Microsoft's IE6 web browser remains widely used in the enterprise, despite its many performance and security problems. One in five enterprise workers continue to use the nine-year-old web browser, even after the high-profile Operation Aurora attacks against organisations running the browser. Last month, in response to a …
Am currently pushing through an upgrade in our org to try to replace creaking IE6 with IE8 and Firefox. The amount of (l)user moaning about the upgrade is ridiculous ("My word doesn't work", "the colours are different, they hurt my eyes", "you've broke my machine, the internet keeps giving me warning alerts! Make them go away.") . You wouldn't think that a simple browser upgrade causes so much grief.
Same Problem Here
But it has to be done.
More like 'lashed to'.
It's not like enterprise users get to choose their web browser, after all.
Wil SOMEONE put a stake through this evil zombie's heart?
Do we need a silver bullet to kill it off?
Time will tell!
Maybe a mandatory service pack that renders it so slow that it can't be used (and puts up subliminal screens that say UPGRADE). We can only hope!
Upgrade to make it slow?
No need. If the fsking thing gets any slower it will go backwards.
It really is Shit.
Where's the curly poo icon?
This is often a case of mandating, forwards, on the basis of obsolete requirements
The site works perfectly well in IE 8. What the note really means is "Don't try and use this site in IE
5". Management types read the note, and then mandate system requirements, forwards, against what was actually set of minimum requirements, looking backwards. Simple testing, would show the site was okay to upgrade the browser requirements, but that takes time, and until a massive security compromise occurs, doing nothing always seems like the easier option.
Fine, but its not usually the employees choice and even if IE 6.0 is terminally ill but works with a bespoke & expensive application then change is not simple in a recession. Or should I say convince the bean counters that all the expense is really worth it, to do exactly the same job.
Microsoft could have made progression ( I wont use the word upgrade) more straightforward by making IE 7.0 work with Windows 2000 thus allowing managers some flexibility in the upgrade route from the older versions of its operating system.
Coat - with the asbestos lining.
It's not just the Browser ..
To be safe you should run your entire system off a read-only device. Something like Ubuntu running off a USB memory stick or a customized PCMCIA Card ...
Sadly this is the real world, where MS is ubiquitous and most of us get no choice. I would love a world where Ubuntu/OSX are shining on every desk, I am sure there are places like that, but sadly in the UK financial institutions you buy MS or go and find another job!
security risks overstated?
obviously, IE6, complete and utter shite, full of holes, and is driving me suicidal as a web developer. but don't the majority of the places still using it completely lock down internet access, thereby mitigating the risk of being exposed to vulnerable code? for example, in a bank - surely there is no reason for the employees to even have access to the internet? and if the corporate intranet is hacked by an insider, wouldn't the fact they managed to do that be a far greater concern?
Banks and the internet
"for example, in a bank - surely there is no reason for the employees to even have access to the internet.."
Ha ha ha. Can't stop laughing. That's what I used to think too. Nearly unlimited Internet access is considered a RIGHT to these idiots and the bosses are the worst offenders. Not only that, but they insist on carrying iPhones tied into corporate email too, because the nice, secure Blackberrys just aren't cool enough.
No one gives a shit about security until it blows up in their face, and then the search for guilty parties starts (with IT of course).
How very true
Nearly unlimited Internet access is considered a RIGHT to these idiots and the bosses are the worst offenders...
No one gives a shit about security until it blows up in their face, and then the search for guilty parties starts (with IT of course).
Fail after fail... were you expecting sense to follow stupidity?
User Interface blues
OK, I have updated to IE8, but reluctantly, because the change in the User Interface introdcued with IE7, together with it's severely reduced configurability compared to IE6 (or FireFox), make it far less efficient to use. Ditto for Office 2007, which intriduced a huge fat ribbon just at the time when wide screen and netbook configurations with lower screen depth were becoming popular. What I find perplexing is why MS should think that there is only one way that users want to interact with MS applications, and that MS know what that is, and that MS can make major changes to that User Interface (in new versions) that will have no impact on the productivity of users. Or perhaps they don't really care about users, only big IT departments? On the other hand, the user training and INcompatibility issues that affect corporate usage are far more difficult and expensive than for home users.
