Engineering POV: IE6


The topic of site support for IE6 has had a lot of discussion on the web recently as a result of a post on the Digg blog. Why would anyone run an eight-year old browser? Should sites continue to support it? What more can anyone do to get IE6 users to upgrade?

For technology enthusiasts, this topic seems simple. Enthusiasts install new (often unfinished or “beta”) software all the time. Scores of posts on this site and others describe specific benefits of upgrading. As a browser supplier, we want people to switch to the latest version of IE for security, performance, interoperability, and more. So, if all of the “individual enthusiasts” want Windows XP machines upgraded from IE6, and the supplier of IE6 wants them upgraded, what’s the issue?

The choice to upgrade software on a PC belongs to the person responsible for the PC.

Many PCs don’t belong to individual enthusiasts, but to organizations. The people in these organizations responsible for these machines decide what to do with them. These people are professionally responsible for keeping tens or hundreds or thousands of PCs working on budget. The backdrop might be a factory floor or hospital ward or school lab or government organization, each with its own business applications. For these folks, the cost of the software isn’t just the purchase price, but the cost of deploying, maintaining, and making sure it works with their IT infrastructure. (Look for “nothing is free” here.) They balance their personal enthusiasm for upgrading PCs with their accountability to many other priorities their organizations have. As much as they (or site developers, or Microsoft or anyone else) want them to move to IE8 now, they see the PC software image as one part of a larger IT picture with its own cadence.

Looking back at the post on Digg, it’s not just IT professionals. Some of the ‘regular people’ surveyed there were not interested in upgrading. Seventeen percent of respondents to the Digg IE6 survey indicated that they “don’t feel a need to upgrade.” Separately, a letter to a popular personal technology columnist last week asked if people will somehow be forced to upgrade from their current client software if it already meets their needs.

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.

We’ve blogged before about keeping users in control of their PCs, usually in the context of respecting user choice of search settings or browser defaults. We’ll continue to strongly encourage Windows users to upgrade to the latest IE. We will also continue to respect their choice, because their browser is their choice.

Dean Hachamovitch

Comments (267)

  1. Anonymous says:

    I want to use Windows 3.1. Why don’t you sell or support it anymore?

  2. Anonymous says:

    There’s nothing more than “seriously, WTF?!” to say.

  3. Anonymous says:

    http://code.google.com/p/svgweb/

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ctuUrvReOIQ&fmt=18

    Sad yet ironic, Google has to fix things because MS developers are lazy as hell.

  4. Anonymous says:

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  5. Anonymous says:

    RE:

    "As engineers, we want people to upgrade to the latest version. We make it <I>as easy as possible</I> for them to upgrade. Ultimately, the choice to upgrade belongs to <B><U>the person responsible for the PC.</B></U>"

    What a load’a crap!

    Do you know how many Win2k systems there are

    out there? [Which, M$ STILL supports!]

    Now, how many of those can "upgrade" IE6 to IE7?

    Not to mention IE8!

    Yeah, that’s what I thought!

    Just another example of M$ "turning in a circular motion" their customers.

    IF you <I>REALLY</I> want to see everyone

    ‘upgrade’ their IEs,

    make the newer versions back-compatible,

    for all the 7-, 8-, & 9-year-old systems out

    there.

    Because, as the situation stands now,

    it’s NOT "the person responsible for the PC,"

    that’s stalling the upgrade;

    It’s Microsoft.

  6. Anonymous says:

    Makes sense. I’m sure there’ll be lots of ornery opinions about this, but it does make sense.

  7. Anonymous says:

    "We make it as easy as possible for [people] to upgrade [IE6]."

    No you don’t. If you made it as easy as possible, then it would be as easy as upgrading Firefox, which is currently much, much easier than upgrading IE.

    Perhaps you mean that you make it as easy as possible for huge organizations to push IE updates to hundreds or even thousands of machines. I’ll give you that. But you certainly don’t make it as easy as possible for the average user, or even the technically-inclined user, to upgrade IE.

    As long as IE upgrades are tied to OS upgrades, or require OS restarts, or cannot be installed alongside previous IE versions, you have failed to make upgrading IE as easy as possible.

  8. Anonymous says:

    @Ryan: by your own blog link, you’re "a bitter software engineer." Dude, you’re complaining that it’s hard to upgrade? It’s just running setup. What’s your problem?

  9. Anonymous says:

    Be that as it may, as a web developer, I know firsthand that IE6 (both in terms of script interpretation and HTML rendering) functions in a way throughly inconsistent with other browsers (including later versions of IE), meaning that adding IE6 support to a website can add days, if not weeks, to the development time of a web application.

    Personally, I believe that the best solution would be for a large portion of internet sites to cease support for IE6, which would "encourage" users to upgrade.  Unfortunately, that’s not going to happen yet.

  10. Anonymous says:

    @Dan: as a user, I don’t care if writing your site was hard. I care if it works with I chose to use (IE6, IE7, IE8, FF, Chrome, iPhone, Nokia, etc.). Playing chicken with your customers over what client software they’re running is not a great plan.

  11. Anonymous says:

    @ Dean Hachamovitch [MSFT]

    People will upgrade to IE 8 or switch to another browser if they have+understand good, sensible, acceptable reasons to do so and if they have appropriate documentation and adequate tools (softwares, tutorials, assisting softwares) to help them to upgrade their websites, to successfully carry such transition. Right now, they do not have all of the above requirements from Microsoft to do so. More buttons, managed lists, settings, etc. do not upgrade any websites whatsoever.

    On top of all this, Microsoft is definitely not leading and not promoting such trend to begin with by not adopting/endorsing such efforts itself. If Microsoft itself is not doing it, then why should they and how possibly could they? If Microsoft IE Team employees themselves do not even use the IE dev. tools for their own personal blogs (debugging, cleaning, validation, etc), then how and why others are supposed to do this for their own websites?

    Gérard Talbot

  12. Anonymous says:

    @Ryan

    Exactly, which is why IE6 isn’t going anywhere.  It doesn’t matter if one company’s site doesn’t work with IE6; users will just go to another company which has taken the time to provide that compatibility.  What I’m talking about is a wishful thinking scenario–if every large company would simultaneously abandon IE6 (something that could not and will not happen), that would be a very good thing.

  13. Anonymous says:

    is it possible to secretly upgrade IE6’s trident engine while leaving the UI intact?

    that way, users won’t notice any difference, besides the browser being suddenly capable of rendering sites previously thought not possible.

  14. Anonymous says:

    @Dan: yeah, I don’t do wishful thinking. I don’t really understand the point of your post. If we all spoke Chinese we wouldn’t need any translators?

  15. Anonymous says:

    Microsoft never used Front-Page to edit the webpages on microsoft.com (or even webpages presenting Front-Page) or on any websites controlled by microsoft. But real people have in/with millions of websites, during the last 10 years. So, does Microsoft have all of the necessary/useful/helpful tools, documentation, tutorials and assisting softwares to help those people to upgrade their created-with-Front-Page websites?

    Same thing, same questions for MS-Word created webpages.

    Microsoft webpages and microsoft-controlled websites all have dozens or hundreds of validation markup errors and dozens of CSS parsing errors, including this IE Blog. If Microsoft still has not upgraded yet its own websites – whatever the reasons/excuses are -, then how can you possibly expect others to easily do so and why should you expect others to easily succeed?

    Gérard Talbot

  16. Anonymous says:

    Hey Gérard, I think you’re asking for more material (tools etc.) to help developers upgrade their websites. Reading a mix of developers’ blogs, I haven’t seen anything that indicates that information is what’s stopping them.

    Microsoft IE team members use a lot of different tools (both IE and other) to understand the web devloper experience today, what’s good and what can get better.

  17. Anonymous says:

    @Gérard: nope, you just got silly. Who said that site validation matters? See http://www.codinghorror.com/blog/archives/001234.html. FrontPage was The Wrong Tool for a site as big as Microsoft.com. You are a Fail.

  18. Anonymous says:

    @Ryan,

    A webpage without validation markup errors has many proven advantages and benefits over one that has many. Such advantages are furthermore important and impactful when triggering web standards compliant rendering mode in recent stable released browser versions (IE 8, Firefox 3.5.2, Opera 9.64, Safari 4.0.2, Konqueror 4.3). No one can seriously argue with this.

    Creating webpages on microsoft.com and other microsoft-controlled websites full (dozens, hundreds) of validation markup errors, CSS parsing errors is never going to promote efforts in others to upgrade websites.

    > FrontPage was The Wrong Tool for a site as big as Microsoft.com.

    Of course, FrontPage was not a proper tool for a website like Microsoft.com but the thing is that

    1- Microsoft didn’t even use FrontPage to edit pages presenting FrontPage

    2- Microsoft does not propose any tools, any assisting softwares to upgrade webpages built with FrontPage or with MS-Word: that’s a real issue affecting a lot of webpages on the web.

    Gérard Talbot

  19. Anonymous says:

    Gérard: Lots of people seriously argue with validation. See link to codinghorror or do a web search. Microsoft is So. Not. Alone. in having a site that doesn’t validate.

    FrontPage and Word "affecting a lot of webpages on the web"? Ha. Any numbers? This is so less than 1% it’s not funny.

  20. Anonymous says:

    @mocax: Yes, it’s rumoured they can force updates. However, secretly accessing & updating other people’s computers is usually described as illegal, believe it or not.

  21. Anonymous says:

    One big difference between IE and other software, is that you can’t install multiple versions of IE.

    So you can’t install both IE6 and IE8, and then let the user switch between them. And you can’t just install IE8, and tell the user that if he don’t like it, he can just start IE6 instead.

    This also mean that you can’t install both IE6 and IE8 on the same "windows install image", meaning that some organisations don’t upgrade their IE, because some users need IE6 due to special applications.

    As a web-developer I think the best solution would be to let IE9 be installed together with IE6, but I know that’s not going to happen because XP is in legacy support mode.

  22. Anonymous says:

    @Martin,

    you can install multiple IE versions, check here > http://tredosoft.com/Multiple_IE

    Auto updates for IE would be a bonus, as @mocax said, forcing IE6 users to upgrade, although not necessarily without their permission as @michael stated. If they could implement it similar to the FireFox update system then it would certainly be an improvement.

  23. Anonymous says:

    @Michael: mocax meant something like providing a "Critical" update via windows update which updates the Trident engine in IE6 to be the engine running in IE8 but leaves the UI untouched (even to the point of still calling it IE6).

    @Dean:

    While I understand the Microsoft position on this (after all the customer is always right), I must completely disagree. There is only one entity which we can place the blame for the current situation on. Microsoft created a browser which at the time became the only real choice and used all of its power drive the competition into the ground. Then when the competition disappeared you just gave up. Microsoft should be stepping up and:

    1. marketing IE8 like it has never marketed anything before (just buy out Opera and let Apple, Google, MoCo, the tech community and the various justice depts know what is going on to avoid that pesky anti-competitive stuff)

    2. sending out "IE expert upgrade analysts" to each of the fortune 5000 companies (and then some) to provide gratis services towards the goal of getting rid of IE6.

    3. creating an IE8-retro (IE6ish UI) version to support existing end user documentation (one of the major reasons I know of why some orgs are not upgrading is because they have many documents with pictures showing how to do things and IE6 is the browser in the pics).

    This is your problem. I for one cannot afford to support IE6 any longer.

    note: not all of those things may be necessary, but IE8-retro sounds to me to be a pretty cool idea and it might be enough to convince a significant portion of the current 6.x userbase to update.

  24. Anonymous says:

    "On top of all this, Microsoft is definitely not leading and not promoting such trend to begin with by not adopting/endorsing such efforts itself. If Microsoft itself is not doing it, then why should they and how possibly could they?"

    Gerard,

    It sounds like you didn’t read the blog post at all. Microsoft is saying that they intend to respect user choice; it’s YOU want users to upgrade.

  25. Anonymous says:

    The sheer irony of this is pointless.

    Browsing with *ANY* MSFT product will be non-existent once HTML-5 rolls out.

    OH, and MANY websites are either (already) discontinuing support or have announced plans to discontinue support of IE6.

    Digg (an MSFT partner)

    Facebook (an MSFT partner).

    YouTube

    -all giving up on IE6 and the SHEER IDIOTIC fools errand of supporting this #fail of a Cancer.

    These include

    Even FACEBOOK suggests using Firefox, Safari or Flock

    http://mashable.com/2009/07/16/ie6-must-die/

    What all who have posted here have failed to note is that Google OS, a Stand Alone Browser, built on Next Generation HTML specs will soon rule the world.

    You won’t NEED an OS and a Browser to install to surf the web (it’s no surprise Apple/Google are defining the HTML 5 Specs).

    100,000’s of people will BLAME MSFT for their "broken web experience"—NOT the website.

    It AMAZES ME Developers WASTE TIME coding for a dinosaur that should have been extinct in 2001.

    It’s yet again Predatory/Monopolistic/Closed Compound Mindset of Gates/Ballmer, et. al. that will leave MSFT as a 20th Century relic!

  26. Anonymous says:

    Anyone care to explain why MSFT would care to CONTINUE to support IE6

    When it’s #8 Worst Product of all time. AND, Security consultants went so far as to say USE ANY BROWSER—ANYTHING BUT IE6

    {quote}

    In June 2004, the  U.S. Computer Emergency Readiness Team (CERT) took the unusual step of urging PC users to use a browser–any browser–other than IE

    {end quote}

    http://www.pcworld.com/article/125772-3/the_25_worst_tech_products_of_all_time.html

  27. Anonymous says:

    @Pointless

    I work for a large financial services company with 40,000+ employees. And yes, every desktop PC and laptop runs WinXP and IE6.

    Facts:

    More than 85% of all browsing is intranet.

    Digg – blocked

    Facebook – blocked

    YouTube – blocked

    Twitter – blocked

    *.blogger.com – blocked

    *.wordpress.com – blocked

    Put simply, care factor close to zero about social media etc sites which no longer render nicely in IE6. Basic news sites etc deliver the information without the frills. For our vendors who offer web portals (eg home loan valuations, stationery suppliers etc) – we’ll simply dump them if we can’t access their sites after a "no-IE6 revamp".

    We have security that puts any home computer (regardless of OS or LAN infrastructure) to shame. Security is not an issue.

    IE6 is tightly integrated into our CRM platform (one of the largest .NET projects ever completed). There is no compelling reason to switch browsers and face unnecessary costs/risks to do so.

    Your point, again?

  28. Anonymous says:

    IE 6 is standard incompliant. So each website a webdeveloper creates, needs special tunning for IE6 and sometimes even halts functionality that a webdeveloper wants to implement (for users of compliant users).

    Microsoft developers made a hudge mistake pushing IE6 to the market with knowing that it is standard incompliant. For 8 years you are wasting our time and making web solutions more expensive for our cliants (couse IE6 developing takes more time).

    And calculating the number of websites that were created in 8 years, we are talking about the damage you’ve made with incompiant browser and aditional costs in the numbers, that could feed entire Africa for a whole year.

    Shame on you Microsoft for beeing ignorant to your own custumers. The least you could do is to solve the situation ASAP and promote usage of modern standard compliant browsers. And stop pushing standards incompliant software to the market.

  29. Anonymous says:

    @pointless:

    Never have I read a more ignorant and – excuse the pun – pointless reply to a blog post .. and that’s saying something!

    "Browsing with *ANY* MSFT product will be non-existent once HTML-5 rolls out."

    Why? You don’t think IE9 will have support for HTML5? Which by the way is a looooong way ahead of us – it could be years before the spec is even finished!

    "OH, and MANY websites are either (already) discontinuing support or have announced plans to discontinue support of IE6."

    Yes, and as a developer I find it great. If I was an IE6 user I would find it insulting. We don’t get to decide which browser users prefer, and we shouldn’t!

    "What all who have posted here have failed to note is that Google OS, a Stand Alone Browser, built on Next Generation HTML specs will soon rule the world."

    So you are taking for granted that the Google OS will rule the world. Bad call. That OS might work on netbooks, but I seriously doubt if it will become more powerful that Windows, Linux or OSX. Also, Google might meet a little stumbling block along the way called Department of Justice. They are now being viewed in the same light as Microsoft was in the early 90’s, and they will propably face some monopoly charges at some point, and those charges are pretty much destined to happen if they build an OS (read WIRED issue 17.08)

    "(it’s no surprise Apple/Google are defining the HTML 5 Specs)."

    They are? I’m sorry, but you’ve got that information wrong.  Please read this http://adactio.com/journal/1600/ to get your facts straight. And then you will understand why HTML5 is a looong way off.

