"Go Dark For IE" effort launched for better web browser use

Microsoft has been trying to get users of Windows to upgrade to more advanced versions of its Internet Explorer web browser. In 2011, it launched its own effort to get people to stop using IE 6. In January, the company celebrated the fact that IE 6 use was down to less than one percent of all web browsers in the US.

Now a new, and apparently grass roots, effort has launched to get Internet users to upgrade their browsers to at least the level of IE 9. The effort is being led by a group, Go Dark For IE, which is trying to get websites to go dark on October 26th (the same day as Microsoft plans to launch Windows 8 for regular consumers) for users of web browsers below that of IE 9.

In a statement on their website, the group says:

The problem is some users just don't upgrade! And the reasons is very simple, some just don't care, some don't know how to, and some can't because of their IT department. In any case, as long as old versions of a browser remain the default on a computer, people will use it and developers will be forced to continue to develop for it. It's not just about getting a site working cross-browser, long term catering for older browsers means new technologies are not used to their full potential or not at all, and this is holding back the web for many people.

The effort isn't just focusing on Internet Explorer. The site also has links to download Google's Chrome, Mozilla's Firefox and the Opera web browser, all of which have current versions that have much of the same features as IE 9. There's also a link to Apple's Safari browser but, as we have reported before, Apple just launched a new version of Safari for Mac users; it's unclear when, or even if, it will be launched for Windows.

The group that's organizing this effort is a bit of a mystery but we have contacted them to find out any more information about their efforts, including if they have any official backing from Microsoft.

Thanks to Cameron for the tip!

Source: Go Dark for IE website | Image via Go Dark for IE

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While I keep my PC uptodate and I only use Firefox the fact is as a end user I could care less about how hard or easy it is to support one browser or another. As far as Windows XP it needs to completely die already. As for hardware there is already plenty of hardware that does not support Windows XP. Hardware manufactures really need to stop making any drivers for XP. Personalty anything lower than Windows 7 should be unsupported and Windows 7 should go that rout as soon as Windows 8 hits retail!

IE goes Dark would be much better! A Batman-version of IE that sweeps justice against poorly written web pages. But instead we are still waiting for news about IE10 for Windows 7.

UI wise since ie9 its a complete mess, a forced interface, lack of customization and the arrangement of buttons its just horrible.

ie should be more modular and get html module updates instead of a whole thing

While at my work we no longer support IE6 and even IE7 is unsupported for admin interfaces, going dark for IE6/7/8 would not be something we could do to our clients and our clients would not agree to that because they want as many people to visit their sites of course. So I don't see this as feasible for anything but sites that CAN tell old IE users to **** themselves - big sites like Google, Bing etc.

To be honest I don't think IE 9 is the solution either. Sure, it's JS engine doesn't have the mad quirks of IE 8 and generally renders CSS as it's supposed to, but it still lacks lots of useful features of modern browsers like the File API. Given the choice, I'd rather not support it either.

IE9 is no different than IE8, so can be made compatible with WinXP. Microsoft wants to kill XP too. I use W7+FF, but i know XP is still safe and usable as W7. MS; dont try to kill XP, you cant...

Dead'Soul said,
IE9 is no different than IE8, so can be made compatible with WinXP. Microsoft wants to kill XP too. I use W7+FF, but i know XP is still safe and usable as W7. MS; dont try to kill XP, you cant...

Thats just total FUD man. IE9 cannot simply run on WinXP without changing WinXP or making IE9's security back to IE8 standards (and the added benefit of running multiple branches of IE9 due to changes in the underlaying OS.)
WinXP is unable to run IE9, even with tweaks and hacks, simply because the OS lacks allot of functionality it uses.

Upgraded already. It's called Firefox, there was another upgrade later on called Chrome. Another one laying around somewhere called Opera.

If MS would release that theme for IE, then yes, I'd go black. But I'm not touching that with a ten foot pole! (It's a trap!)

Edit: On Windows 7, that is. Will never run 8 here.

At least it's not one of those anti-IE in general campaigns. IE9 is a very decent browser for many users and IE10 is even better so far. A lot of people just want to surf the web, and aren't heavy users of extensions and whatnot.

I think anyone that hasn't upgraded by now is somewhat hopeless in this regard. Work computers will be work computers, and home users will likely upgrade to a new computer at some point. Not saying this campaign isn't a worthwhile endeavour, I just doubt that many of those that haven't upgraded will continue not to upgrade for whatever reason.

Indeed, the reason is simple. I have to keep IE8 on lots of clients (and every week I must uninstall some roge IE9) because a lot of financial and government institutions on Brazil dot work on anything above.
I cant believe that we are the only country like that.

I cant stand using IE6 at work, Neowin is totally borked, Layout is all over the place, Cannot comment on News Articles.

McKay said,
I cant stand using IE6 at work, Neowin is totally borked, Layout is all over the place, Cannot comment on News Articles.
Try running firefox portable from usb

zikalify said,
Try running firefox portable from usb

If I plug in a USB the computer will completely lock-down, my user profile will send an alert to the IT section and I'd get royally screwed.