On the plus side, I have found that IE8 compatibility mode works on almost all web sites that **still** only cater for older versions of IE.
I'd have to disagree with you a *bit* there
I personally don't like the ribbon, but computer illiterates on the whole do. My experience has been that it does make things more accessible for those not used to/not comfortable using a computer; and of course, this is the biggest share of the PC user market. MS *do* care about their users; that's exactly why the ribbon is there.
For example, I deal with Pharma research scientists every day. Brain's the size of a planet but try to explain to them how to add a printer to Windows and they're pretty much reduced to 9 year old level again.
And, of course, for the 5 to 10% of us who are comfortable using computers, and because MS bends over backwards to provide backwards compatibility, you can always turn the ribbon off and go back to the old skool menus... you *do* know how to turn the ribbon off, don't you? Or are you in the other 90%? ;-)
"What I find perplexing is why MS should think that there is only one way that users want to interact with MS applications, and that MS know what that is, and that MS can make major changes to that User Interface (in new versions) that will have no impact on the productivity of users."
Actually, they spent millions of dollars and several 1000 man hours *asking* people. they'd make a mock up, test it, keep and develop the good bits by mocking them up and testing them again. I'm sure there were people like you who didn't like the changes and wanted the toolbar, menu and feature bloat to continue, but they are actually a very small an incredibly vocal minority comprised mainly of nerds and know-it-alls. For instance, it took someone who had never used word (they do exist!) over a minute to find the "Find..." tool in a vanilla installation of Word (Micros~1 have the figures to show that the vast majority of users *don't* customise the UI), with the Ribbon(TM) interface, it took 3 seconds. Are menus more efficient? No. The impact of the new interface is in real terms negligible; a little bit of bellyaching, perhaps the odd dummy or toy spat out, and within weeks they are *more* productive.
Websites that "...**still** only cater for older versions of IE." Aren't worth visiting and not because of the 'pretty, pretty, shiny, shiny' reasons either. One has to ask if the product is that important, and that useful, why isn't it maintained to work with current standards?
"Actually, they spent millions of dollars and several 1000 man hours *asking* people. they'd make a mock up, test it, keep and develop the good bits by mocking them up and testing them again."
They asked the wrong people then. Just like when my satellite provider decided to cancel BBC Entertainment on the grounds that it has a really low viewer rate according to a survey they held. Cue people who watch the good doctor kicking up a tantrum (myself included), because there really is no other way to get the show.
Granade. I so want to send a barrage of them to the satellite provider.
"They asked the wrong people then."
No, they did, it's just that people who share your opinion weren't as numerous as you suppose. See http://videos.visitmix.com/MIX08/UX09
End of Life
Microsoft should do the right thing for the wider IT commmunity and announce that IE6 will go end-of-life thus forcing all these lazy companies to actually invest in upgrading. "We've got legacy crap that we can't port over" is a frankly pathetic excuse now, there have been 2 more versions released since then and anyone still sittting on their hands should be taken outside and administered some intensive physical education.
It's like saying we won't put locks on our building because we'd need new door handles
Java MV and Java Sun
I know just what you mean.
We have to maintain support for Microsoft VM because there is a system (not ours) that our customers use that is more valuable to them than our system that will not work with official Sun Java. We have asked this company to upgrade many times, but since we are small fry compared to them they will not listen.
Of course, Microsoft VM will not work with IE8 so we are seeing more and more agents having to "downgrade" back to IE7 just to get the product working on their machines.
UK Travel Agents...
I regularly remote connect to Travel Agents machines in the UK to provide support for our product. The amount of times I see IE6 is astonishing. Last month, I even encountered IE5 for the first time in years (our product wasn't compatible with it so they had to upgrade.).
Last week I actually had a Travel Agency manager shouting at me down the phone, demanding to speak to my supervisor because I'd put Firefox on one of their agents PCs. She said that they'd "been ripped off by Firefox before" and would only use IE now because it's safer.
Dont want to admit their own screwups...
These organisations sticking with IE6 are largely doing so because they were short sighted enough to buy or develop applications which are tied to this browser...
Some companies are even still deploying such applications today!