    "100,000’s of people will BLAME MSFT for their "broken web experience"—NOT the website."

    Wrong. Most regular people don’t understand the concept of a web browser. When they click that little blue e or the fox, they open "the internet". If something doesn’t work, it’s not "the internet"’s fault.

    "It AMAZES ME Developers WASTE TIME coding for a dinosaur that should have been extinct in 2001."

    Developers don’t code for a specific browser – we code for PEOPLE! If a client wants the website to work in IE6, then so be it. Yes, it can be a hassle, but who said that work should be easy?

    "Anyone care to explain why MSFT would care to CONTINUE to support IE6"

    You didn’t read the blog post, did you? Because that explains it very well.

    Having said all this, I feel I must point out that I am not a Microsoft fanboy – I’m on a Mac, using Safari right now…

  30. Anonymous says:

    Continuing to support IE6 is a very BAD idea. It has already done so much harm to the internet as a whole and MS wants to continue doing so to protect a few lazy customers who can’t be bothered to upgrade. Great.

  31. Anonymous says:

    In case you haven’t noticed, ‘Web developer’, Microsoft has been promoting usage of IE7/8 for some time now.

    All browsers were noncompliant way back when so your argument singling IE6 out in the context of at that time is highly disingenuous. Interesting to take you at face value, though; why exactly would you have preferred to be using IE5.5 for 8+ years?

  32. Anonymous says:

    @POV

    Wikipedia:

    "For example Microsoft Internet Explorer, whose older versions, such as IE 6.0, implemented many CSS 2.0 properties in its own, incompatible way, misinterpreted a significant number of important properties, such as width, height, and float"

    CSS 2 recomendations were issued in May 1998,

    Microsoft Internet Explorer 6.0 was released on August 27, 2001.

    There were more than three years to make it compliant. And it is not true that all browsers were not standard compliant at that time.

    And BTW, I have noticed MS promotion of IE8, when MS update wanted to make it my default browser, even though I am using Firefox as default browser.  

    It’s hipocritical from MS to say "you webdevelopers should think about custumers that still use IE6" and this sort of BS, when MS is the one who made this mess by ignorring CSS standard 8 years ago. They did a lousy job designing IE6, now all the work and the costs should be handled by the developers/custumers and between the lines they are telling custumers that if something doesn’t work developers are to blame.

  33. Anonymous says:

    The irony of a MSFT blog post stating that they "respect their users’ choices" is so thick you could cut it with a herring.

  34. Anonymous says:

    "We’ve blogged before about keeping users in control of their PCs, usually in the context of respecting user choice of search settings or browser defaults."

    How does the lie above relate to me starting IE one day (to see the many and varied ways that it fails to render a site correctly) and discovering that the default search engine is now Bing?

  35. Anonymous says:

    In my opinion MSFT will continue to support IE6 as long as it will continue to support Windows XP – don’t forget that XP comes with IE6 in it. I think official support for IE6 will only end after XP is not supported any more…

  36. Anonymous says:

    @kimblim

    "Developers don’t code for a specific browser – we code for PEOPLE!"

    Have you developed any standards-compliant web recently? The REAL fact is that true web developers

    1) Code for people

    2) then, code for IE6

  37. Anonymous says:

    A lot of people will choose stability over novelty because they lack confidence in managing software and don’t want to run the risk of running unproven (to them) software.

    If IE6 is working fine,  many people would rather leave it alone than rock the boat. Web developers and other people who are confident with technology often forget that a significant number of users don’t share their faith in or enthusiasm for the latest releases.

    The transition from IE6 is not easy either – the user interface is dramatically different, so people spend time hunting for buttons they used to use instinctively.

  38. Anonymous says:

    Can your browser do this?

    http://9elements.com/io/projects/html5/canvas/

    Ooops, guess not, IE sucks too much and doesn’t support open web standards.

  39. Anonymous says:

    @Felip:

    Yes, it’s my job to code valid, accessible and usable web pages – and it has been for close to 10 years. When you know IE6’s shortcomings (of which there are quite a few), it doesn’t take long to fix them in IE-specific stylesheets. I would say I spend a maximum of 5% of my time getting things to work in IE6.

  40. Anonymous says:

    The largest factor stopping companies I have work for/width upgrading from IE6 is the need to keep IE6 to access internal web applications that only work with IE6.  I have also worked at companies when you were not allowed to upgrade from IE6 as most customers still used IE6, therefore it had to be the primary development platform.

    Therefore if Microsoft would produce a stand-a-lone version of IE6 (or IE8) so that IE6 can till be used to access old web applications while IE8 is used access the new applications the industry could start moving on.  (This must work on XP and over)

    In a lot of companies, the risk of upgrading form IE6 is too great, as they can not afford to test all there internal web applications with a new bowers, however if they had the “safety net” of being able to full back to IE6 after an update just for the websites that need IE6, it may tilt the balance into doing the upgrade.

    Meanwhile the sane method of writing web based business applications is to use Flush, Siverlight, or maybe toolkit like Ext so as to avoid the problems with having to support IE6.

  41. Anonymous says:

    http://www.ie6nomore.com/

    Enough is enough. Microsoft Internet Explorer 6 was released in late 2001. For its time, it was a decent browser, but in 2009, it is still in use by a significant portion of the web population, and its time is now up.

    As any web developer will tell you, working with IE 6 is one of the most difficult and frustrating things they have to deal with on a daily basis, taking up a disproportionate amount of their time. Beyond that, IE 6’s support for modern web standards is very lacking, restricting what developers can create and holding the web back.

  42. Anonymous says:

    Does the new health plan not state that upgrading to IE8 is compulsory and that if you do not upgrade then your grandmother will be put down.

  43. Anonymous says:

    Browsers age like cabbages and operating systems like trees. After 8 years, IE6 is far beyond its "use by date" and smells pretty bad, but XP is still going strong as Microsoft’s best operating system for business. Please make IE6 optional in future XP install sets.

  44. Anonymous says:

    Yeah right, you really think that the problem is the home users NOT wanting to upgrade!? C’mon, the average "Joe Sixpack" knows that there is a blue "E" icon in the desktop. After clicking on it, he knows the he must type "that triple w thing" where it says address in order to "go to the internet and see things". IE6? Upgrade? HTML? Standards? Firefox? Safari? IE>6? Security? What is all that, asks our dear Joe…

    Home users could be upgraded without risk via Windows update, but since that not all the companies use WSUS, Microsoft couldn’t deploy this without affecting some business users who need IE6 for their crappy "ie6-only" intranet pages.

    @Not Pointless at All

    Wow, I would love to see your network and IT infrastructure. I mean, with that attitude you seem to be the kind of IT guy that doesn’t know the ways to "make a lot with few". And I’ll tell you more, bigger companies are the ones that feel safer (because they have this fancy firewalls in their WinXP SP2 – ‘cas SP3 will break their goodie good own apps) – and fancy vpn systems and bla bla bla, but you know what? From experience, they are the most insecure ones (like I told you, do a lot with less).

  45. Anonymous says:

    Working in corporate environment i really appreciate the predictability of your lifecycles and the commitment to it. Microsoft is a vendor to trust if you plan a software supposed to run for a couple years.

    Keep up the good work IE team. I know by experience how painful it is to fix bugs in legacy code, defend decisions made by other developers that left the company years ago and getting flamed by an impatient audience. The stuff you do serves a real purpose and I am thankful for it.

  46. Anonymous says:

    The comments here seem to ignore the support plan you have detailed on the lifecycle support page:

    http://support.microsoft.com/gp/lifesupsps/#Internet_Explorer

    Why not mention you will be ending corporate support next July?

  47. Anonymous says:

    My employer has ~4,000 people. We are now in the process of upgrading to XP. We still use IE6 because our intranet was and continues to be built using FrontPage 2000.

    We didn’t upgrade to FrontPage 2003 because Microsoft changed how the "borders" feature was implemented. Rather than spend an hour training people how to use the new feature (or even to use the synonymous "includes" feature, we continued on doing things the way we did. Now we have an intranet that will require massive effort to convert to another authoring method. We’ll probably go SharePoint, which from my PoV is a travesty for writing HTML.

    Why is it so difficult to skin SharePoint? Why is it built with nested tables upon nested tables, within nested tables? If MS can run microsoft.com without nested tables, why do they continue to make products like SharePoint? Why does this product virtually require IE to run? Why can’t I use any currently shipping browser to upload documents without custom coding? Microsoft continues to build products that were common practices in 1999. It would be great to have them lead the industry and compete on the merits of their code, and not enterprise lock-in.

    I’m stuck spending more time and effort coding for IE6 on our public site to support our internal users. IE6 on our public website is a clear minority of users. I’d love to see it go away.

    IE6 spreads the cost of web development to the developers. It should be the people who use an 8 year old browser who bear the costs.

    I’m glad to see some parts of Microsoft acknowledge and work with developers that are outside the various MS programs. Until that attitude spreads throughout the company, developers will continue to have to deal with MS legacy applications.

  48. Anonymous says:

    @Paul,

    That can’t be right… it looks like IE7 support is ending at the same time as IE6. That shouldn’t be. Though I agree, this blog post should have explicitly mentioned when MS is officially ending support for IE6… though I assume it’ll be the same time they end support for XP.

  49. Anonymous says:

    @ Not Pointless at All – basically Dean here is saying that organisations such as yours are the main problem. So in response to the points you raise:

    1) "digg, facebook, youTube, Twitter etc. all blocked".

    Impressive. And I’m sure that’s the first thing your HR department puts on all job adverts too.

    2) "we’ll simply dump" [our vendors if we can’t access their sites].

    Do you think the vendors you use who do offer IE6 support are more or less likely to be able to offer their products at a lower price than those who’ve saved time and (lots of) money by not supporting it? Or do you work for one of those financial institutions who isn’t interested in cutting costs and making profits?

    3) "Security is not an issue".

    Beware the security expert who guarantees something as 100% safe. IE6 has many more vulnerabilities than up-to-date browsers – that is an undeniable fact.

    4) "IE6 is tightly integrated into our CRM platform".

    Here is the crux of the issue. Basically your saying that you’ve spent an absolute fortune on a bespoke system and unfortunately you were a bit short sighted and it only works in IE6. Whoops. Well I’m sorry to tell you this, but IE6 is losing market share everyday and the fewer the number of people that use it, the greater the number of sites who will drop support for it. It’s just a matter of time before all you’ll be able to do at work is sit and admire your wonderful CRM platform.

    I can’t understand why any forward-looking company would voluntarily shut themselves off from all the exciting new technologies that are being developed on the web. OK – you’re not interested in social networking, but what about potential productivity aids like google wave for example, or apple’s me.com? You and your company are missing out on a surge of innovation that is happening right now. It seems incredibly foolish to just close yourselves off and assume there’s nothing out there for you.

  50. Anonymous says:

    The numbers (and I realize that’s very ambiguous) show that more and more users are switching from IE to Firefox, Safari or some other MS web browser. If you want to argue with that – than at least concede that more and more users are upgraded from IE6 to IE7 or IE8. Either way, IE6 is going to be defunct at some point.

    I think that if MS stopped supporting IE6 than it would force users and corporations to upgrade to a more recent version of IE which would solve everyone’s problems – the designers/developers wouldn’t have to cow-tail to outdated/inferior technology and MS wouldn’t have to spend money maintaining IE6.

    I have a feeling though that MS fears that if they stop supporting IE6, users (or corporations to be more specific) would opt to upgrade to Firefox or some other non-IE browser.

  51. Anonymous says:

    Eventually you are going to want to upgrade the browser. At some point it will become completely obsolete. Personally I have been tinkering with Firefox lately to see how it stands up against IE. Used IE for many years too.

  52. Anonymous says:

    @Canvas

    The canvas element is nothing to do with open standards, it was a proprietary add on by apple to help them work their gadgets/widgets/whatevers on OSX.  They tried peddling it out to the standards bodies, but initially refused to allow free acccess to their patents and IP with the canvas spec.

    While this hurdle is now removed, there is still a long way to go before the canvas spec can be defined correctly.

    For example, just defining canvas in HTML 5 doesn’t make it useful.  It has to be defined within a dom and api level so that it can be accessed and used efficiently with javascript.

    All implementations out there right now are almost certain to change by the time the spec is approved.

    Like it or now, MS usually wait for a spec to be finalised/matured (well, these days they do) until they implement it.  

    Webdevelopers need to stop this rabid assault on needing new technologies.

    Right now, IE 8 is the most compliant CSS 2.1 browser out there.  Which is surprising.  Before IE8, webdevelopers were howling that without this, they couldn’t possibly develop websites!

    Of course, the anti-microsoft ranters will always, always find a new way to hate them.

  53. Anonymous says:

    I completely agree…

    Whether to upgrade once browser or not is just choice of individual. Also lot of times people just dont care what browser they are using for surfing internet.

  54. Anonymous says:

    That’s totally fine.  But then these users who cannot or do not upgrade should accept that they are using a lesser product.  And we as developers shouldn’t feel any need to support it as a primary development platform anymore. Just like a washer/dryer that’s out of warranty.

  55. Anonymous says:

    @fedup

    While people might be "anti-microsoft" because they’re slow to adopt developing CSS standards, that’s not really the issue here.  The issue is that IE6 has been around for years and years and Microsoft really hasn’t done very much to get people to upgrade.  I understand that some corporations don’t have the funds to upgrade their browsers yet, but what about ordinary people who don’t know how outdated their browser is? It would probably be pretty easy to do with Windows Update if Microsoft wanted to.

    I don’t really mind if some of the advanced CSS 3 pseudo-selectors don’t work on IE8 yet, they’re not that hard to work around, and IE8 has a great debugging interface. But when not even a basic css 2.1 selectors like ‘>’ work on IE6, that’s a nightmare.

  56. Anonymous says:

    I’d like to get viral with this blanket statement:

    -+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-

    As a responsible parent you wouldn’t let your kids smoke cigarettes.

    As a responsible IT Manager why are you letting your employees use IE6?

    -+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-

  57. Anonymous says:

    Et si vous revoyez le respect des standards sur IE8 non ?

  58. Anonymous says:

    @Fedup:

    "Right now, IE 8 is the most compliant CSS 2.1 browser out there."

    That would be stretching the truth a little bit – unless you mean tied for "most compliant": http://kimblim.dk/css-tests/selectors/

  59. Anonymous says:

    If you are so committed to preserving the lifecycle of the product, why not go ahead and fix some of the persisting bugs (some of which are fixed in future versions, some of which remain a pain to most web developers)?

    Surely you can fix the layout engine in IE6 without too much blowback? Surely you can update the script interpreter to use a more modern version of JavaScript?  How hard would it be to updated to CSS2 support? Direct-descendant selector support, multiple class matches, so on and so forth.

    It seems IE6 is nothing but abandoned by Microsoft. The commitment to the product ended years ago when work on IE7 bagan, which also introduced new and exciting quirks and pains.

  60. Anonymous says:

    There are people that don’t feel the need to upgrade their 80 year old wiring in their house.  It’s their call to take the risk of their house burning down, or damage to their electrical appliances, etc.

    I wouldn’t want to share a wall with them, and I wouldn’t want to make sure my appliances work for them either.

  61. Anonymous says:

    You don’t have to make your website IE6-compliant, you just display a message that they are running an old browser, that the website could be broken using it, and that they should update their browser. That’s all. If it’s working, that’s good, if not, then that’s uncool, but it’s not like people didn’t have time to upgrade.

    Loosing customers ? I don’t think so. Most companies only give access to certain websites to their employees, the customer loss will not come from them, and the machines with internet access (often some developer machines) will often use updated browsers, because developers are no fools.

    Making IE6 users upset ? That’s not OUR problem. It’s theirs. They can upgrade anytime, and they had enough time to do it. Or after all, why don’t they use Windows 98 ?…

    Breaking some internal company software ? Again, false problem. As it’s internal, they can keep their IE6, and chances are they already cannot access the internet with those machines, only intranet.

    So why bother ?

    That is the very same problem as developping some software to be compatible with Windows 95 or 98. Today, nobody really cares and everyone is developing for at least Windows 2000. I don’t understand why it’s not the same for IE6.

  62. Anonymous says:

    You bring up some great points in the post, and frankly, if the majority of your browsing in IE6 is internal, the only real advantage gained is access to more cost-effective vendors. Since switching browsers to IE8 introduces all kinds of mess, and they can’t run side-by-side, what about deploying Firefox as a secondary browser to your users that require vendor access? Wouldn’t that solve the IE6 issues for everyone concerned? No one would lose business, anyway.

