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03.01.10

Internet Explorer 6 is Dead But Its Damage to the Internet Persists

Posted in Microsoft, Security at 12:54 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Acid 3 for Internet Explorer 8.0
Acid3 results for Internet Explorer 8.0

Summary: Microsoft is pulling support for Internet Explorer 6, but to suggest that it will improve things is to ignore the short-term impact which is scary

A FEW days ago we wrote about Microsoft phasing out support for older versions of Windows (which many businesses still use). This is confirmed by some more publications and it is problematic because some businesses (those using Windows 2000 for example) will be stuck with unpatched software unless they purchase an update to Windows; it’s not only costly but it also creates compatibility issues that many businesses are not prepared to cope with. They have no access to source code, so they cannot quite resolve these issues, either (or hire someone to do this).

Similar issues are now being raised because Microsoft withdraws support for IE6. On the one hand, web developers are happy [1, 2] as they assume that people will actually depart from IE6. Well, perhaps they have not heard about what happened in Korea [1, 2]. It’s an issue that Mozilla mentioned the other day and the Korea Times has just raised as well:

Korea Sticking to Aging Browser

[...]

In an ironic twist, South Korea, the self-touted high-tech nation of the planet, appears to be clinging to decaying Internet technologies.

Internet giant Google is now telling its users to drop Internet Explorer 6 (IE6), the antiquated Microsoft Web browser that debuted in 2001, planning to kill IE6 support on its key products such as YouTube (www.youtube.com) and Gmail e-mail services.

There is an ActiveX infection that prevents the nation from offering choice. This leads to many problems such as the recent attacks against Google users [1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12]. Microsoft Nick writes: “Chinese hacker of Internet Explorer, Google ID’d by US investigators, report says”

The important points to make here are that: (1) Internet Explorer 6 will still exist, so sites need to be compatible with it and (2) Internet Explorer 6 users will be even less secure from now on, which helps nobody.

Coincidentally, YouTube will drop support for IE6 in less than two weeks from now [1, 2] and Microsoft Nick calls for a funeral (to take place today).

Internet Explorer 6 died on March 1, 2010, in Mountain View, Calif., after a family rival removed it from life support. The simultaneously beloved and detested Web browser was nearly 8.5 years old.

“Beloved”??? By whom?

Anyway, according to another report, Google keeps gaining at Internet Explorer’s expense. We can't recommend Chrome, but the report shows that it steadily grows popular. And interestingly enough, the authors at IDG don’t cite NetApps, for a change (yes, even at IDG, which is typically promoting those Microsoft-funded and biased people, amongst other corruptible firms like comScore).

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A Single Comment

  1. uberVU - social comments said,

    March 2, 2010 at 2:26 am

    Social comments and analytics for this post…

    This post was mentioned on Identica by schestowitz: #InternetExplorer 6 is Dead But Its Damage to the Internet Persists http://ur1.ca/o0fl #ie6 #standards #microsoft…

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