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MS — Dropping IE6 Support "Not an Option" 374

An anonymous reader writes "Microsoft wants to see IE6 gone as much as anyone else, but the company isn't going to make the decision for its users anytime soon. The software giant has been pushing IE6 and IE7 users to move to IE8 ever since it arrived in March 2009, but it's still up to the user to make the final decision to upgrade: 'The engineering point of view on IE6 starts as an operating systems supplier. Dropping support for IE6 is not an option because we committed to supporting the IE included with Windows for the lifespan of the product. We keep our commitments. Many people expect what they originally got with their operating system to keep working whatever release cadence particular subsystems have. As engineers, we want people to upgrade to the latest version. We make it as easy as possible for them to upgrade. Ultimately, the choice to upgrade belongs to the person responsible for the PC.'" Of course some big Web sites aren't waiting for Microsoft. Reader Yamir writes, "Google's Orkut, a social networking service popular in Brazil and India, has started warning IE6 users that the browser will no longer be supported. Just last month, YouTube started showing a similar message."
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MS — Dropping IE6 Support "Not an Option"

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  • Windows 2000 (Score:5, Informative)

    by avandesande ( 143899 ) on Tuesday August 11, 2009 @03:36PM (#29028203) Journal

    What is missed is that IE7 will never be offered for windows 2000- so IE 6 support is tied to Windows 2000 life cycle.

  • by NecroPuppy ( 222648 ) on Tuesday August 11, 2009 @03:38PM (#29028233) Homepage

    Since we rarely upgrade software here until it's officially EoL'd, that MS isn't dropping this means no real chance for IE 7 or 8 for another year.

    Which means I have to explain to the using class why their browser at work looks different from the one at home. Somehow, "It's a different version" only sinks in for about a week; after that, it's passed through the other end, and they have to be reminded again.

  • Re:Windows 2000 (Score:1, Informative)

    by RailGunner ( 554645 ) * on Tuesday August 11, 2009 @03:39PM (#29028261) Journal
    Then the death date of IE6 is 7/13/2010 [], but only if you're paying for extended support.
  • The real sorce (Score:2, Informative)

    by Krystalo ( 1580077 ) on Tuesday August 11, 2009 @03:45PM (#29028383)
    A quick search shows that this is the article being quoted: []
  • by nz17 ( 601809 ) on Tuesday August 11, 2009 @03:45PM (#29028391) Homepage

    I have to tell you, IE8 runs horribly on my desktop computer. When I installed XP over 2000, I upgraded right from 6 to 8 and hated it. The startup time was ridiculous, something like 30 seconds or 60 seconds, and opening a new tab took just as long as starting a new instance of IE8. Even after starting it once, starting it again wasn't must faster. That's my reason that I "downgraded" Internet Explorer to version 7, which really was an upgrade from version 8 in terms of performance, starting in about 3 seconds instead. I suppose that I can't be alone in this - there must be others for whom 7 or 6 runs better than 8 for whatever reason.

    I know as far as I'm concerned IE7 fixed a lot of bad things with Internet Explorer that made it a big difference over 6, whereas 8 just seems to be an incremental improvement over 7 that really should not be pushed by Microsoft as a Critical Update. MS is probably coming out with frequent updates like this now just to try to stay competitive with Firefox and Safari and Chrome. I know that the Steam Overlay browser which embeds IE's Trident engine certainly got a speed boost from me going with 7 over 8, and that's the way it's going to stay unless and until Microsoft releases something newer for me to try on Windows XP. With Vista and soon Windows 7 out in retail, I don't think anything else is coming for XP users though.

    Good thing I don't even use Internet Explorer as my primary browser then. Long live my mighty combo of Firefox, Opera, and Konqueror!