  63. Anonymous says:

    Yes, keep "users in control of their PCs" (I assume this means Microsoft will allow me to uninstall their DRM layer in Windows 7?).

    This does not mean people should have the expectation that the entire Internet should support Netscape 1.0, Lynx, WebTV 1.0, or MSIE 6. The Internet evolves (as do the security threats). If users want a static environment, they should go pick up a CD-ROM encyclopedia from 1992.

    Sure, if a company wants to cater to the IE6 audience, they should spend the time, but I’d bet that someone unwilling or unable to upgrade to a secure web browser isn’t as likely to be profitable enough to justify all of the extra work that requires.

  64. Anonymous says:

    "Effective July 11, 2006, Windows 98, Windows 98 Second Edition, and Windows Me (and their related components) will transition to a non-supported status." From your own site…

    This was 2 years ago. With this same calendar, IE6 should be hitting the non-supported status about now.

    Your post is more a defense of nothing except the reason Microsoft is slowly losing the Browser war. Sounds a lot like Detroit then Redmond.

  65. Anonymous says:

    @Notpointless at all

    Why don’t you just use two browsers? You can use ie6 for intranet only and use Firefox for all the other sites. When a user uses firefox for intranet  sites you can instruct him/her on the site to use ie6 for that. This way your users will be happy (browsing is quick and safe) your vendors will be happy (no more developing for ie6) and you will be happy (paying less for vendors, less hassle with security)

  66. Anonymous says:

    I can personally guarantee that you could increase adoption of IE 7 and 8 by about 70% just by getting rid of the prompt during Windows Update that asks people if they want to do it and instead just did it in the background.

    People click no because they don’t know what is happening and then they never get the browser.  Just install it automatically without any user interaction because the user has already opted into the update by turning on Windows update.

    All of a sudden the balance of users will switch, and it will be in the interest of corporations to update and solve this….

  67. Anonymous says:

    "The choice to upgrade software on a PC belongs to the person responsible for the PC." Yes it does. But only I, as the developer and frontend engineer, can decide if I want to support those users. And unless analytics throw a damn good reason at me, I wont. I will supply a download link to IE8. That’s it.  

    – and Microsoft should stop telling me what to do with IE6. This mess is entirely your own fault.

  68. Anonymous says:

    Hey Dante — the commitment to IE6 product is primarily security and sustaining, not new platform or feature development.

    If we change how IE6 behaves (layout, DOM, etc.) it’s no longer IE6. Sites that expect IE6 to act one way would suddently it didn’t, and might not work.

    IE7 updated CSS 2.1 support… and the feedback from many devs was "My site worked before, and now it doesn’t." Updating the script engine is great… unless there are some subtle compatibilty bugs (e.g. http://www.channelregister.co.uk/2009/04/28/mozilla_firefox_3_5_beta_4/).

    We want people to upgrade from IE6 to IE8. Some of the other comments on this post from IT professionals do a good job illustrating the issues here.

  69. Anonymous says:

    @Dan Jansen:

    Actually, you could just use Firefox (FrontMotion has a version that supports Group Policies) with IETabs configured to use IE for intranet sites.

  70. Anonymous says:

    I think it’s really irresponsible for MSFT to continue supporting a product that is responsible for so many serious security issues on the Internet. If MSFT really does care about their customers, as Dean states in the blog post, they wouldn’t be keeping IE 6 alive.

    I’m glad I switched years ago to Firefox.

  71. Anonymous says:

    I wouldn’t support IE, period.  I’ll make sure any sites I put up work with a standards-compliant brower (I’ll test with FireFox and Safari).  If the potential users filter themselves by their browser choice, frankly, I want the up-to-date users.  

  72. Anonymous says:

    Hoje em dia, e extremamente complicado fornecer a mesma experiencia dedicada aos usuarios do ie6, alem deste ser totalmente mal feito, ele possui furos de seguranca, e deve ser extinto o mais rapido possivel, e a restricao nao e em tempo para criar o software, mas sim de inserir elementos modernos para que todos possam ter acesso, isso que e o interessante hoje em dia, o que a microsoft junto com o ie6 nao fornece para seus usuarios!

  73. Anonymous says:

    It’s definitely got to be an epidemic case of LUWATOS, let’s upgrade when apples turn orange syndrome.

  74. Anonymous says:

    I think this is a problem of too little, too late. The phenomenon of IE 6 was that it was the leading browser on the leading platform for many, many years. During that time, rather than introducing IE7, or keeping up with the competition (Firefox, Safari, Opera). MS dropped the ball and sat on their lead. As the holes started to appear, it was already too late. Now it is truly a rock in a hard place, upgrading is very disruptive, rather than iterative. Moving full version numbers is scary to many IT companies, and Microsoft is stuck with supporting stuff they shouldn’t. It’s really a no win situation, the only thing we can do is support the revolution of just banning it. This may put enough pain on IT groups to get over the hump and start to support it. I just was the victim of browser sniffing where the page wouldn’t load in IE 8 because my ‘browser was outdated’, but of course it worked in Firefox.  IE 6 was too successful for too long to just be brushed off.

  75. Anonymous says:

    As soon as the major sites, like YouTube, omit to tune their sites for IE6 most of the IE6 users will upgade and the problems of IE6 hopefully belong to the past.

  76. Anonymous says:

    @rasmus kalms:

    "But only I, as the developer and frontend engineer, can decide if I want to support those users. And unless analytics throw a damn good reason at me, I wont. I will supply a download link to IE8. That’s it. "

    Well, if you work in-house and can tell your boss that you want to shut 15% of all people out of your site, then that’s fine. I must admit that I find it a bit arrogant that YOU want to decide who can visit your website – do you care about accessability? How about people who don’t have flash or js enabled?

  77. Anonymous says:

    Since IE6 is so old, I know it’s difficult to change people minds about IE6.. Like there is people still thinking the best browser is the (RIP) Netscape.

    But lets face it, IE6 just make developers go crazy, and I think I talk in name of every developer, that we are really tired of making tons of hacks per site, like:

    width: 30px; //width: 45px;

    I support the termination of the support of the ancient browser to IE7 o IE8 if they don’t want to change they’re browser.

    Becouse, what was pointed up there by Dean MSFT ( http://blogs.msdn.com/ie/archive/2009/08/10/engineering-pov-ie6.aspx#9864536 )its actually a problem in the IE it self, or the people who made the website, becouse the website MUST be independet of the browser we use, and it shouldnt matter if I see my site in IE, Firefox, Opera or Chrome.

    And even the bug that reported here Dean it’s true, happend to me, now I’m using the final version of firefox 3.5, and I dont have that problem anymore.

    I’m pro NO MORE IE6, pro technology to evolve!

    So please Microsoft guys, please, stop promoting some old software, that was cool. (It’s like you saying now: USE WINDOWS 98!)

    I would like to see Microsoft promoting the use of IE8 the good way, so I want to upgrade my old IE6 to IE8, so everyone of us developers can evolve!

    Now, the fact of the HTML5 will take allot of time, referring to kimblim ( http://blogs.msdn.com/ie/archive/2009/08/10/engineering-pov-ie6.aspx#9864020 )

    It’s like: how long will the developers took to adopt css3?

    Years!

    Why? Becouse the people its afraid of upgrading theyre software, so until everybody upgrade theyre browser, there will be no "Rising of the HTML5"

  78. Anonymous says:

    I do have to observe that since Microsoft has lived by inertia, the reason IE usage grew for so long, and the reason Windows has utterly dominated for so many years, that it’s refreshing to see them cursed by inertia, having to support Windows XP and IE6 for years to come.

    Microsoft won’t be able to kill XP/IE6 any more than the financial industry has been able to completely kill COBOL.

  79. Anonymous says:

    Not Pointless at All, my condolences to you and the company you work for, for locking themselves forever into a no upgrade path.

    I hope your company will enjoy wasting money once all support of IE6 ends in 2014 and you’ll have to rewrite from scratch all your IE6 only web apps to be compatible with whatever is available in that year.

  80. DWalker59 says:

    @Geld: "As soon as the major sites, like YouTube, omit to tune their sites for IE6 most of the IE6 users will upgade and the problems of IE6 hopefully belong to the past."

    You apparently didn’t read the post from a corporate IT person.  Many, many companies BLOCK YouTube and Facebook and other "major" sites from being accessed.  So, they don’t care whether YouTube supports IE6 ot not, since their corporate users can’t even GET to YouTube.  These "users" (many, many hundreds of thousands, or millions, of them) don’t care if YouTube drops support for IE6.

  81. Anonymous says:

    @kimblim:

    "I must admit that I find it a bit arrogant that YOU want to decide who can visit your website – do you care about accessability? How about people who don’t have flash or js enabled?"

    Not the same thing. "What about Netscape 1.0 or Lynx?" would be a better comparison, I think (unless you are categorizing IE6 users as mentally or physically disadvantaged).

    People can use whatever they want to view a website. That does not mean they should expect full support for their browser forever. Nor does it mean that version of that browser should perpetually be patched and supported by the company that made it.

    Again, the Internet is not static. If you want a static environment, buy a CD-ROM encyclopedia from 1992.

  82. Anonymous says:

    @Brianary:

    I totally agree with you that the web is not static – and I don’t want it to be static. I think you have misunderstood my position here – I don’t want all websites to look the same in every browser and I am a firm believer in graceful degrading.

    Percentage-wise my comparison was off, and for that I apologise – it gave the wrong impression of my view.

    BUT! IE6 still has approx.15% of all users, and to turn that many people away is arrogant. And I don’t think it is fair of web developers around the world to blame (only) Microsoft for IE6’s popularity – I remember when it came out and it was among the best browsers for the Windows platform. A lot of developers stopped caring about other browsers (Netscape 6 anyone?), and in doing so, we are now left with a bunch of (mostly internal, intranet) websites that will break in any browser but IE6. Is that Microsofts fault? Not in my world.

  83. Anonymous says:

    Microsoft’s inertia will run out.  So many of us just took IE b/c it was there, but I’m seeing the next generation come along and they flat out refuse to use it b/c of the security issues.  Now Microsoft will have to produce a quality product to hold onto or gain market share.  Can they?

  84. Anonymous says:

    Sincerely, For God’s sake Microsoft should discontinue all Internet Explorer products, make a obligatory uninstall in the next Windows Update and apologize for all those years we have been using and developing for this crap! Go learn with the Firefox dudes how to make a browser!

  85. Anonymous says:

    @kimblim – since when did flash or js become an issue here?

    I’m a big fan of progressive enhancement, and I’ll make sure as many as possible can use my site. What I wont do is use an excessive amount of time to get something to work on a site that only 10% of my visitors will see. When it comes down to cost, I can’t justify spending that time. IE6 is just too annoying and it doesn’t support simple pseudo classes, that could enrich my interface and help my users get visual feedback.

    If the site I worked on, required IE6 to be supported due to a big amount of IE6 users, then so be it. That’s a no brainer. But I will not support IE6 just because I have to. End of story.

  86. Anonymous says:

    there should be a global correction on the figures of usage of ie 6.

    those probably can be lowered with 40% as that 40% are the poor souls using it merely to waste their time testing their developments and search hacks and tweaks for that dinosaur.  

    waiting for the day that the ‘big sites’ drop their support, the rest will be history

  87. Anonymous says:

    I’m now using Chrome 4.0. Seriously, Google embarasses Microsoft when it comes to browser development.

    AppleWebKit/532.0 (KHTML, like Gecko) Chrome/4.0.202.0

  88. Anonymous says:

    Let’s face it, IE6 is holding the web back.  From fonts, to newer technologies, to security.  It costs our clients more for us to make sure a site works good in IE6 in conjunction with the rest of the modern browsers.  If it wasn’t because of Microsoft’s huge market share, IE6 would be lying in the history bin with Netscape.  We’re also talking about complying to web standards, set forth by the W3C, to make sure our websites will look good for most people.  Again, IE6 doesn’t follow this well.  Sure IE6 is locked in with a base Windows XP install, or Server 2k3, but why not force it to update upon launch to the latest version of Internet Explorer?  I’m sure this browser is as much of a pain for Microsoft as it is for developers.  If Microsoft doesn’t want to do anything about it, its now up to large websites like Google, Yahoo, CNN, Amazon, etc. to drop support for the browser and enhance their sites with modern technologies that are held back because of IE6.

  89. Anonymous says:

    @Fedup

    > Right now, IE 8 is the most compliant CSS 2.1 browser out there.

    Fedup, there are people (James Hopkins, Dan, "mvdleij", Hilbrand Edskes, Philip Taylor, Zoffix Znet, Marc Pacheco, Colin Snover, Garrett Smith, "the_dees", etc) who believe that such statement/claim is debattable, questionable and so far they have, in my opinion, convincingly substantiated their objections wrt such statement/claim in their respective websites.

    Maybe IE 8 has an overall complete support for CSS 2.1 properties and property values and maybe IE 8 currently passes all of the valid tests in the current CSS 2.1 conformance test suite but its CSS 2.1 implementation is not flawless, is not impeccable, is not perfect: that’s an undeniable certainty here.

    regards, Gérard

  90. Anonymous says:

    @ Dean Hachamovitch [MSFT]

    > I think you’re asking for more material (tools etc.) to help developers upgrade their websites.

    I am asking for more tools, yes, customized tools, assisting tools for upgrading websites designed with HTML editors like FrontPage and MS-Word. "A real validator" (which comes with good documentation) is an example of a good tool (not a perfect tool but at least a recommendable tool). HTML Tidy (although at first not easy to use… but the effort of learning, understanding it is worth it) is an excellent tool. Built-in (working offline) HTML validators and CSS validator: I’ve proposed these as add-ons or disabled (turn off by default so that newbies or ordinary IE users would not be confused by this) components of IE 8.

    Microsoft could create a software dedicated at fixing broken code, invalid code, helping web authors, specially dedicated at fixing typical broken/non-compliant code output by FP and MS-Word. Microsoft never tried to do this in the last 8-10 years. The fact is that those FP and MS-Word products are still very much available, being used too.

    I am also asking for *better* tools. MSDN should be perceived here as a documentation tool and it is not a good documentation resource

    – to create valid markup code

    – to create valid CSS code

    – to create accessible webpages, interoperable webpages

    – to upgrade currently invalid, malformed, incorrectly structured webpages, etc.

    It’s been like that for the last 10-12 years.

    Microsoft can not possibly convert every single website author to upgrade his websites, to make it compliant, etc. But what it should do is provide the best tools, documentation, assisting softwares it can provide considering the situation on the web right now so that it can be in a position to later calmly say: "We did all we can/could: the rest is up to web authors/webmasters, web admins". Right now, Microsoft can not say this. Microsoft has an important share of responsibility in the broken, invalid state of the current web. These people used Microsoft products during a decade to create websites, you know.

    Gérard Talbot

  91. Anonymous says:

    @ Not Pointless at All

    Many years ago, it was known and already discussed that Web applications should not depend on IE-only (and IE6-only!) functionality:

    The top 20 IT mistakes to avoid

    November 19, 2004

    11. Developing Web apps for IE only

    infoworld.com/d/developer-world/top-20-it-mistakes-avoid-314?page=0,3

    regards, Gérard

  92. Anonymous says:

    Put IE8 in whatever next service pack if you want users to understand benefits explaining that for performances, security, and other reasons, included the fact IT HAS to be updated, IE6 does not make sense anymore.

    It is exactly what you said in this post.

    Moreover, please do not be stuck with the OS, whatever version it is, and make Microsoft CRM compatible with other browsers as well.

    That message "update your browser" sounds ridiculous, as ridiculous is the JavaScript syntax used in your CRM to be sure any other browser will not parse it.

    Google applications work perfectly with your browser, as Mozilla website is IE compatible.

    Please be realistic and start to be truly "close to people choice" as you mentioned here for this IE6 problem. Thank you.

  93. Anonymous says:

    The IE team (not the company or individual) made the IE upgrade decision for Windows 2000 users — you’re stuck on IE6.

    If MS is really interested in security and people having the best browser experience possible, MS should recommend Windows 2000 users to switch to Firefox (or any other modern, secure browser that runs on Windows 2000).

  94. Anonymous says:

    IE8 doesn’t work with the Web interface on Microsoft Virtual Server 2005 R2, the only thing we’ve found to fix it is to either not install IE8 or uninstall IE8.