The worst thing is, these places are just burying their heads in the sand, not making plans to get out of the lock-in trap and aren't even taking steps to prevent the lock-in problem from getting worse!
Not always in our hands
We have attempted to move to a later browser on our 5000+ pc's, testing showed that one of our major line of business apps does not work on IE7+
Our question, when will you fix this so that it will run in a later browser?, response "er, well, there's no money in it for our shareholders so we won't be unless you pay us huge amounts of taxpayers money"......
what about developers who use proprietory coding that ties you to any specific browser ?,
"what about developers who use proprietory coding that ties you to any specific browser?"
Well, if such a move was permitted by your contract with the developer, it's _your_ fault. Otherwise, the developer is in breach of contract and can be sued or made to fix it for free. And if that developer is no longer in business, then it's _your_ fault for not checking sooner.
We are stuck with IE6 for 2 reasons.
One is the lazy admins (third party contractors usually) who can't be bothered to do their jobs right or charge extortionately for doing it.
Second is that people fear change in all it's forms. The people who like IE6 are the same who think that XP is the crowning glory of computing simply because that's all they have ever used. Enthusiasts like us think nothing of trying new technology and can remember a time before XP, before Facebook and even before Google so we are used to change. For most users that's not the case. Their IT experience (at least on a personal level) begins at around 2004 or even later so XP and IE6 was what they "grew up" with so they think that's how things always were and forever should be. Getting them to move away from that will be very hard.
Zscaler site and Firefox 3.6
Perhaps Zscaler should worry about why their registration form grinds to a halt in Firefox 3.6. once you select a country from the drop down. Took me 10 minutes to fill in all the fields after that!
I escaped IE6 at work!
Just a few months ago, my company FINALLY moved away from using a horrible, shuddering, El Reg unfriendly, antique crapheap of a browser, and ditched IE6.
In favour of IE7.
we have our own internal system (no outside access) and since M$ hosed webdav in later IE then we wont be using it for the time being. There are rumours to move to FF (properly configured with NTLM) but for the time being IE6 is here to stay (as is XP)
I work in the IT department of a public sector organisation and we held onto IE6 for as long as we could. The machines we support are ancient - Celeron 1.8Ghz with 512Mb of RAM (and shared video) - and there's no funding for replacements.
We put on IE8 but the machines are now even slower, and despite various fixes and patches, we're still blighted with the machine hanging for several seconds when logging in with "Applying IE branding" (it was previously 20). We can't use any other browsers because a number of our apps only work with IE, just like some work only with Office.
Yes its crap, but we're stuck with it, it's nothing to do with laziness on our part.
"We can't use any other browsers because a number of our apps only work with IE .... it's nothing to do with laziness on our part"
I'm sorry, but it is laziness. Get off your ass and modify/replace the non-standards compliant apps, then you won't be "stuck" with IE (or any other app for that matter).
Oh wait, I get it. You mean you're too cheap to fix it. But at least you're spending what money you do have on something, 'cause pointless upgrades will help in the long run.... </sarcasm>
WE DON'T USE IE6 OUT OF CHOICE!
We still us IE6 but we are updating to IE8....
IE is shit full stop but we don't really get the chance to use anything else - our bloody help desk system (Magic or BMC Service Desk Express if you'd rather) doesn't support any browser which cannot use ActiveX - I tried Firefox and it just won't work; cannot get past logon screen of it.
Even tried to use Firefox's Add-on which claims to allow ActiveX controls but it still doesn't work.
Personally I'd love to push ALL OF THE BMC web designers and developers off a bridge with one breeze block tied to one of their legs and watch them all drown one by one - alas I'd never get to meet any of them but I'd love to tell them what I think of their product.
I'm currently using IE8 as it seems the best of the bunch but it's still shit.
Ah ActiveX controls.
They're like java apps. You can run them on *any* machine.
That runs Windows.
That runs IE as your browser.
Slack coders who can't write a proper standards compliant app manged by technically incompetent gutless managers
/IT departments/ are still clinging to IE6.
I for one use Portable Firefox.
I only use IE6 for ...
updating the few Windows XP OS the company has but ONLY after we make sure they aren't trying upgrade IE6.