  • by Abreu ( 173023 ) on Tuesday August 11, 2009 @03:53PM (#29028563)

    I am pretty sure someone's made a IE6 theme for Firefox

  • by amicusNYCL ( 1538833 ) on Tuesday August 11, 2009 @03:55PM (#29028611)

    Move beyond the interface, please. The interface is not the end-all-be-all of a piece of software, it's just one of the features. IE6 is so deficient in today's browser market that continuing to use it just because you don't want to adjust to a new interface is frankly doing a disservice to yourself. You're sacrificing a ton of legitimately beneficial features in order to keep one that is arguably useful in the first place. I mean, tab support alone is a reason to ditch IE6. I thought the interface for IE8 was a little funky the first time I saw it but now, even though I never use IE to do any decent browsing (only for occasional testing), when it opens up the interface does make sense to me. The navigation buttons are clear, the menus are where they should be, and anything that I can't immediately find is almost always in one of the menus in the new customizable toolbar. It's also very easy to customize which buttons or menus go in there.

    Seriously, you're doing yourself a disservice by using IE6. If you insist on using IE instead of a more capable browser like Opera, do yourself a favor and give IE8 a month or so to adjust to. Your web developer friends will thank you.

  • by Gadgetfreak ( 97865 ) on Tuesday August 11, 2009 @03:59PM (#29028691)

    I suspect that's the case for many people, at least in the US. It's on my company PC, which I have no control over. The scary part? I work for a gov't contractor. A big one. And the IT people have no interest whatsoever in trying something new.

    Even my 11 year old laptop, which is still alive, runs FireFox on Win98. Not very quickly, mind you, but faster than it ran IE.

    For reference, it's a Gateway (Gateway 2000 at the time) original Pentium 200 MHz "MMX" with 48 MB of RAM. And it only has a 10-base wired ethernet card anyway, so it's not like browser speed matters much.

  • by Badaro ( 594482 ) on Tuesday August 11, 2009 @04:03PM (#29028787) Homepage
    To my surprise, you're right, someone actually did it: []
  • Re:Hardly (Score:5, Informative)

    by natehoy ( 1608657 ) on Tuesday August 11, 2009 @04:03PM (#29028801) Journal

    Right, but any patches would not affect IE6 once IE6 drops off support. When MS drops support on a product, that means you don't get patches for even discovered and documented bugs.

    Corporations would scream blue bloody murder.

    The same corporations who cannot upgrade from IE6 because so many software vendors made web-enabled applications using then-current Microsoft tools that specifically took advantage of features in IE6 that are not carried forward to IE7 or IE8. Companies purchased these packages because they were Web-enabled, and therefore should be less sensitive to the version of the operating system that the client PCs ran on. Except that software created by Microsoft toolkits back in the early 2000s were NOT "Web Enabled", they were "Microsoft Internet Explorer 6.0 Enabled".

    So the companies now have to look forward to an upgrade to massively important and multi-user software packages like Siebel, because only the newer versions can run on a newer browser. But the newer version is not an in-place upgrade because packages like that tend to be integrated to other systems, not standalone apps. So you have companies running Windows 2000 desktops and IE6 because an upgrade to either XP or IE7+ will shatter compatibility.

    Our company runs IE6 (but at least we are on XP SP2). If you try to use Firefox on the Intranet, a lot of bits don't work, and that is the primary reason we're told the company isn't going IE7 or better anytime soon. We have a massive Intranet that was all built using Microsoft tools, and upgrading it would be a monumental task.

  • by cbhacking ( 979169 ) <.moc.oohay. .ta. ... isiurc_tuo_neeb.> on Tuesday August 11, 2009 @04:04PM (#29028829) Homepage Journal

    FYI, IE8 allows people to put the buttons back where they were in 6. Both 7 and 8 allow you to permanently show the menu bar, if you want. The new Command Bar in 7 and 8 can be turned off, as can tabbed browsing (no idea why you'd want to, but you can).

    Out of curiosity, are you still using Windows 3.x because you also think that the Start menu "suck[s] donkey balls"? Have you even seriously tried to use the new interface, with or without customizing it? Most people seem perfectly comfortable with it.