  95. Anonymous says:

    @Brendan, I am not surprised, IE8 at the beginning did not work with hotmail itself ’cause "too many standards respected"

    P.S. for those about IE TAB for Firefox, it is cheating, it is not Firefox, and it is not an official MS support or solution, so still if one of the most used application is not close to people choices, I feel like "somebody" is kidding me here …

  96. Anonymous says:

    @Gérard Talbot:

    Actually the "Best Viewed With Any Browser" campaign started as far back as Jan 1998.

    http://www.anybrowser.org/

    http://web.archive.org/web/*/http://www.anybrowser.org/

    The movement away from browser-specific development was championed by Microsoft at the time, since Netscape had nearly all of the browser market share. Once inertia dragged most of the Internet to MSIE 5.5 and 6, there was considerably less support from Redmond for browser-agnostic development for a long time.

    Things have changed again, now that Firefox and Safari are taking market share away from MSIE, and the IE team has made significant efforts to embrace standards.

    Sadly, IE6 was around for so long, that many web app vendors assumed it would always be there, and now the indolence of these third parties has left the IE6 millstone around the neck of many corporate intranets.

  97. Anonymous says:

    @Andrea Giammarchi:

    I’m not sure what you mean by "cheating" by using IETabs. It’s IE hosted inside Firefox. Of course it isn’t Firefox (except insofar as you are able to continue to use the Firefox UI: bookmarks, &c.), it’s just a way to automatically use IE for certain sites, when you have to–without having to instruct your users to sometimes use IE for sites A, B, and C, and Firefox otherwise.

  98. Anonymous says:

    @Brianary the day IE will implement a plug-in/extension to put Firefox, Safari or Chrome inside IE I’ll stop complaining about CRM. The point is that application is not developed to let people chose, at all, ’cause it simply does not work with whatever other browser. IE TAB? I personally do not use it ’cause it is not native IE and gosh knows what kind of problems I could have (how much are contained IE bugs there? I prefer IE8 at that point, but I would like to simply use my favorite browser, whatever it is).

  99. Anonymous says:

    @Gérard: there’s a W3C test suite. If you think it has problems, why are you whining here or at your site instead of whining to the W3C to change the test cases?

  100. Anonymous says:

    I’m not sure how I stumbled into a professional blog, but here I am, a member of the unwashed internet masses.

    The large communication company I used to work for had 200,000 computers and ran *only* IE6, and do so until this very day.  How would *you* like to handle yearly browser changes to that many machines, users, and web sites?

    Last, I use IE8, Firefox, and Chrome, but only because I’m an enthusiast.  As for users who haven’t the slightest interest in computers beyond using them: why would they fix what ain’t broke?  I used to work at a help desk, and believe me, people don’t even know they are in a browser when doing their work.  

  101. Anonymous says:

    "Looking back at the post on Digg, it’s not just IT professionals. Some of the ‘regular people’ surveyed there were not interested in upgrading. Seventeen percent of respondents to the Digg IE6 survey indicated that they “don’t feel a need to upgrade.” Separately, a letter to a popular personal technology columnist last week asked if people will somehow be forced to upgrade from their current client software if it already meets their needs. "

    In regards to the above statement, isn’t it quite clear that those that feel they have ‘no need to upgrade’ feel that way because Microsoft hasn’t given them enough of an incentive or reason to upgrade?

    I believe that responsibility somewhat lies in the hands of Microsoft. Those that use IE6 on a regular basis AND feel no need to upgrade are purely ignorant and are using one of the least secure ways to access the internet. It’s fine. When they get attacked with hundreds of spyware and malware installs, they’ll wonder why and no one will be there to let them know it is partially the fault of IE6. At least the problem takes care of itself.

    If you use IE6, just expect to no longer receive access to the full functionality of websites any longer, as youtube and other sites are already in the process of dropping support.

    You may be correct that people expect something they’ve purchased to function correctly for a lifetime. However, it’s your (MS) fault that they have this expectation, because it has been sold to them.

    Anyone with common sense would realize that technology in general does not work that way. Did people expect 32 bit processors to work with 64 bit OSs? Did people expect 512MB of RAM to be all that we ever need?

    Things change, including browsers. Those that are convinced that IE6 should ‘work forever’ need to be re-educated about the tech world in general. Never expect a method / piece of hardware / piece of software to ‘work forever’ in conjunctions with new technologies and movements in the industry.

  102. Anonymous says:

    Hey Gérard — thanks for clarifying. I understand that you feel strongly about validation and validators. You write of broken or invalid or incorrectly structured web pages. Many developers just think about pages that work and don’t work. Your focus on web site compliance is a topic we just disagree on.

  103. Anonymous says:

    Hey Rasmus — we’re saying that we’ll continue to support users who are running IE6. No one at Microsoft is telling you what you should or shouldn’t do or support. Providing a download link to IE8 for IE6 and IE7 users is a great thing to do — thank you.

  104. Anonymous says:

    @Andrea Giammarchi:

    Yes, it *IS* native IE. It’s not an emulator. It’s a hosted IE ActiveX control, like HTMLHelp or the IE inside Visual Studio or the IE inside Outlook, &c. IE is a native, hostable component inside Windows, not just an app.

    You do have a choice. You even get to tell IETabs which sites to automatically use the native IE for.

  105. Anonymous says:

    @Dann Hatch:

    Yearly? How about every, say, FIVE YEARS‽

    Also: the whole point of this discussion is that it *IS* "broke"!

    I understand that most people don’t even know what a browser is, much less that there are alternatives available, but that doesn’t mean you just shrug and walk away. If that were the attitude, we’d still be supporting Netscape 4 and there would be no AJAX sites like Google Earth or GMail or Outlook Web Access or any of the Web 2.0 stuff.

  106. Anonymous says:

    I can pretty much guarantee that the respondents that "don’t feel a need to upgrade" have one or more of the following in their user agent string: FunWebProducts, SIMBAR, desktopsmiley, SpamBlockerUtility, AntivirXP08, ZangoToolbar, CursorZone, Hotbar, IEBar, sureseeker, or FrankenShteiN.

  107. Anonymous says:

    @ Dean Hachamovitch

    > Many developers just think about pages that work and don’t work.

    Reducing the web standards equation to work or don’t work would have to be done with several browsers (and eventually with other web-aware devices on different media), otherwise testing with one single browser or 2 may not be sufficient. That’s why (markup and css code) validation is so much more reliable, trust-worthy.

    The first step to debug a webpage layout issue or problem is still to validate the markup code: that was true 10 years ago and I’m sure that will still be true in 10 years from now.

    > Your focus on web site compliance is a topic we just disagree on.

    Here’s a simple test/challenge for you. Download and install Konqueror 4.2.4, then visit MSDN, any MSDN webpages, and try to scroll webpage content or do normal things. Every attempts will fail: it just won’t work. Konqueror 4.2.4 passes acid2 test and does overall as good or even better than IE 8 in several web standards compliance tests (HTML, CSS, DOM). Obviously MSDN works with IE 7 and IE 8… but it does *not* work for other web-standards-compliant browsers like Konqueror 4.2.4.

    Where’s the interoperability commitments at microsoft? and web standards compliance commitments at microsoft? These are in webpages which are having equally as much validation markup errors, invalid code, non-compliant-code than on MSDN webpages. That is unbelievable, unheard of.

    Microsoft should lead by showing the example, should promote proper authoring and coding practices in websites under its control. There is no reason as to why *all* of microsoft-controlled websites have failed so bad at validation (markup and CSS code) in the last 10 years and this is still going on.

    Gérard Talbot

  108. Anonymous says:

    @ Dean Hachamovitch [MSFT]

    Microsoft should lead, should promote better coding practices to begin with by adopting/endorsing the efforts of validating websites under its control (especially MSDN articles, tutorials, examples, IE Blog, etc). A web-standards-compliant rendering engine will not do anything by itself without "feeding" it proper, valid, compliant code. And by doing so, Microsoft can show the whole world that upgrading websites to trigger best compliant rendering mode can be done and can be successful for large corporations.

    Gérard Talbot

  109. Anonymous says:

    @Dean Hachamovitch [MSFT]:

    "Many developers just think about pages that work and don’t work. Your focus on web site compliance is a topic we just disagree on."

    The problem with permissive parsing is that, at some point, the errors accumulate to the point where the whole thing falls apart, and it becomes nearly impossible to debug.

    Also, as Microsoft has found out, you also end up supporting every single version of the permissive parser you put out. IE8 includes an IE6 and an IE7 parser along with the IE8 parser. How are you guys enjoying that?

  110. Anonymous says:

    @Dean Hachamovitch [MSFT]:

    snark:

    {

    Regarding Microsoft’s "ongoing commitment to user choice and control" and "keeping users in control of their PCs": will Windows 7 allow me to remove the DRM layer for premium content playback?

    }

    😉

  111. Anonymous says:

    re: I can pretty much guarantee that the respondents that "don’t feel a need to upgrade" have one or more of the following in their user agent string: FunWebProducts, SIMBAR, desktopsmiley, SpamBlockerUtility, AntivirXP08, ZangoToolbar, CursorZone, Hotbar, IEBar, sureseeker, or FrankenShteiN.

    Ha ha ha; this is so true.

  112. Anonymous says:

    Didn’t I just read that the newest version of IE didn’t allow users to set default browser and then this article claims MS is "respecting user choice of search settings or browser defaults"

    Where did yo learn to double speak so well?

  113. Anonymous says:

    The problems and solutions are quite clear to me:

    Problem 1: IE6 is not standard compliant, it wasn’t even when it was published

    Problem 2:

    Coorporations that need IE6 for their internal pages made a mistake (or were fooled by Microsoft sales personel into) investing money in Microsoft standard incompliant intranet platform.

    Web developers  solutions:

    Solution: Informing visitors that their browser is obsolete with links to modern browsers and stop supporting it. It is not at all webdeveloper’s problem. It is Microsoft and corporate custumer’s problem.

    Corporate solutions:

    Solution: keep IE6, but additional install Firefox or Google Chrome to each desktop. So the employees can still access the obsolete intranet and at the same time employees and company will benefit from all the modern browser functionalities. And yes, it requires additional effort to install it on so many computers, but you are payed for doing such things. Sorry guys, but my dear sys admins, you were the one who invested into (and trusted) software that lacks standard compliance.

    Microsoft developers, and PR personel. I understand that you can’t ban your custumers, but please show the guts to take the responsibility on your own shoulders for the standard noncompliance that caused the situation and stop halting the world’s technology development just because it is not in your favor.

    Microsoft once was a pioneer, and that old Microsoft would felt quite ashamed of what Microsoft is today. Instead of searching for competitive advantages in rapid and smart development, the only thing you can come up with is advantages through monopoly and financial power. Most of the things you implement in your products are based on ideas coming from open source society. And it’ is nothing wrong with that, as long as you would give it credit for their input and stop the FUD towards them. They too are your customers. There is no just open or just commercial IT systems anymore.

    There is a place for everyone on the market, but even Microsoft must learn to follow its rules. Your bad public image caused by arrogance of the market backfire for sure.

  114. Anonymous says:

    Well when you guys decide to pull the plug on IE 6 entirely then you might force everyone to upgrade. We are a microsoft gold partner developing web based solutions and IE 6 is a pain in the neck right now due to poor performance in javascript and bad standards support. I cannot see why an IT Administrator should go through the trouble of upgrading 1000 machines the least if you guys say it is fine to have IE 6.

  115. Anonymous says:

    I spent 6 hours today coaxing ie6 to do what I want. the job should have taken 2 and I can only charge for 2.

    Why

    Because I work in a gov Department and most of the comps still run win2000.

    The wont allow upgrades to firefox because then you can bypass their draconian firewalls

    As a web developer it makes life so tough.

    we will probably get windows 7 around the time MS releases windows 3000

    DC

  116. Anonymous says:

    I encourage microsoft to lag behind in adopting technology standards, especially html 5.

    Microsoft complained lately that it’s losing browser dominance to competitors. What a wonderful thing. I wish, and hope and do my best in personal conversation to discourage people from using microsoft technologies. Am I a bitter, ms hater?

    I am a developer. Countless hours are wasted to keep pages decent for IE. I have three kids and a good wife and MS, with their arrogance, is causing me to spend less time with my family as I have to put more time in my work.

    Yes, MS, stay behind. One day you will be an insignificant player in the web technologies field and people that now sing your praises will abandon ship – including the guys running this website.

  117. jestempies says:

    As long as you make the upgrade more difficult than clicking ‘Yes, I do want to upgrade’, you’ve failed. I’d say even asking the user is a bad idea.

  118. Anonymous says:

    @jeremy said: "Didn’t I just read that the newest version of IE didn’t allow users to set default browser"

    Jeremy, if you believe every lie you read on the Internet, you must lead a rather amusing life. You should have a reality TV show!

    (And yes, that claim is utterly, ridiculously untrue.)

  119. Anonymous says:

    Can i make a suggestion? (to post writer)

    If you said you will support IE6, then that means you will yet release patches for it to Windows Update install right?

    If people like to have version 6, we don’t mind! Just make an update patch that will update the Trident Engine to the last version (a.k.a. IE8) or at least, IE7.

    Don’t know if this is possible but this could be something nice to make since IE6 is worst than 5.5 in CSS support.. 5.5 have less css but it works well with what it support.

    seeya

  120. Anonymous says:

    thank you

    IE6 is good

  121. Anonymous says:

    I can’t take the time to implement all the little fixes and messy workaround to make my websites IE6 compliant, the program is 8 years old and is unhealthy to the future of the web.

    Microsoft, it’s your job to make a one-click upgrade for all the grandmas and non-technical people out there.  At this point, you can’t do much for the larger organizations.  Obviously they wouldn’t be running automatic updates, so it’s up to the big websites like Youtube or Facebook to stop supporting this browser, maybe then someone in IT will explain it to the boss when he can’t watch videos at work anymore.

  122. Anonymous says:

    As an additional comment, it’s nice to see that both pro and con arguments for IE are allowed through the comment moderation process.  I’d be pretty frustrated if only pro IE6 comments were published.

  123. Anonymous says:

    These arguments just go round in circles. Let me just put across a few points which you can agree with or disagree.

    1) Regardless of IE6 the most current version  IE8 is not good enough when compared with the competitors. However the team have made strides to improve and if the next version supports SVG, CANVAS and better CSS etc. More openness on such plans are needed though.

    2) IE6 is for developers a nuisance that won’t go away because of all reasons above (intranets, old hardware, departments won’t change etc). However this is not the fault of the current team and you have a few choices. Or I should say the customers who you develop for have the choices.

        I) A message says this website is designed for modern browsers. Sorry but **** off.

        II) No message and if things don’t work correctly or look good, well too bad.

       III) Spend some time to make the site work in an ok fashion on IE6, but don’t go to town wasting days to accomplish this.

      IV) If your client insists it works on IE6 perfectly explain how much extra it costs and charge for the extra hours worked.

    What many of you don’t seem to realise is if all browsers worked the same. Creating webpages would be pretty easy and hence many of us would lose jobs. If you know all the idiosyncrasies of designing pages that work in IE6 then you should be charging extra for this skill.

  124. Anonymous says:

    I’m just waiting to see lawsuits start trickling into Microsoft’s legal department for their continued support of a browser that adds scores of hours onto web development projects.

    I find that Microsoft is irresponsible for not being more proactive.  They are idly allowing the use of a tool which provides an inferior or degraded experience.  I can’t imagine releasing a bad product with such a huge presence in a user’s daily life and not doing everything I could to help improve the user’s experience.  The line about how it’s not hard to upgrade IE is irrelevant and/or baloney.  If it was easy and Microsoft tried hard to promote the migration away from IE6, we wouldn’t be having this conversation.

  125. Anonymous says:

    @Mike:

    "Creating webpages would be pretty easy and hence many of us would lose jobs."

    Not that I see. There will always be more web apps in demand, and the more advanced features not supported by IE6 will start to require more dev time. If web apps become faster and easier to develop, there will simply be more of them (and better ones) developed.

    There is no finite number of useful web apps, especially given the advanced abilities of a post-IE6 Internet.

  126. Anonymous says:

    @Wes – I agree, but I’m scratching my head trying to figure out what would be a good "pro IE6" comment…

    Users will typically place more trust and credence in the provider of the installed software rather than the provider of a website, so it’s pointless to assume that all it takes is for IE6 users to see the light is for a website to recommend upgrading.  

    Microsoft’s brushing off of IE6′ security vulnerabilities is an even bigger topic that is absolutely reprehensible.

  127. Anonymous says:

    @scooter: Are you also waiting for the lawsuits to come into Toyota because not all of their cars get 50+ MPG like the Prius?  No, of course not, that would be just as ridiculous.

