IE6’s slow death

I’ve been having a lot of conversations with a client about certifying all their customer-facing applications for Internet Explorer 7 and 8. As a result, there have been some discussions about Internet Explorer 6, and when to end support. The biggest problem is that the client’s customers are healthcare companies, and like most companies, a significant number of them are still using IE6.

you wouldn't buy 9 year old milk would you?
I’m fascinated that despite constant warnings of IE6’s security vulnerabilities and promises for better performance and productivity companies are still hanging on to the 9 year old browser. I understand that the enterprise community has a significant number of “legacy” applications that either do not run on IE7+ or need to be updated (either vendor-patched or in-house-patched), and that costs money. In an economy where companies can barely afford to keep a minimum staff in some cases, this is a big problem. But I don’t feel that’s the case with the majority of companies.

The biggest problem is the majority of decision makers don’t truly understand the risk they are running. Even Google didn’t acknowledge the risk before they got themselves hacked in January 2010. Sure, that event was highly sophisticated and planned, but that doesn’t make the risk any less meaningful. Apparently, the Aurora exploit isn’t all that complicated to use in its most basic form.

So I say to all the enterprises, please let’s put IE6 out of its misery, and end support once and for all. You will make a lot of developers very happy. Perhaps the government or some other institution should offer some incentive that would help companies create jobs to do upgrades and such (very much like the Y2k type work).

IE6’s slow death
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