as Firefox Download Day. Lots of clever viral marketing leading up to the big day where millions of people commit to ditch their own IE6 or (more likely) help their non-techy friend/relation or school/office to eradicate IE6.
You can't go by stats from one site alone -there's a huge correlation between user base and type of brower. You seem to have a higher firefox contingent than other sources, so I presume you look after a techy site.
I presume someone somewhere must've done a talk at some conference and actually decorrelated the data...
Microcrap spies on YOU !
They call it internet 'EXPLORER' ---- well, it doesn't know its way around, so it calls home !!
For Explorer read SPY !!
The reason that it seems to be the most popular browser is because it is foisted onto people with the operating system and they are often scared to change anything.
Almost anything is better --- Mozilla, Firefox, Opera ... to name a few.
MS stuff is such bloatware ... and I don't like that it calls home !!
Re: It's all the web developers' fault!
"But Mr Badger, that's exactly my point!!! You want, you want."
I want what? Software to work as specified?
"The specs may say one thing, but if that's not how the browser works then why are you complaining about the specs and still coding to them?"
Correction: if that's not how the browser supplied by the monopolist works. Sure, there are various problems with specification compatibility on most browsers, but the right thing to do is to adhere as closely to the standards, not to code for one browser.
"Some developers are the sorts of people that would get on a plane because the brochure says it's a right good flier, but has never actually had a flight test. Would you get on the plane? Would you then feel that it's someone else's fault that it crashed?"
What are you saying here? That when people trust the specification and are let down, it's the specification's fault?
"The text fragment [script type] appears 15 times in the source of this page.
NoScript is telling me that it's blocking 22 scripts on this page."
"Why are you telling me that it's a lot simpler now, and that it's more likely to render properly than my megatable that downloads in 1 millisecond via my broadband connection?"
Wired had lots of good things to say when they switched from their old megatable layout to a purer design:
So, I think you're conflating some developers' technology addictions (newer plus shinier) with the use of improved technologies based on standards. It's a shame that Microsoft doesn't allow developers to take advantage of the accumulated knowledge and the simplifying effects that improved standards can offer.
Re: 4 The Badger
"But those tables within table have one significant advantage over CSS in this multibrowser age: They pretty much work on them all as expected whereas CSS renders based on a number of factors, only ONE of which is the choice of browser."
I'll concede the point that doing stuff in CSS isn't often as obvious as doing everything in a table hierarchy. The benefits of CSS should come from usage of simpler markup, and I think that most people make things more difficult for themselves because in trying to control more and more of the details of the layout, they add more markup and more styling, and with CSS this most often takes you further away from where you want to be.
I don't deny having unhappy experiences with CSS and sometimes thinking that it's something of a vehicle for Opera Software to shape the Web in a form of their own making, but if the alternative is that we all write content to cater to the quirks of IE, the Web will no longer be an open platform. And with all the squealing about later versions of IE from Microsoft-centric developers, that isn't even a good thing even for the most narrow-minded of people who don't care about interoperability or openness.
The message should be: "Hi, you're using a crappy Microsoft browser. Go away until you get a real one.". Then you wouldn't have to identify which version of IE, just use the same message for all of them. Problem solved.