    As for the idea that Microsoft "brushes off" vulnerabilities in IE6, that’s an entirely baseless remark. In contrast, no other browser ships security patches for older versions even if customers are still using them.

    Please don’t bother to post unless you do some research first.

  128. Anonymous says:

    <<<I’d be pretty frustrated if only pro IE6 comments were published.>>>

    They only moderate comments that violate the rules (profanity, insults, and so on).

    And remember, the IE team probably hates IE6 more than any of us do, since they still have to support it.

  129. Anonymous says:

    Making the UI of web applications work (or at least degrade gracefully), in IE6, is a trivial component of the application engineering lifecycle – especially considering the availability of modern client-side libraries.

    Whenever I hear someone say (or read someone write) that IE6 is "hard" to code for, I immediately think that person is not cut out for the intellectual demands of development. If you find yourself struggling with cross-browser compatibility, you may be better suited for something less technical, like project management or SEM.

  130. Anonymous says:

    @Phil – you’re really grasping at straws trying to come up with analogies.  Nice try though.

    IE6 hacks for javascript and css have become too acceptable.  If I went to fill up my Toyota and had to insert the gas nozzle into the glovebox as a work-around because it couldn’t fully support 92 octane gasoline, that would be an accurate comparison.  Ha, that might actually be pretty darn funny — a lot funnier than DOM manipulation in IE6.

    By the time IE7 came onto the market in 2006, IE6 had already been branded by US-CERT as insecure.  In June 2004, US-CERT recommended using any other browser.  That seems like a big issue to me.  Microsoft took it to heart and helped users out a whopping 1.5 years later while still peddling an insecure component of their operating system.

    If Microsoft had cared more about IE users than market-share, this conversation would be moot.

  131. Anonymous says:

    @Will Peavy – Glad to hear you’ve never tried to do any reasonable css or javascript development that involved a modicum of web standards dependencies.  If dropping in jQuery to solve your problems is all it takes, I’m happy for you.

    IE6′ notions of the box model just don’t cut it, especially when dhtml degradation can often mean duplication of efforts.

  132. Anonymous says:

    Scooter, you’re not a lawyer. If you want to play one on the Internet, you need to practice a lot harder.

    If you bothered to read the US-CERT advisory, they were recommending avoiding IE *until* a specific vulnerability was patched, which was done less than a month later. Perhaps you know that and you’re deliberately trying to mislead people?

  133. Anonymous says:

    Who’s claiming to be a lawyer?  All I am is a frustrated developer trying to juggle technology with a large part of my user-base stuck on IE6 and relying on Microsoft for divine oversight.

    I once spent several years as a .NET developer at a Gold Partner company.  I appreciate much of the technology that Microsoft has delivered.  That being said, I choose to no longer use any Microsoft products, other than for testing purposes.  Microsoft’s attitudes toward browser support had much to do with this shift.

  134. Anonymous says:

    @Phil IANAL but I wouldn’t recommend IE6 to anyone for anything.

    Just as today I wouldn’t recommend a portable CD player or Cassette Tape player, a Typewriter (manual or electric), FrontPage, MSWord->export to HTML, Windows ME, Vista, ASP, etc.

    Some would be personal preference but much would be based on letting legacy things die.

    At some point you just have to let them go… and for IE6 that point was 2 years ago.

  135. Anonymous says:

    Enthusiasts? We’re professionals. There’s been a decade of browser innovation between IE6 and now. Not from Microsoft, sure, but from the rest of the world. This goes way beyond technology enthusiasm. This has nothing to do with encouraging people to use the latest and greatest… it’s more convincing people to use something that isn’t well-obsolete.

    IE8 is a step in the right direction. MS should do more to encourage IT departments to upgrade. Seriously.

    Also, I’d like to hear the opinion of your developers. I’m sure that even though management isn’t interested in competing, the developers are dying to. Somewhere along the line you guys stop listening to your developers in favor of business decisions. This is why you’re losing ground.

    I mean no insult, so please don’t take it that way. I’m simply stating my opinion.

    Jimmy

  136. Anonymous says:

    Scooter, for what it’s worth, I never had any issues with the box model on IE6 because I’ve been using standards mode for years.

    I’m in much the same place. I want to make fancy web 2.0 apps, but some of my customers are still on IE6. The most effective way I’ve found to get them to upgrade is to demonstrate the performance difference between IE6 and IE8.

  137. seventeen says:

    I understand where you’re coming from. You drop support for IE6, your company breaks its promise. You keep support for IE6 and you hold back development of the modern internet; and therefor, thousands of web developers quietly (or otherwise) hate you for it. I mean, hey, who really cares what all those devs think… right?

  138. Anonymous says:

    Microsoft needs to catch up with the other players in their field, or take a queue from Netscape and get the hell out already. Even IE8 is years behind the competition.

    Stop doing everything "your way" and listen to the people who actually use your product and have to wrestle with it in IT and development. I can guarantee once you do that, browser share, through the damn roof.

  139. Anonymous says:

    Well I’m pretty statisfied with IE 6.

  140. Anonymous says:

    Don’t like all the space the updates require on my hard disk.

  141. Anonymous says:

    Why won’t you just add the IE8 Trident engine to IE6? Make it so that the UI stays the same, but the meta tag you invented for IE8 triggers the IE8 engine in this hybrid IE6.

    This way all those companies that are stuck with [not-really-]web software made for IE6 eons ago can upgrade and still have their crappy apps working, and users who hate the IE7/8 UI can have a browser with a moderately useful engine.

  142. Anonymous says:

    > Why would anyone run an eight-year old browser?

    IE 6 came out in 2001.

    IE 7 came out 5+ years later in October 2006

    IE 8 came out 2.5 years later in March 2009

    I’m glad that MS waited so long after XP, IE6, Server 2003 to do major version upgrades.  This let those platforms become much more stable over time and actually perform much much better as you upgraded hardware.  

    Feature wise, IE7 had little in the way of new features that would compel me to upgrade.  

    I’d be quite happy for MS to concentrate on system stability, performance improvements and, most importantly, reducing the memory/cpu requirements for its OS and browser.

    This would let me run XP/Server 2003 on anything from a netbook to a larger server machine.

    Simplifying the OS API would greatly help.  Windows performance issues centralize around how costly it is to context switch and Windows large use of things that require context switches (e.g., com objects that should be standard non-com dlls) greatly slows down the system.

    A concentrated MS effort to replace Win32 and COM objects with equivalent .NET libraries (no com/ipc/context swithcing needed) would provide great benefits.

  143. Anonymous says:

    The problem is that they aren’t making the choice.  The choice is continuously deferred.

    If you say you’re "supporting" your operating system, then patch the browser.  What is the point of versions?  Continue to call it IE6, just fix it.

    The problem here is that MS doesn’t want to put the work in to make it right.

  144. Anonymous says:

    @Mike

    > if the next version supports SVG, > CANVAS and better CSS etc. More

    > openness on such plans are needed > though

    Mike, regarding confirmed CSS bugs as reported at connect’s IE beta feedback, all (except 2: bug 364028 and another one – can’t remember now) of the bug reports on unfixed bugs have been reactivated (status: active). I believe you can expect the next IE to have them all fixed. You have the right to nuance your trust in Microsoft and adopt a cautious/sane "I’ll believe it when I see it" attitude as Microsoft has not always been reliable, trustworthy in the last 10 years regarding web standards compliance and commitments.

    Regarding DOM 2 events interface implementation, both bug reports (bug 333958; bug 355795; duplicates in fact) have been reactivated. I can not imagine IE not implementing this as the W3C DOM 2 events is more powerful than IE event model.

    Canvas, you ask? Reactivated: bug 334060.

    Openness and roadmap: without explicit documents addressing these, you are left with the status of bug reports at IE beta feedback. Not optimal, of course, but better than guesswork, approximation, exegesis of IE chats, of IE Blog, etc.

    regards, Gérard

  145. Anonymous says:

    You said: "We’ve blogged before about keeping users in control of their PCs"

    I ask: Is it possible to uninstall Internet Explorer?

    Note that I said "uninstall Internet Explorer"; not restore IE8 to IE7 nor restore IE7 to IE6.

  146. Anonymous says:

    @bill: As mentioned here previously, the Internet Explorer application is an optional component on Windows 7 and may be uninstalled. On earlier versions of Windows this is not possible as some programs take hard-dependencies on the IE executable; you can, however, use the Set Programs and Defaults program to remove all native entry points to IE.

  147. Anonymous says:

    @ Dean Hachamovitch [MSFT]

    > Scores of posts on this [Engineering Windows 7] site (…)

    W3C validator reports for such microsoft website:

    1801 Errors, 34 warning(s)

    validator.w3.org/check?uri=http://blogs.msdn.com/e7/

    There is no excuse (never was any), no possibly acceptable justification for such webpage coding practices in 2009 from Microsoft, in a blog which started just a few months ago. Joe Schmuch Blog may have some kind of excuses for having 100 errors or big-intranet-corporation may but not Microsoft. This sends the wrong message about leadership, promotion of web standards compliance, interoperability, etc.

    Also, please reactivate bug 409470 and bug 364028: these are real CSS bugs and confirmed CSS 2.1 bugs.

    Gérard Talbot

    Gérard Talbot

  148. Anonymous says:

    Hey Gérard — thanks for sharing your opinions about HTML validation. There are a lot of different opinions about validation (e.g. here’s an earlier comment on this post: http://blogs.msdn.com/ie/archive/2009/08/10/engineering-pov-ie6.aspx#9863723).

    It is interesting that you ask how different browsers can pass the same test (e.g. ACID2) still behave differently on different web pages. That’s a powerful statement about the tests you use for standards compliance. The CSS 2.1 Working Group is working through test suite submissions now. I suggest you take your interpretation of the specification there. It’s the right open forum to work through the feedback.

  149. Anonymous says:

    Wow, very timely… just spent my entire day trying to track down a pernicious IE6 bug. It’s enough to drive a person to seek other employment. I don’t get paid enough for this level of frustration.

  150. Anonymous says:

    IE does a decent job at supporting web standards.  

    Web standards do not exist to give you typesetting WYSIWYG layout and also do not exist to give you desktop application GUI interactivity.  

    Use Silverlight if you want WYSISYG typesetting type layout or desktop application GUI interactivity.  Don’t use CSS, HTML, AJAX, Javascript, etc.

  151. Anonymous says:

    Dean,

    Why doesn’t Microsoft release an update for IE6 that includes all the new CSS/HTML etc features that IE8 has? You don’t have to include Phishing filter, popup blocker, etc, but at least support everything else. There could be a IE6 mode(default) and IE6 advanced mode that detects if a website does NOT support IE6 and then advanced mode kicks in and changes the user agent for that website so it thinks the browser is IE8.

  152. Anonymous says:

    I’m glad that you respect choice Dean, because I choose to use anything that is easier to manipulate that IE in any format.  Thus, Google Chrome is my primary browser.  Perhaps, the future of Microsoft would return to the most beautiful aspect of engineering, simplicity.  This may be why, so many are resistant to such upgrades.

    Regards.

  153. Anonymous says:

    I might agree with the points in this article if IE6 was standards compliant, even in the time it was created. It is not standards compliant, and was never updated to become compliant, so that renders the entire article moot. This article is a better argument for sticking with Netscape 4.2 than IE6, no matter how much you claim to "support" it.

  154. Anonymous says:

    No one except MS cares if MS continues to support IE6… in fact you’ve entirely missed the point.

    Supporting IE6, as a web developer, administrator or service provider (other than MS) is the issue.  If these people continue to constantly spent 25% or more of their development time and resources supporting the now truly "antique" application and it’s abundance of quirks and oddities – then less advancement and new markets/opportunities will be realized.

    MS, by all means keep servicing your model T… just don’t expect the rest of the world to keep providing "special" help for it to be useful.

  155. Anonymous says:

    "The choice to upgrade software on a PC belongs to the person responsible for the PC."

    So what you’re saying is that Windows should not automatically download and install updates without my consent?  Windows shouldn’t download and install WGA/rootkits on my machine whenever it feels like?

  156. Anonymous says:

    Hrm, just because people don’t feel like upgrading to a new browser doesn’t mean you have to support them.

    There are many advantages in having a new browser, probably the most important advantage is the improved security. If people are ignorant and don’t ‘feel like updating’, that’s their choice.

    I’d love to see Microsoft make a statement like: "We’re not supporting IE6 from now and urge you to upgrade to a next generation browser."

    People can obviously still use IE6 afterwards but many websites have stopped supporting it and there are major security risks in using an older browser.

  157. Anonymous says:

    My organization would love to upgrade to the latest version of IE, however, with 10,000+ desktops running at 256M-512M windows 2000 images, we’re stuck with IE6 as IE7/8 are not available.

    So saying that it’s as simple as running setup.exe is misinformed.  It’s a tremendous investment to upgrade hardware, migrate to XP or Windows 7 when it arrives in final form (I’d never consider Vista)

    Believe me, we’re drooling at the prospect of a faster javascript engine that exhibits 10x improvement with respect to string manipulation, however, hardware upgrades occur incrementally, XP is on the way out, Vista is not a contender and Windows 7 is not ready for the enterprise.

    While this may not be a populate forum to say this, migrating our internal applications to the latest version of Firefox is a much more viable short term approach.

  158. Anonymous says:

    Beta and unfinished?? IE6 is still unfinished.

    just start telling users (XP owners) that IE6 is no longer supported.

    i hate that browser with a passion!

  159. Anonymous says:

    I remember building a web application for a summer internship at a national lab. At the time they were using IE6 still and it was a pain to get it working in IE7 (which they had started to deploy) and Firefox and then try to get it to work with IE6.

    However, it does make sense to support the browser through the life of the OS, it’s just going to come down to no longer supporting it. I also remember later in that internship helping my boss test some of her web apps to make sure they were compatible with IE7 when she found out that they were going to upgrade to IE7, it’s not a trivial task upgrading.

  160. Anonymous says:

    I would love nothing more than to see IE6 get eliminated from my testing procedures. That is the only reason we keep a box with IE6 just to do tests and "nothing else"!.

  161. Anonymous says:

    I hd a personal issue with IE6 in that some sites I regularly visited would not function properly .

    I had XP service pack 1 and WAS NOT prepared to upgrade to service pack 2 as on two occasions when I tried previously to upgrade my pc crashed and a common occurence from what I have read.

    So the dilemma is that all IE upgrades require service pack 2 installation. I finally was forced to install the new firefox 3.5 which DOES NOT require service pack 2.

    However I quickly found out the newest  firefox browser had issues and took sometimes hours to load and had to revert to IE6.

    However I finally received an update from Mozilla which cured the earlier glitches .

    I am sure there are many millions of IE6 users with less technical backgrounds who just find the whole issue of upgrading daunting with the prospect of losing valuable files on their existing PC or laptop.

    Microsoft creates software that purchasers should expect to last the lifetime of their computer. For major websites to refuse to accomodate those browsers undermines the millions caught in that upgrade trap .

    Also maybe a previous investment in a computer that because of rapid upgrades on  browsers are left with a machine that those advances have virtually made redundant .

    Only the sellers of computers gain from these technological advances. In the past you could buy a television that in effect could last the lifetime of the purchaser. Now many people are being forced to pay for expensive upgrades to new computers to keep pace. Poorer families struggle enough without needing to find the money to keep pace with these rapid advances.

    This is a modern day dilemma that may require legislation to stop the withdrawal of software that forces these changes on hard up computer users. Also for the less than adept at working computers it may take long enough for the elderly to get to grips with how a browser and PC works . They dont want to then bin that knowledge and try to relearn the operating procedures of new software.

    The techies really are not addressing the issues of the vast majority of lay people who are NOT interested in all the new browser gadgets they just want to read their emails and surf basic information.

  162. Anonymous says:

    "Dropping support for IE6 is not an option because we committed to supporting the IE included with Windows for the lifespan of the product."

    That cannot be seen as a valid reason. Nobody anywhere would be complaining about IE6 if it had continued support, but Microsoft has completely abandoned IE6.

    Maybe IE6’s code is difficult to work with, and the easiest way to fix its problems was to completely re-write it into IE8. It’s very understandable why support for IE6 may have been dropped. But to pretend that IE6 isn’t going away because Microsoft "supports" it would be ignoring hundreds of long-standing bugs. Not just rendering "differences" which could arguably be features, but plain-old-regular _problems_ (see http://www.gtalbot.org/BrowserBugsSection/MSIE6Bugs/ for a mixture of both)

  163. Anonymous says:

    All this discussion is meaningless – Microsoft doesn’t kill IE6 because there is money to be made in training people to code for it.