  • The problem is that *until* they EoL XP, they can't EoL the browser that XP ships with. In other words, they are trying to EoL IE6, but can't for the same reason that they can't EoL XP - it's still being deployed and used! This is not that complicated... once they can get rid of XP (something they've been trying to do for years), they'll probably drop support for IE6 the same day (why support one component of an entire OS that is no longer supported?).

  • Re:Hardly (Score:5, Informative)

    by DrLang21 ( 900992 ) on Tuesday August 11, 2009 @04:09PM (#29028917)
    As someone else mentioned, if you're still running Windows 2000 desktops, your support ends officially in 7/13/2010 [] if you are paying for extended support.

    If your company is not already looking at what needs fixed to upgrade from IE6 and at least defining a plan of action complete with cost estimates, they are going to get screwed.
  • by PineHall ( 206441 ) on Tuesday August 11, 2009 @04:53PM (#29029717)
    Microsoft's Office Web Apps team [] is supporting only IE7, IE8, Firefox, and Safari (on Mac). IE6 is not supported. I am not surprised.
  • by dave562 ( 969951 ) on Tuesday August 11, 2009 @04:56PM (#29029753) Journal
    Let me get this straight. You did an in place upgrade of 2000 to XP? If so, that's the reason your computer is slow and the performance sucks. You're obviously using an older computer given that you were running 2000 on it, and given that limitation, XP isn't going to be the fastest OS ever. The UI should be faster than 2000 but you probably won't be able to run as many apps simulatenously. You can't really make a reasonable comparison between IE6 on a fresh Win2K install versus IE8 on an in place upgrade of XP. Do a fresh install of XP, then install IE8 and it will run better.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday August 11, 2009 @06:33PM (#29030985)
    Hey, wow! The Linux 2.6.30 kernel is based off of the 2.6.20 kernel! Wow! They obviously haven't made any changes since then because the version numbers lie!

    Seriously, would they really make it from scratch? Of course it is *based off* of the Vista kernel. Vista's kernel is based off of XP's kernel, too.
  • by nz17 ( 601809 ) on Tuesday August 11, 2009 @11:12PM (#29033099) Homepage

    Due to a number of questions and assumptions that arose due to what I suppose was my lack of explicitness, I shall try to clear the water here:

    I didn't upgrade to XP from 2000 sooner because...
    1) The default XP GUI sucks.
    2) It's more of a resource hog than 2000.
    3) You have to deal with activation and Windows Genuine Advantage.
    4) XP wasn't really a good choice until SP2 came out, as SP2 combined with the earlier advances of SP1 to address many issues that XP suffered from.
    5) I wasn't going to pay for a new version of Windows. My copy of XP (and Vista and 7 if I wish) was furnished by my university under Microsoft's MSDNAA program.

    Other points...
    -I never said XP itself was slow.
    -I did say IE8 is slow on my configuration.
    -Though the browsers themselves have responsibilities in this regard, our individual setups also determine program performance. A large number of factors play into this including OS, upgrade paths of the software which are installed, background processes, et cetera.
    -I did an in-place upgrade from 2000 to XP to preserve my programs' installations and settings. Don't worry, I backed up everything before the XP upgrade happened.
    -My computer is not old nor outdated, though like all of ours it could always use more upgrades. ;)

    And on that note, I'll close by saying, "...Oh no, something on your computer is older now than it was a moment ago - better upgrade again!"

  • Re:Hardly (Score:3, Informative)

    by westyvw ( 653833 ) on Wednesday August 12, 2009 @01:11AM (#29033769)
    And sadly, they will jump right into the awaiting arms of silverlight. Won''t anyone learn thier lesson and get off the crazy train? I dropped MS as an office platform (server and client) in 2001. Made sense then and it makes sense now.
  • Re:Windows 2000 (Score:3, Informative)

    by LanMan04 ( 790429 ) on Wednesday August 12, 2009 @09:42AM (#29037343)

    Silly European. Everyone knows Microsoft and Slashdot are based in the USA.

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