We also save hectares of hard drive space, too.
No-one *wants* to stick with IE6
I'm part of an enterprise which is *finally* going to upgrade to IE8 next year (just after it is superseded by IE9, probably). The problem isn't just the internal apps written to IE6 that don't work on anything else, there are really key business apps by 3rd party vendors which don't work on newer versions or other browsers, either because the vendors haven't finished testing on a newer version or they've abandoned development completely, or we're stuck on an old version and can't move for some other dependency.
It's very easy for some smart-arse in a 100-PC company (or 3 PC house) to go on about switching browsers and how IE6 is so old, but try moving a 100,000+ PC enterprise, that is dependent on some apps which can't move - it aint that easy.
"The problem isn't just the internal apps written to IE6 that don't work on anything else, there are really key business apps by 3rd party vendors which don't work on newer versions or other browsers, either because the vendors haven't finished testing on a newer version or they've abandoned development completely, or we're stuck on an old version and can't move for some other dependency."
Note 2 things.
This problem will *not* go away. Eventually even MS will pull the plug on IE6. You can't change you're stuff now but you can *absolutely* start mapping dependencies, ActiveX controls used (are replacement available?), specific W3 standards violations.
Because if the next generation of apps is procured (and I think you're in the kind of environment where people "procure" things) while ignoring *global* standards for interoperability (IE browsers and the apps they link to) and upgradability your company will be *repeating* this little exercise *every* time the MS releases some non standards compliant software.
And I *guarantee* that MS *will* continue to release software that does not play nice with *anyone* else's software.
Secondly whenever some company has a key app written by a 3rd party that it does not have rights to or a copy of the source code, or in some cases the CASE model used to generate the code automatically (or both) that 3rd party *owns* them.
But I guess your employers are learning that little lesson for themselves.
If you want a laugh..
...visit here using any modern browser (i.e8 FF & Opera)
revenge of the geeks
When I worked for ATT we had a web based tool to remotely access 2wire(crap wire) routers. it only works in FF. It will not work in IE 6 or IE 7.
IE6 might be 9 years old...
...but to be fair to the enterprises, it's less than 4 years 'out of date' which isn't soooo long compared to the update cycles of the in-house web applications.
Incidentally, did you know that with IE6 it is impossible to select text from the comments? Makes following URLs a real joy.
This comment was brought to you by IE6 in conjunction with FF3.0.1.
I used it recently, and...
People are retarded for acting like it is something to judge about. I had an old PC and needed it to get online. Guess what, it did, no problems, no viri, no BS people imply, despite all the BS that system has been ok for 6 years running nothing more than IE6.
Granted, it is not my primary use system, but the way people paint it, that wouldn't matter, it would be infected with malware in 20 seconds if they were right and it hasn't been.
JC 2, the English plural of the word «virus»
is «viruses». The Latin plural would probably have been «vira», but it is not attested....
A former boss
refused to let me run any updates or AV software because he was worried that "fiddling with them might break the machines". There was nothing wrong with IE6, he said, and no black hats were interested in hacking a small firm's computers. He was an idiot.
I used to run updates when he wasn't around, but had to leave his PC alone. With that kind of mentality running too many businesses here and elsewhere, no wonder the RBN - or whatever it is that Boris the Bot Bandit calls his gang this week - sod up so many people's lives with such ease.
Ignorance is bliss
I have been trying to change over for some months but I am, unable to make contact with Willaim. Perhaps he should make his operations more transparant and allow we plebs to make a change prior to being turfed off. I reiterate that I have made several attempts but William and his merry gang have ignored me, is it the soap I use or something? Are you listening out there William or must I invent an alternative source and challenge your present assailable position? No, I did not make a mistake, I meant what I said.
- Leaked screenshots show next Windows kernel to be a perfect 10
- Product round-up Coming clean: Ten cordless vacuum cleaners
- Something for the Weekend, Sir? I need a password to BRAKE? What? No! STOP! Aaaargh!
- Episode 13 BOFH: WHERE did this 'fax-enabled' printer UPGRADE come from?
- Vulture at the Wheel Ford's B-Max: Fiesta-based runaround that goes THUNK