    They plan to stop support for it with XP’s best before date – meaning (I’d wager, anyways) they already have the system in place, probably with a large red button on a large blinking console under a mountain somewhere, that will trigger IE6 shutdowns worldwide, and helpfully install whatever’s current in 2011. They will not press it until the last possible second, because Microsoft is all about the moneys.

  164. Anonymous says:

    I am just going to stop supporting IE 6 myself.  If people want to live back in 1999, they don’t have to use my application.  

    As long as we continue to support it as developers, people won’t see the need to upgrade.  Lets use our power and stop supporting IE 6 once and for all!

  165. Anonymous says:

    blah blah blah.

    we’re (as developers) need to give people the reason to uprade (to Firefox, Chrome or Safari)…

  166. Anonymous says:

    Developer Rally Chant below – lol

    No More IE 6 – We Don’t Want to Fix!

    No More IE 6 – We Don’t Want to Fix!

    Anyone who is not going to support IE 6 anymore, repeat the chant.  Lets show people why they need to upgrade.

  167. Anonymous says:

    Why not have a version of IE 8 that has IE 6 compatibility mode? It works with windows 7 and xp. Not the same dev curve but still it would help the IT admins of te weld immensely. My clients (and former employers) all use Firefox and IEtab instead of forcing insecure browsing on them. As far as security goes you can in fact enforce policies on firefox allowing Corp. Compliance while still supporting legacy apps.  

    Honestly as long as Microsoft pushes the "beta/legacy browser" doggerel when mac users or Linux users get shutdown trying to access half of the Microsoft websites or sharepoint I won’t take any statements by Microsoft seriously with regards to making the web more usable or secure.  

  168. Anonymous says:

    @Michael, it’s really not a viable option for some of us to upgrade beyond IE6.  Within our school district the average student computer is a PIII 800Mhz with 256mb of ram.  XP and IE6 just barely runs.  IE7 & IE8 outright cripple a machine of that caliber.  I’ve got over 1000 of these ancient machines to manage and they’re in use till they physically die.  We don’t have the money to upgrade en masse.

  169. Anonymous says:

    The reason why IE6 is not liked is not a software image issue, no software engineer who i have spoken to recently has said that they know of IE-6 specific software in the current age.

    As a developer who had to research IE as part of a degree and industrial action, I found patterns that showed this:

    The developer hauls to create a fix for old software being classic and no longer having updates really released.

    The developer doesnt want to pay, the client wont pay up and Microsoft isnt paying anyway…

    Who foots the bill, bill? Is it us or the client?

  170. Anonymous says:

    Hi

    I know IE6 is over and out and I’m offcourse running IE8, but as I remeber IE6 had one great advantage:

    I’m a graphic designer/webdesigner and in our company we use many external libraries for graphics, HTML coding and so on. These I download when I need them and a the same time I have a lot of open windows in Frontpage, Creator, and especially in IE to see the work I’m doing. What bothers me, is when you have, let’s say 25, windows open, you can’t distinquish a file being downloaded from a IE webpage. This leads to clicking bunches of windows before coming to a window with content. In IE6, as I remember, the "contentwindows/webpages" had the IE logo/icon in one blue color and the downloading files had the logo/icon in a darker blue color – easy to figure out!

    Sadly this has gone since IE7, is there any way to fix this on my own or could you please change it in an upcoming version of IE!?

    Thanks a lot

    Poul

  171. Anonymous says:

    IE6 is a pain, every time I create a website layout I have to add a special stylesheet for IE6 or leave out functionality.

    Can’t Microsoft push IE8 as a non optional update?

  172. Anonymous says:

    Dear M$ friends , would it really be so hard to add the IE6 compatibility mode to IE8/7 ?!

    In you whole software design genius you didn’t come up to that super simple idea ?!

    In a snap of the button corporate users would easily switch to glorious number 6 and their "software compatilibity" would be immediatly restored …

    Though i’m having a wide bright smile on my face when i start thinking about preparing their old webapps for new browsers .

  173. Anonymous says:

    The Issue with upgrading IE on windows is that you can’t run both versions alongside of each other like you can with firefox. Like everying you (Microsoft) make, it’s an intertangled API DLL HELL MESS. That’s why upgrading your stuff is a MAJOR pain. And that’s why testing websites with your browser is a MAJOR pain. That is why many web developers I know just ignore the fact that your customers are ignored when it comes to using new features.

    Make IE7 and IE8 totally stand-alone and multi-platform, then we’re talking.. Until then you’re pretty much irrelevant.

  174. Anonymous says:

    is it possible to secretly upgrade IE6’s trident engine while leaving the UI intact?

    that way, users won’t notice any difference, besides the browser being suddenly capable of rendering sites previously thought not possible…

  175. Anonymous says:

    Oy, who are you kidding?

    When you shove updates up our pipe, you dont even ask whether we want them installed or not, heaven forbid you should wait for us to reboot our system, like you rebooted mine without asking this morning!

    So, when you want a new browser version installed, you just shove it, like you do anything else.

    Send every whining little bugger down my way, i’ll deal with them, ok?

  176. Anonymous says:

    Actually I think they said it quite well, it’s individual choice. It’s not up to Microsoft or anyone else for that matter to make the decision for the user.

    The user or manager of said computers is responsible, they can either upgrade or they can leave it as it is. If a site doesn’t work then the user is faced with either upgrading or not using that particular site.

  177. Anonymous says:

    @rubix : If you are using Firefox install IE Tab extension : https://addons.mozilla.org/ro/firefox/addon/1419 🙂

  178. Anonymous says:

    No reason to upgrade!!! It hasn’t even got tabs, and easy to upgrade! I’ve never been through something so painful

  179. Anonymous says:

    From what I have read the argument is all about the WEB, what about all the lazy programmers that relied on IE6’s rendering engine and code to write local software that will NOT run with any other browser.  Companies invest in that software and data hangs in the balance of continued use of IE6.  It’s clear that Microsoft has pushed the browser into more than just a WEB viewer and into the OS to the point that it’s too costly to upgrade for the sake of just updating…

  180. Anonymous says:

    IE6 is a hindrance on progress. Whilst I agree, many IT departments in company’s cannot afford to or simply can’t be bothered to upgrade, until IE6 support is dropped by the majority of the web IE6 will remain and therefore continue to hold back the web.

    Can anyone seriously consider cloud computing using IE6 as your browser?

    IE6 wouldn’t still be used if it were not for the flop that was Vista, business just didn’t take it up but also they didn’t switch to any sort of alternative (Linux or OSX 10.5), it’s 2009 coming to 2010 and I am still running a winXP system at work. I hope with Windows7 companies will upgrade and that in one swoop will destroy IE6, and we can finally move forward.

    Chris

  181. Anonymous says:

    Hi, My name is Yolanda and i’m a recovered IE6 user.

    (applause)

    Its been over 4 years since I last used IE6.  I’ve been tempted to use it once or twice in my weaker moments but I’ve resisted the urges.  I still have friends that fell off the wagon and use IE6 on a regular basis but they are beyond help.

    I must accept that I can not help them and move on with my life.

    Thank you all for your support and thank you to Firefox for showing me the way.  Firefox is my Higher Power and I wouldn’t be here today mastering the Internet and Web based applications if it wasn’t for seeing the light that is Firefox.

    – reformed blue e user

  182. Anonymous says:

    Well, I am not sure this is the place for this comment, but…

    I upgraded to IE8, on 3 machines. Each time I try to use IE8 my pages timeout, freeze or just don’t load. I have switched my home office machine to FireFox by Default. On Windows 7 I use Chrome and FF, and at work if I am not developing I use FF and Chrome. There is just something WRONG with IE 8! What is with all the JavaScript Errors? Why does it Freeze like the Sea on Deadliest Catch?

  183. Anonymous says:

    "We will also continue to respect their choice, because their browser is their choice."

    Why doesn’t Windows ship with all major browsers then instead of just IE?

  184. Anonymous says:

    I’m done! IE 6 support ends completely today on all my sites. (I’ll likely stick http://bit.ly/O3FM on them)

    According to the article, the people holding back are companies that don’t have the coin to upgrade, hospitals, factory floors, and a few IE 6 elitist?

    If you are on a factory floor, you don’t need to be on teh Interwebs beyond what you require to perform your job. If the company’s IT infrastructure is outdated to the point that anything over IE 6 breaks it, guess what? You don’t belong on teh Interwebs.

    The point is (assuming this article is correct) that most of the web (developers) doesn’t need to cater to the IE 6 demographic. If > IE 6 breaks a company’s tech, the systems running IE 6 now exist only to interface with their existing infrastructure; not to browse digg, upload photos, use online office applications, use facebook, or even read news, etc.

  185. Anonymous says:

    The core of this argument is ridiculous – turning this into some of faux-empowerment issue makes no sense whatsoever. There is no expectation that your old Commodore-64 will work with your bank’s website, even if it has a thriving enthusiast community still writing excellent software for it. Likewise, there is no expectation that your NES will be able to play on XBox Live Arcade, is there?

    The only real reason people won’t upgrade is because they don’t have to. And that’s because there are enough people supporting IE6 that it won’t die, plain and simple. The fact that organizations won’t upgrade is simply because they are too frightened of the economic hit they would take, since they have heavily invested in IE6.

    Until it is necessary, or at least cost-effective, they won’t even consider changing it any more than they would consider unplugging that old VAX with Cobol on it that does their billing. There are simply too many war stories of upgrades-gone-wrong to expect an outfit to want to attempt the upgrade, and no one wants to foot the bill until the alternative is sufficiently worse.

    Individual users who aren’t in the same situation are generally holdouts because of two things: familiarity and understandable sloth. Who wants to upgrade when you have to re-learn how to use the software, and figure out it’s quirks and bugs? Most users have moved on quite happily, but some simply will not. I should know, I still use XP instead of Vista for precisely the same reasons.

  186. Anonymous says:

    1) I just want to complain. 2) I don’t expect a response.

    Microsoft, you’re going down the tubes an you know it. If you didn’t have ridiculous stances like this that were rooted in your power-hungry corporate philosophy, you’d have a much better position in the public eye. As it is, your reputation has deteriorated from being viewed as an industry leader and is continuing to do so. I give you 10 more years before your grasp on the ‘layman’ computer user is substantially loosened by Linux and the like. Please, don’t file Chapter 11 and put our country into more debt.

    I’m doing my part and giving up support for IE6. Microsoft, please do yours. It’s not that hard.

  187. Anonymous says:

    What’s cheaper for a large company?

    a) Replace an old desktop with an $300 XP machine from Dell

       OR

    b) Upgrade that machine to run IE8

    Choice A is much cheaper and easier for the company when there are hundreds or thousands of desktops.

    – Initial cost: $300 (maybe cheaper if bought on credit)

    – Depreciation per year $60 (for 5 years)

    – (A few dollars) Savings on electricity per year when buying a much more energy efficient machine

    Net cost of $50 per user per year for 5 years.

    It’s cheaper in the 5 to 10 year time span to do basic security patching to your desktops and replace dead ones with entirely new machines.

    This can be even cheaper if you run virtual machines for end user desktops the host machine only having the OS, security updates and VM software.  All user data (i.e., the VM) would be stored/backed up on the network.  

    Longer term, a much cheaper solution is if MS provides an OS that needs no local drives (i.e, flash bootable from read only flash drive).

  188. Anonymous says:

    @Kevin: on Windows people actually get to choose their browser and download and run whatever they want. Compare that to my iPhone (see http://lifehacker.com/5334434/mozilla-vp-on-what-firefox-mobile-means-for-your-phone).

    You want Microsoft to include Firefox 3 oh no I mean 3.1 oh no 3.5 oh no 3.5.2 until next week 3.5.3?

  189. Anonymous says:

    @ Dean Hachamovitch [MSFT]

    > you ask how different browsers can pass the same test (e.g. ACID2) still behave differently on different web pages.

    No, that is not what I asked or meant to say. I say that when I use a good web-standards-compliant browser like Konqueror 4.2.4 (which passes/scores well in HTML, CSS, DOM tests… and I didn’t say a perfect browser here) to visit pages on MSDN, then I have problems: can not scroll content, can not access content, etc.. a total, obvious user experience failure. Anyone, including you, can verify my claims on this.

    And I say that such MSDN webpages have lots of validation markup errors to begin with (which is very unusual, inconsequent, unexpected considering such website purposes, goals). Fixing those may fix such problems. In any case, the correct steps to fixing a webpage with problems (starts with) is to first fix the HTML errors.

    The "work or don’t work" approach means/implies testing with browsers: "work or don’t work" approach is not reliable, not best, is not trust-worthy (and it has proven to fail in MSDN webpages’ case here: Konqueror 4.x was not tested): you would need to test in many browsers, in different conditions, under various environments, medias, would involve a lot of manual testing, etc. It’s not convenient; it’s not realistic. This is one reason why validation gives clearer results, at least more manageable results from a debugging perspective: first fix the validation markup errors.

    And validation is not conformance either (but a subset of conformance). And conformance does not mean a webpage is well designed, without problems, without accessibility, usability issues or problems. Validation is not an end by itself but a mean, a necessary step inside a plan to create a well-built and successful webpage.

    > That’s a powerful statement about the tests you use for standards compliance.

    The acid tests are very much over-rated: the "worst" one (as a  measurement of web-standards-compliance) is definitely acid3. Acid (1, 2 and 3) tests, taken separately, definitely can not give an overall accurate complete picture about a browser compliance with some specification.

    The more tests (and various types of tests: basic, composite, more complex, edge cases, real-live webpage types; http://www.w3.org/Style/CSS/Test/guidelines.html#kinds ) for standards compliance are done, then the more trustworthy (or closer to truth, completeness) a  statement about web-standards-compliance can be made. People like James Hopkins, Dan, "mvdleij", Hilbrand Edskes, Philip Taylor, Zoffix Znet, Marc Pacheco, Colin Snover, Garrett Smith, "the_dees", etc have found CSS 2.1 bugs in IE 8 which are edge cases, more *subtle* cases of incorrect implementations of CSS 2.1 in IE 8: I agree that the most glaring, obvious CSS 2.1 bugs have been fixed in IE 8.

    Creating a lot of testcases like Microsoft has done is the most correct, best approach to this: it’s definitely more useful, revealing than acid2.

    > The CSS 2.1 Working Group is working through test suite submissions now. I suggest you take your interpretation of the specification there. It’s the right open forum to work through the feedback.

    I have done all that. I submitted 5 tests

    lists.w3.org/Archives/Public/public-css-testsuite/2009Jul/0003.html

    and intend to submit some more later.

    I have submitted the rules="all" versus border-collapse case too:

    lists.w3.org/Archives/Public/www-style/2009May/0020.html

    There is no reason as to why bug 409470 has not been reactivated. Same thing with bug 364028.

    Mr Hachamovitch, there is no reason as to why so many microsoft-controlled websites have so many validation markup errors, have CSS parsing errors, etc.. Microsoft should lead in those areas, should promote by showing the example to other large corporations struggling with compatibility.

    Gérard Talbot

  190. Anonymous says:

    After reading most of the comments on this article and the problems web developers are facing when trying to support an outdated web browser, it does beg the question was United States Department of Justice right in fining Microsoft for abusing their monopoly? At the time, I thought it was a bit harsh (and I maybe was a bit short sighted), but after 8 years and people are still having problems, then I guess they had good reasoning. Am I correct in thinking Bill Gates once said "The Internet? We are not interested in it". How the hell did we get to 2009 and find ourselves struggling to advance Internet technologies with Microsoft being the great obstacle in this advancement?

  191. Anonymous says:

    @Martin, no, you are not right in thinking that.

  192. Anonymous says:

    The core of the argument as stated by the head engineer is ‘choice’ and the ‘choice of their browser’.

    All the ordinary users don’t get a choice. Choice would be presenting them with multiple browsers when they buy the computer, not making them hunt on the internet for other options. Most people have no clue about other browsers.

  193. Anonymous says:

    @Jeremy, in the early 90’s what was Bill Gates and Microsoft’s view on the Internet and the web then?

  194. Anonymous says:

    "

    Any discussion about Microsoft’s support for web standards should begin with their corporate website. If Microsoft cared about web standards, you would expect them to use those standards on their own website. You’d probably even expect their home page to validate (or at least come close). Instead, Microsoft can’t even be bothered to declare a doctype.

    (…) those of us who are serious about web standards make an effort. Microsoft’s failure to declare a doctype on their home page indicates they’ve made no effort.

    Dig deeper into the source code of Microsoft.com and you’ll find one coding atrocity after another (…)

    "

    Does Microsoft Care About Web Standards? (april 2004)

    http://www.alttags.org/web-standards/does-microsoft-care-about-web-standards/

    The webpage

    http://www.microsoft.com/standards

    uses

    <meta http-equiv="X-UA-Compatible" content="IE=EmulateIE7">

    and no doctype declaration: so, we end up in quirks mode. With validation markup errors in such "standards" webpage.

    Same things happen with each and all of the other webpages in /standards and in interop/

    No rational person would be able to justify, explain in good faith such reality in defense of Microsoft here.

    Gérard Talbot

  195. Anonymous says:

    If you’re going to continue to support IE6, can you fix it so that it doesn’t render pages so differently compared to standards compliant browsers (such as MSFT’s own IE8). Surely support involves keeping it working correctly.

  196. Anonymous says:

    17% of the people ‘don’t feel a need to upgrade’ because they don’t understand the issues. They don’t understand how much time developers spend making their sites work with IE6. Sites drop IE6 because it holds them back.

    Organizations don’t want to upgrade because they’ve got some legacy code that *only* works on IE6. They haven’t got the time or money to re-engineer their code to work with a modern browser.

    Therefore, sites will continue to turn off support for IE6 because it’s too costly to maintain it. Organizations will eventually move their codebase away from IE6.

    And you expect people to upgrade? Microsoft placed organizations and web developers between the proverbial rock and a hard place. Why on Earth would we upgrade and risk being placed in this position again? I’d rather place my trust and that of my organization somewhere else whether that’s Google Chrome or Mozilla Firefox.

    Supporting IE6 to 2014 doesn’t help to educate users about the issues or why they should move on. You have a better product, IE8, make them upgrade – it’s not like the XP to Vista debacle. Are you telling me you’ll support XP for the next ten years because we ‘don’t feel a need to upgrade’? Not bloody likely.

  197. Anonymous says:

    This is just typical of the arrogance of Microsoft.  I no longer give much creedence to anything they say or do and see them as a reactionary, rather than pro-active company.

    They missed a trick with ie 6, Zune, xbox and live and are trying to make up ground with BING (But Its Not Google).

    Shame on you Microsoft.

  198. Anonymous says:

    I recently attended a conference where there was a presentation from a Microsoft employee representing IE8 and it’s new features.  He said, quote, "Let me just start by saying, I am sorry for IE6."

    Although you did make some good points, the tone of this article should have been along the same lines.

  199. Anonymous says:

    The best way to kill IE6 is …

    Release a Service Pack 4 with IE 8.0 bundled.

    Do it Microsoft!

  200. Anonymous says:

    I’d personally like to go downgrade back to IE6. After ugrading to IE8, it freezes, crashes, and just simply doesn’t work. Despite numerous calls to Microsoft, they just say, oh its a virus, or a plugin (I have up to date virues scanners and have not installed any plugins).

    My choice is simple…downgrade to IE6, or upgrade to a Mac.

  201. Anonymous says:

    flat out, i love windows – I think that supporting ie6 is a good decision. [now keep in mind this is coming from an *avid linux and mac os user* as well as windows]

    I know first hand that is is possible to engineer web applications that will function across browsers – the problem is that no one can foresee future releases breaking the whole show and I think that’s what pisses people off.

    Bottom line is people in corporate environments are forced into using legacy software because it’s freaking expensive and dangerous to upgrade. I think ie6 will be around for a couple of years yet… I’ll continue to support it in my own developments as well, and not only because it’s required by large corporate clients.

    also @Dman: you should get firefox, safari, chrome, or opera. The beauty is that you’re running windows so you can install them all side by side and decide which one you like the best.

  202. Anonymous says:

    It appears that if you criticise the author of this blog post that your comment doesn’t get published. I quoted Dean directly and stated my disagreement with his opinion and why I disagreed with it. I didn’t use abusive language. It’s a shame that Microsoft don’t have the guts to engage in a dialogue about this.

  203. Anonymous says:

    I’ve started dropping support for IE6 already.

    All my latest sites are built to standards and I simply put the ie6 conditional in to tell users to upgrade. See http://www.bikingdirect.com

    It’s amazing the difference it makes as now the IE6 users are dropping fast (less than 8%).

    I also recently had a cient where there systems were locked down on IE6. As our advanced CMS doesn’t support IE6, I told them to download Google Chrome (which can be installed in a locked down machine). They were amazed at the speed and how everything just "worked".

    Good-bye Internet Explorer, you brought this on yourself.

  204. Anonymous says:

    Hey Gérard — I’m glad we agree about the usefulness of broad and deep test cases in a complete test suite. Focusing your CSS 2.1 feedback in terms of the W3C test suite is a super constructive. You’re being very clear that you think validation is a necessary step for site authors. Clearly not all site and tools authors agree with you. They seem to prioritize having their sites run on common browsers ahead of that work.

  205. Anonymous says:

    Well, maybe if MS just can make available an upgrade to IE 6 to fix all the issues about CSS 2.0 and a better render for JavaScript (and not your JScript), all of us will be really happy.

  206. Anonymous says:

    With such a small percentage of people using IE6, I really don’t see a need to cater to them.  They are the minority, holding on to old technology purely for the sake of their budget, which is tied directly to their paycheck and bonus.  I say, roll out the advanced features & new code.  Let them go.  And to the ones that are holding on because of an outdated piece of software, scream at your vendor!  They’re the ones being lazy.

  207. Anonymous says:

    "The best way to kill IE6 is …

    Release a Service Pack 4 [for Windows XP] with IE 8.0 bundled.

    Do it Microsoft!"

    It’s the best suggestion. More simple, more fast for adoption.

  208. Anonymous says:

    Tim, Whine about censorship all you want, but there are plenty of people here who disagree and have made all sorts of unfavorable remarks without moderation. MS will moderate you if you don’t follow the comment rules. Click "rules for comments" in the sidebar.

  209. Anonymous says:

    What makes you ppl think that an IT manager would decide NOT to install IE8 but **would** decide to install "SP4 with IE8"??

  210. Anonymous says:

    I know it’s been suggested already, but I would absolutely love for Microsoft to update the rendering engine (and nothing else!) for IE6 via Windows Update.  This might help those in business/corporate environments that are stuck with IE6 (ie Win2k users).

    Even if it we don’t get all the new ajax/etc benefits, we will at least not have to worry about specifically coding CSS hacks all the time.

  211. Anonymous says:

    And why in this case not to make patches for IE6 to fix the most obviuos bugs like

    * PNG format support

    * duplicate leftMargin if float left

    * :first, :last selectors support

    why MS need to wait for 8 years and then said we know that IE6 is buggy and we can’t make patchs, because for passed 8 years too many sites have assumed that IE6 buggy and changing something will crash the site appearance.

    The same story is for IE7, it has bugs and MS didn’t make a patch intime, so the many developers write the code "IF IE6 then trickyThing1 IF IE7 then trickyThing2"

    What happen if IE8 has some incompability with standard? wait for next 8 years for IE9?

  212. Anonymous says:

    hi,

    Most of MS products are very good, mainly the office.

    I run a web development company, and most of our time is wasted in making the websites to work in all the BUGGY IE6, IE7, IE8, IE9, IE10….but the same design or coding is working very fine in all the browser…except IEXYZ.

    THIS IS ONE OF MAIN REASON…why Microsoft or IE is mostly hated software in the Internet or at least in web development community.

    without web development community IE can not sustain in the Browser business for a long time.

    So…change your BUFFY IE to work like any other browser.

  213. Anonymous says:

    Perhaps a dumb question, but is there any supported way to get the version of IE6 that’s available, with appropriate updates, on Windows Server 2003 SP2 ( Version 6.0.3790.3959 ) onto Windows XP SP2, replacing the available version ( Version 6.0.2900.5512 ) ?

    My site makes heavy use of JavaScript, and fails to render properly using the aforementioned version of IE6 on XP, yet works perfectly using IE6 on W2K3.

    I’d love to get the W2K3 version on my XP clients.

    Possible ?

  214. Anonymous says:

    @DaveHay: No, there’s no way to do that, but it almost certainly wouldn’t help anyway. What is the version number of JScript.dll on each machine?  Was the 5.7 update installed? http://blogs.msdn.com/jscript/archive/2007/08/12/windows-script-5-7-released-for-windows-2000-windows-xp-and-windows-2003-server.aspx

  215. Anonymous says:

    I wonder how many IE6 users have Windows Script 5.7 installed? Are there any numbers?

  216. Anonymous says:

    @DaveHay

    You can run multiple IEs with Microsoft SuperPreview. Its a pretty good tool:

    http://www.microsoft.com/downloads/details.aspx?FamilyID=8e6ac106-525d-45d0-84db-dccff3fae677&displaylang=en

    We haven’t found a way to install a core version of IE6 if IE7/8 are already present. We took an old laptop and installed XP retail to get IE6 back for testing. There are a couple other things like MultipleIEs, IETester, and Adobe Labs browser, but they don’t seem to catch everything.

  217. Anonymous says:

    I am sick and tired of all the backstabbing comments on IE6. I am forced to used IE7 at work and it is painfully slow, grinds to halt after a few tabs open. I long for IE6 to be reinstalled. I guess sooner or later we will be forced to use IE8.

    I think back to the days of 16-bit software that had less functionality but was small and fast. Win32 software these days is bloated.

    Damn all you blowhards that stab IE6 on this page. So what if a web page does not look perfect? It worked for me.

  218. Anonymous says:

    "So what if a web page does not look perfect? It worked for me."

    It’s not about -looking- perfect. It’s about predictability and consistency; browser rendering engines that adhere to the standards set forth by W3C and other committees as close as possible.

    Since IE6 doesn’t interpret CSS 3 or a quarter of CSS 2, correctly position the typical box model or other stuff like that, it makes developing websites harder. This includes front end layouts, and applications. If you’re not a web developer, I don’t think its possible to understand why its a complete pain in the @#$ to spend hours making a site/app work in IE6 when it works in every other browser without much hassle.

    Just don’t get mad at us when sites become unviewable in IE6.

  219. Anonymous says:

    @ Stephen Howe

    A lot of us are not "backstabbing" IE 6 for fun or for frivolous or minor reasons. Even Microsoft wants IE 6 users to upgrade.

    Reasons why IE 6 users should upgrade:

    1- IE 6 is not W3C web-standards compliant. This means/implies longer time to develop, to support+maintain, to debug, to test, to fix/tune/tweak for millions of websites. And time often means costs. Often the weird hacks, ugly fixes, invalid code it requires contributes to bloated code of webpage (that impact on bandwidth of user, website traffic, etc), applications and the fixes don’t work perfectly anyway. When compared with Firefox 3.5.2 or IE 8 or Opera 9.64, there must be at least 500 more bugs, flaws, shortcomings, problems in IE 6.

    2- IE 6 is a security risk by itself for users using it.

    3- IE 6 has serious layout engine problems: content disappearing, overlapping (peekaboo, guillotine, etc), strange unexpected offsets, unpredictable rendering, infinite reflow loop (causing CPU activity to be maximized), even crashes on (publicly documented) specific code.

    4- IE 6 is not accessibility-friendly. Content may be unselectable with mouse and keyboard, zooming feature may not work well, view text-size may not work well (to increase font size), etc.

    For all those reasons (and many others), IE 6 is a complete nightmare for web developers and IE 6 is not necessarly fun for its own users.

    > days of 16-bit software

    In those days, there were a lot less cyber-crime, viruses, spywares, adware, malwares, phishing, spammers, agressive noisy/flashy advertising, etc. too

    > Win32 software these days is bloated.

    A lot could be said on your statement with which I pretty much agree…

    If browser manufacturers were all fully following strictly W3C web standards (HTML 4, CSS 2.1, DOM 1 & 2, ECMAScript 3), if web authors were at least creating valid-coded and properly structured webpages and if users would upgrade on regular basis their browser software, then we wouldn’t need backward-compatible "quirks" rendering mode, there would be no need for catering to invalid code, for the quirks of other/various rendering engines, for backward-compatibility, for buttons, settings, UI, managed lists, etc. That too contributes to bloated browser sofware.

    regards, Gérard

  220. Anonymous says:

    @EricLaw

    Thanks for your feedback – I’ve just checked the version of jscript.dll on my WinXP SP3 box, and it’s 5.7.0.18066, and I’m still seeing the same problem with JS rendering on this version of IE6.

    Will check jscript.dll on the W2K3 SP2 box …

  221. Anonymous says:

    Hmmm, interestingly, the version of jscript.dll on my W2K3 SP2 box is … 5.6.0.8835, and IE6 works perfectly there …

    Perhaps a downgrade to 5.6 on XP might help ? Will give it a try …

  222. Anonymous says:

    @Bill "Whine all you want"

    I did read the guidelines and as I said in my complaint there was no abusive language in my comment and it directly quoted an opinion expressed by Dean.

    The guidelines say ‘keep it fun’ which I thought I did by dropping in a little CSS joke about needing to use a proprietary Microsoft CSS hack to ‘fix’ Dean. Pretty innocuous stuff and certainly more ‘fun’ than abusing him.

    Clearly this type of stuff is subjective and perhaps some  underpaid minion at Microsoft felt the need to protect poor Dean’s feelings.

    Keep smiling, Bill! Web development only hurts when you realise that the only thing stopping you doing things the simple way is the existence of IE.

  223. Anonymous says:

    @Tim: We minions are paid fairly. 🙂

    As mentioned here previously, IEBlog readership includes many different audiences, and thus we have rules for commenting. For that reason, abusive comments and those that contain offensive language are moderated. Obviously, you’re free to make whatever remarks you want on your own blog/site.

    I’m afraid there’s no record of your missing comment, so I can’t say specifically why it was moderated.

  224. Anonymous says:

    The blog says users won’t upGRADE…

    Are these Win2000 and Xp fellows refusing:

    – an IE6 upgrade to IE7/8 ?

    – a simple update of IE 6 ?

    – somehow both ?

    I am asking because few people stated interesting points about updating windows components and libraries to let IE 6 run in an up to date manner, or to improve its js or css engines.

    I am not an expert with IE core but think that non-conflicting complementary components could be added, letting IE6 render in its "original" or "updated" versions. Of course it sounds far more tricky if the users even refuse IE6 simple updates.

  225. Anonymous says:

    The issue here is people are attacking IE6 as web developers, not necessarily as IT administrators.

    Hours are spent on web projects attempting to fix ‘ie6 bugs’. While we continue to want to push the boundries of what is available on the web, ie6 continues to be the thing that holds us back.

    Some posts have stated why not release a mandatory patch which fixes some of the issues with ie6? from a technological standpoint, is this not possible? to replace the rendering engine with IE7’s as the least? allow an ‘ie6 mode’ for custom applications?

    It’s worth noting that web developers continue to push to browser market, not IT administrators. Without web developers pushing boundries there would have been no need for upgrades/updates to be released as everybody would be happy with what they have.

    The other side is let’s be honest… if companies have custom applications which are over 5 years old to match IE6? maybe it’s time for an upgrade!

    You guys are asking customers to no longer stand for computers that are so slow, they can’t run Windows Vista/Windows 7. How about asking web users the same thing with their browser?

  226. Anonymous says:

    I found this IE Countdown site you can spread around. In this context it really shows how long IE 6 is going to be around. I guess the next step is to effectively communicate IE upgrading along with good UX for the process.

  227. Anonymous says:

    I no longer build websites for IE6, and am going to disable all important features for ANY IE browser until Microsoft gets their stuff together with web standards.  IE is not an option at this point.

  228. Anonymous says:

    Alan: "I would like to say that I don’t work on any website that matters."

    Your point is?

  229. Anonymous says:

    This is the #1 complain i keep reeading "We built software against this that doesn’t work in IEx, so we can’t move forward" how about fixing your software so it WORKS in not only IE but every other browser too.

    Why is it businesses always love to stick with archaic systems held together with duct tape, because thats what your IE6-only CRM is, an application held together duct tape.

  230. Anonymous says:

    IE6 is smelly and crusty like two week old unwashed underwear. As a UI guy, I am sick of hacking for this browser.

    I’d pay someone $500 to write a virus that would eliminate this browser once and for all.

  231. Anonymous says:

    I think they key thing is to help individuals and corporations alike understand that they are increasing the cost of the web software that they buy for as long as they continue to use IE6.

    For corporations, this is easy: simply find out if they’re using IE6 and, if so, add a special "IE6 Compatibility Work" line item on the invoice.  It’s more difficult for individuals, but perhaps you could tie a price cut into the use of a more modern browser?  Not per user, necessarily, but something along the lines of "we’re dropping IE6 support, but cutting our prices by X%"?

  232. Anonymous says:

    Real world cost to upgrade IE6 to IE8 is $25 to $100 per desktop.  This is to upgrade from IE6 to IE8 including troubleshooting any bugs/blue screens.  A small percentage of our desktops will have serious problems after the upgrade.  This is unavoidable when you have 1000+ desktops.

    Our applications run find in IE6 and on IE8.

    A $25,000 to $100,000 cash outlay along with any business disruptions is a significant cost to our business.

    This is why we are slow to upgrade to IIE8.  We’ll begin rolling it out much faster when Windows 7 is out and has SP1.

  233. Anonymous says:

    I am very angry at the IE Team. They don’t give a damn what the web developers feels. It is VERY hard to get website working IE6 but it work very well in Firefox, Chrome, IE 7/8.

    Let IE6 die 🙁 GRR!! IE Team Never Learn!

  234. Anonymous says:

    Greg, your numbers have zero credibility until you provide a detailed breakdown of how you arrived at them.

  235. Anonymous says:

    That’s a why a browser shouldn’t be tied to the OS. If back then in 2001 MS allowed users to choose their browser of choice we wouldn’t have this discussion. MS knows people are lazy and don’t want to make choices and selling an OS bundled with not just the browser but with other tools is encouraging ignorance and lazyness. An OS should be just an OS.

  236. Anonymous says:

    Edward, please name one OS with >0.05% marketshare that doesn’t ship with a browser by default. Fail.

  237. Anonymous says:

    @ Matt, windows 7 will probably ship without a browser http://arstechnica.com/microsoft/news/2009/06/windows-7-to-be-shipped-in-europe-sans-internet-explorer.ars too bad it’s only in EU.

  238. Anonymous says:

    Edward, you really need to remember what point you’re trying to make. You were trying to say that Windows shouldn’t contain IE, and to say more generally that an OS shouldn’t contain a browsers. The counterpoint which you were trying to refute is that **all** meaningful Operating Systems contain browsers these days.

    So your suggestion that Microsoft should (follow their own lead???) and not ship IE in Windows is borderline insane.

    btw, Windows E was canceled: http://news.cnet.com/8301-13860_3-10301299-56.html

  239. Anonymous says:

    @Dan,

    "if every large company would simultaneously abandon IE6 (something that could not and will not happen), that would be a very good thing."

    No, that would not be a very good thing, that would be a very bad thing. Company should serve customers, not dictate what customers do.

    Putting an "please upgrade to IE8" promo to the site is fine. But abandoning IE6 when the majority of the customers are still using it, forcing the customers to change according to the will of the company, that is dictatorship.

  240. Anonymous says:

    @Edward Yamato,

    "That’s a why a browser shouldn’t be tied to the OS. "

    then I guess we need to pull Safari out of Mac OS X, pull Firefox out of Ubuntu, pull Konqueror out of KDE, pull Epiphany out of GNOME, etc. etc.

  241. Anonymous says:

    @Ryan Grove,

    "If you made it as easy as possible, then it would be as easy as upgrading Firefox"

    they made it as easy as possible, that does not mean they made it as easy as Firefox. Firefox is an independent browser, IE6 is an integral part of XP. So it’s just not possible for IE upgrades not to be tied to OS upgrades, or not to require OS restarts, or to be installed alongside previous IE versions.

    Really, pushing IE upgrades as part of critical updates is indeed already making it as easy as possible for people to upgrade. By default, you just leave the computer on, and it will upgrade automatically for you. How much easier can you get than that?

    Microsoft cannot (and should not) do any more if the user chose to disable automatic update and ignore the critical updates, else it’d be dictatorship.

  242. Anonymous says:

    I fully agree with the article. I suppose those who are calling for users to upgrade are mainly annoyed with the flawed and incomplete CSS support in IE6. But the problem is not with the CSS support, but with CSS itself. It doesn’t address the core need of web design, which is page layout (dividing a page into a set of areas). It doesn’t matter if you use the div or table model; both are flawed, inefficient, indirect means of trying to achieve something that CSS was not made for. Until CSS matures, web design will always be cumbersome, no matter how well browsers support it.

  243. Anonymous says:

    As a web developper it’s not a very good news. IE6 sucks ! Html5, CSS3… IE6 ?

    I miss something I guess.

    w

  244. Anonymous says:

    Honestly working with IE6 and having to test on various browsers.  It’s not the major hurdle dealing with the CSS, it handles enough without having to resort to too many tricks.  Usually a CSS issue will present itself in IE7 also.  The real issue which would be easily fixed in a patch is real PNG support.

    Overzealous designers love PNG’s for its gradient transparency, and they’re nearly impossible to avoid these days.  Fix that and I couldn’t care if support for IE6 was extended to 2020.

  245. Anonymous says:

    Agreeing with coffee, PNG24 a must, and not a IE6-only issue. We can never play with png 24 opacity fading, whatever the IE version and even with dx filters. Always getting the legendary "gray instead of transparent" colors… Besides, the js engine is still very slow on IE8, that’s a really scary problem as well. Please fix png24 once for all, it is an EXTREME priority for designers.

  246. Anonymous says:

    +1 with Coffee, PNG alpha support is really the worst aspect of IE that needs fixing.

    And +1 with Gustaf Liljegren too, CSS3 itself sucks a lot still. For example one still can’t write a CSS pop-up menu with transparent background image and non-transparent text, the position hack is impossible for dynamic pop-up menu, and rgba is just a single color. Turns out only IE can support this kind of effect.

  247. Anonymous says:

    Oh, and you can’t dynamically change the transparency level of a transparent PNG background image.

  248. Anonymous says:

    @drumm: "then I guess we need to pull Safari out of Mac OS X, pull Firefox out of Ubuntu, pull Konqueror out of KDE, pull Epiphany out of GNOME, etc. etc." Actually, Safari isn’t tied to Mac OS X – I could remove it just like any other program if I wanted. They also offer Windows and Mac versions.

    Personally, I’ve given up on coding for IE. If it works, ok – if it doesn’t, oh well. Maybe if Microsoft offered a way to obtain Internet Explorer without turning over $300 for a copy of Windows just to test websites, then I might care about IE.

  249. Anonymous says:

    I have this thing, where I think that Microsoft is afraid of pushing users to upgrade because they fear that when the time comes for the user to choose a browser they will choose something else beside IE8. The do not want to risk their browser presence even if its with outdate browsers like IE6 and 7.

  250. Anonymous says:

    By now, as web developers, surely we know IE6 issues so well that we can build a seperate stylesheet with our eyes closed. I very rarely find show-stopper issues with IE6 specifically, probably to do with experience. Supporting it a while longer is not going to make much difference to timings or effort. Besides the new generation of web developers can not have it all so easy… remember the days when we had to cater for Netscape and IE5 on a MAC! 🙂

  251. Anonymous says:

    @diyafury: I have to respectfully disagree. Even for the quite old and experienced generation of developers / web developers / designers it is still painfull to maintain IE6 if you want an advanced design for your websites.

    I can assure you that the new generations catch it up quicker than it seems. Of course still very few of them get the whole complete picture in 3 years, but it is a matter of passion.

    Most IE6 problems are design-oriented. Very basic css may be solved with extra style-sheets but advanced design sometimes require quite extra-terrestrial css-hacks. IE6 can less and less render close to newer concurrent browsers. Supporting it a while is no longer an option. It may make more and more difference to timing or effort(S) every day as other browsers are evolving while IE6 dev is frozen.

    As stated before(@Coffee), there are very few things to fix in IE6 to let us support it until 2020 and even more, but if nobody build patches, we may ask soon for other fixes.

  252. Anonymous says:

    @CTK. I completely agree. Its all about market share. Instead of helping push the web forward, they’re anchoring it in the past. It isn’t a case of usability or of choice. Its just about maintaining market share on the web. What else do they have, Bing? lmao.

  253. Anonymous says:

    I think the problem here is multi folded. The company I work for has W2K on thousands of desktops (reasons for not upgrading OS is a long story). IE8 does not work with W2k. So, if my company wants to upgrade to IE8 they first need to upgrade to the latest OS. XP support is not going to last longer to get a ROI. Don’t want to comment on Vista. Windows 7 seems to be good and won’t know the reality issues until it is out there. I guess my company may wait atleast for SP1.

  254. Anonymous says:

    @ Jack, tell them about Opera and Firefox. They both run on windows 2k. Keep ie6 for intranet applications and let the modern browsers surf the internet. They are faster, more secure and installing is a breeze. ie6nomore

  255. Anonymous says:

    @ Jack, tell them about Opera and Firefox. They both run on windows 2k. Keep ie6 for intranet applications and let the modern browsers surf the internet. They are faster, more secure and installing is a breeze. ie6nomore

  256. Anonymous says:

    microsoft will not prevail. resistance is futile.

  257. Anonymous says:

    @mocax

    "is it possible to secretly upgrade IE6’s trident engine while leaving the UI intact?

    that way, users won’t notice any difference, besides the browser being suddenly capable of rendering sites previously thought not possible."

    You have FAILED to understand anything that has been said in the original blog post.

    Many intranet sites were designed for use with (sometimes exclusively) IE6. Upgrading to IE7/IE8 will almost certainly break them. Companies have better things to do than refactoring their intranets. Obviously you have never worked in a so called "real company".

  258. Anonymous says:

    @kimblim

    > I’m on a Mac (…)

    > I spend a maximum of 5% of my time > getting things to work in IE6

    @diyafury

    > we know IE6 issues so well that we > can build a seperate stylesheet

    > with our eyes closed. I very

    > rarely find show-stopper issues

    > with IE6 specifically, probably to > do with experience.

    I have seen people create workarounds, hacks, add more code to "fix" IE6, to literally patch some and many of IE6’s shortcomings, flaws, weaknesses (particularly regarding CSS columnar layout templates) and, most of the time,

    – the page layout breaks anyway when the user increases text size or resizes the browser window viewport or [in]|[de]crease screen resolution. Usually the carefully "crafted" webpage breaks under different, unexpected condition, circumstances, say, like printing

    – text may not be selectable with the mouse: I have seen this many times and I have created reduced testcases documenting, proving this

    – the amount of code added, the depth of the DOM tree, the width of the DOM tree increases considerably due to those dedicated-IE6-patches: typically, many more <div> containers wrapping together more bizarre, strange code, more tables nesting for the same purpose of furthermore constraining elements for layout purposes, generally making the whole page much more rigid, less and less scalable and more nightmarish to debug. It’s not difficult to add more <br>s, &nbsp;s, spacer.gif’s but this is exactly what CSS was designed, was supposed to replace elegantly, in a coherent, logical manner

    – IE6 flaws, broken CSS implementations (float, clearance, abs. pos., rel. pos., margin collapsing, inline box model, etc), hasLayout, bugs, etc.. induce (or require) all kinds of unexpected, unexplained and unexplanable code (overflow: hidden; width: 100%; zoom: 1, font-size: 100.1%, etc.) which, in the end, have no reason to be, which can not be documented or logically justified.

    All of this makes webpage code dedicated to be "IE6-compliant"  very difficult (or very long) to maintain, impossible to update, prone to break, non-forward-compatible, not lean, difficult to document.

    Releasing a browser with so many broken CSS implementations and not fixing it during several years already cost the web community a lot (time, energy, money). It will continue to do so as long as web authors are willing to add|maintain nonsensical-bloated-patchy code for IE 6. It does not need to be that way.

    regards, Gérard

  259. Anonymous says:

    @mocax:

    >is it possible to secretly upgrade IE6’s trident engine while leaving the UI intact?

    @Adam:

    >to replace the rendering engine with IE7’s as the least?

    In opposition with an other post, I think your suggestions are not that bad. Lonely thing is that this updates not necessarily need to be kept as a secret but as simple IE6 product support.

    Few people asked why supporting IE6, 4 more years, does not include fixing it ? 😀

    Let’s ask ms for that.

    Another point is that if we can’t give away all the rendering libs and keep only the UI,  the lonely way to solve this, is to add functionalities to IE6, and not replace some, to keep applications designed for IE6 run normally.

    @Gérard Talbot

    >It does not need to be that way.

    I fully agree with what you said in the whole thread. It does not need to be that way because on a psychological point of view, what is the behavior of an IE6 user loading a broken page ? In 99% of cases it is comprehension and reload with FF or other.

    Beside, the user will keep a good sensation visiting a site not designed for IE6, as the rest of his browsing session (or maybe the entire day) will be done under FF or chrome.

    @Dean Hachamovitch:

    Why Firefox, Chrome, Opera and Safari are supported and installed easily under W2K and not IE8 ?  

    Besides, I am not much afraid about IE8’s future but why IE7/8 js engine are running at (let say) 50% of the speed of Firefox’s, chrome’s, opera’s and safari’s ?

  260. Anonymous says:

    Kaveh: You’re completely missing the point and jumping to entirely crazy conclusions. If a user is on IE6, it’s pretty unlikely that they’re going to "comprehend" and "reload" the page in Firefox.  The simple act of being on IE6 generally means that they don’t (or can’t) install new or updated software (like Firefox).

    MS could not "update" IE6’s rendering engine to IE7 without breaking sites, which Microsoft explicitly (and logically) refuses to do. If an IE monthly update broke sites, users would stop installing such updates, and that would leave their computers at dire risk of exploit.

    Statistically, no one is using Windows 2000. This was nearly true in 2006 when they released IE7 and it’s certainly true today. If someone is using Windows 2000, they’ve pretty clearly indicated that they don’t care about security or functionality of modern software, so the idea that software should be crippled to work for them is just silliness.

  261. Anonymous says:

    @Matt: Well, read more carefully my post(s), you’ll better understand my conclusions.

    I guess I am aware of technical implications in replacing IE6 rendering components.

    I respectfully think you got the exact opposite of what I was saying actually.

    Maybe my last post gave another impression, sorry about that, but read my previous ones also and you’ll get my point. I was explaining to few fellows that suggested it that it was not a bad idea, but I am adding as well, that the lonely way to solve out this problem is to add features to IE6 rather than replace them.

    We are talking about the same thing.

    Finally, for the win2000 part, well, it seems that IE8 can not be installed on it.

    For the moment we have a lot of w2k clients with no option to install IE8 and Xp clients wanting to stay on IE6 for other reasons.

    You have to read more deeper this thread and maybe others and will understand that w2k is still a major actor for this issue. It is a quite popular fact.

    Regards,

    K

  262. Anonymous says:

    You shouldn’t assume that re-reading your unclear posts will help. I have no idea, for instance, what "lonely way" means. Do you mean "only way"?

    Adding features to IE6 isn’t really what any web developers are asking for. They want MS to *fix* the standards-compliance bugs in IE6, which effectively *replaces* those features. And that, in turn, breaks sites, which MS won’t do.

    No, you cannot install IE7 or IE8 on Windows 2000, Windows 98, Windows 95, or Windows 3.1. Windows 2000 is not "quite popular" as you say, and wishing it were so will not change that fact. If you’re happy running an operating system which is a decade old, running a browser which is 8 years old shouldn’t cause you any great concern.

  263. Anonymous says:

    @Matt:Ok Matt, sorry for my english !

    I maintain the rest anyways xD

    Matt, w2k is still widely used. I am not using w2k anymore (7 years) but let me tell you that 99 % of what you are doing right now can be done under w2k. NT5 (rtm 2195) came out out right after NT4 sp6 and Xp(rtm 2600) a year later. In terms of functionalities, nt5 and windows5(xp) are very close.

    Back to the thread, as Microsoft can’t, as you stated, fix the standards-compliance bugs in IE6, you will finally get to my point. There is only one option left : ADD a function to switch between IE6 original rendering mode or up-to-date one. I hope it is clear.

    Regards,

    K

  264. Anonymous says:

    >Matt, w2k is still widely used

    No.

    > In terms of functionalities, nt5 and windows5(xp) are very close.

    Not really, no.

    >  ADD a function to switch between IE6 original rendering mode or up-to-date one.

    That could help. Although Microsoft would never do it.

  265. Anonymous says:

    I downloaded IE explore browser and was felt their is very less screen space with almost three strips of bars at the top of the browser, even if i strip it of every feature.

    If you make changes and are providing a browser with more screen space, do let me know coz i am sure by not using IE explorer i am missing lots of its features.

    Each horizontal bars space must be completly used while still providing all the features. It must be custamizable.