McKay said,

If I plug in a USB the computer will completely lock-down, my user profile will send an alert to the IT section and I'd get royally screwed.

lol
use floppies instead

I deal with people with barely any knowledge of computers to a decent knowledge at my job and since the old IE doesn't prompt them to update, why would they even know to do it? Even if they use Windows Update, upgrades are typically optional, so therefore don't happen as people just go with the default, the important updates.

Microsoft created their own problem by not forcing the upgrades. Though there are many other things on a computer where many of the people I deal with have no idea what they are doing.

Sekyal said,
I deal with people with barely any knowledge of computers to a decent knowledge at my job and since the old IE doesn't prompt them to update, why would they even know to do it? Even if they use Windows Update, upgrades are typically optional, so therefore don't happen as people just go with the default, the important updates.

Microsoft created their own problem by not forcing the upgrades. Though there are many other things on a computer where many of the people I deal with have no idea what they are doing.


They're not going to force IE upgrades over people, especially from IE6/7 to IE8, the changes are way to radical and huge and will most likely affect websites, especially for cooperate environments.

I'm glad this group seems to be focusing on the main consequence of people not upgrading. Microsoft always say "If you don't upgrade, you'll be less secure," but that's not the main issue. The fact is that when people don't upgrade, they're slowing down innovation on the Web.

Meph said,
I'm glad this group seems to be focusing on the main consequence of people not upgrading. Microsoft always say "If you don't upgrade, you'll be less secure," but that's not the main issue. The fact is that when people don't upgrade, they're slowing down innovation on the Web.

I'll make sure to tell Obama that his White House XP machines are slowing down innovation on the web lol

As usual few people take the time to consider the ramifications of their actions
and consider WHY some people may do what they do or want want they want..
All long as i have my own narrow minded little opinion then everyone should think like me or they are stupid period ! ?

I am Not PCyr said,
I'll make sure to tell Obama that his White House XP machines are slowing down innovation on the web lol

Lol. Please do. XD

If IE upgrades offered more options instead of less when ti comes to Ui then everyone would be updating however MS seem to think we all want a browser with minimal controls. Stay tunes for IE11, it has no buttons at all and makes guesses on where you want to go each time you go online based on what the designers have been visiting.

Orange Battery said,
If IE upgrades offered more options instead of less when ti comes to Ui then everyone would be updating however MS seem to think we all want a browser with minimal controls. Stay tunes for IE11, it has no buttons at all and makes guesses on where you want to go each time you go online based on what the designers have been visiting.

lol, IE10 is exactly the same like IE9. Seriously doubt IE11 will be much different.

Luis Mazza said,
IE should be updated automatically since IE8, as Microsoft wants it to be updated don't they?

MS does not force new IE versions usually. It sort off forced IE9 already, which surprised me.

I believe any website that actually cares about the customers it gets will not do this.

If it was anything below IE8 then I could understand but half of a sites visitors are probably still on XP and have never heard of Chrome of FF.

The visitors are more powerful than the website, the visitor can always use a competitor.

I welcome this as a way to get home users to make a change but hope it doesn't affect anything I need to do my job on that day!
In our corporate environment we don't get a choice - IE7 and XP...
Roll on next year - we may get onto Win7!

Davo said,
And for those who can't upgrade to IE9 because they're still on XP for work?
Complain to your bosses that you are using a OS that is over a decade old and you are getting left behind..

Davo said,
And for those who can't upgrade to IE9 because they're still on XP for work?

Other browsers like Firefox, Chrome, and Opera work fine on XP and are up to date.

mrp04 said,

Other browsers like Firefox, Chrome, and Opera work fine on XP and are up to date.

Quite true, but at my work they haven't created in-house sites to work correctly with those browsers (nor does the IE Tab type extension seem to work right).

Davo said,
And for those who can't upgrade to IE9 because they're still on XP for work?

This is not an effort by a serious group, just another utopic "why don't people upgrade" effort.

sava700 said,

That's stupid, what you have is many companies cant' hire people and lay off due to no funds yet you want them to spend money they don't have or could have for a new job created for a OS that they don't need? pft...no wonder we have over 8.3 % unemployment in this country - I bet you voted for Obama too didn't you.


It's not as simple as that. You're only seeing the top of the iceberg.

Sekyal said,

Quite true, but at my work they haven't created in-house sites to work correctly with those browsers (nor does the IE Tab type extension seem to work right).


I'd think you could most likely have two...one for internal sites and one for anything else.

And some upgrade, and wind up with a Bing Bar shoved down their throat, a missing Favorites bar, status bar, and search box because they don't bother to read the handy little screen that tells them about the new changes. That's when they pick up the phone to call me.

jimmyfal said,
And some upgrade, and wind up with a Bing Bar shoved down their throat, a missing Favorites bar, status bar, and search box because they don't bother to read the handy little screen that tells them about the new changes. That's when they pick up the phone to call me.

I thought the favorites bar is enabled by default even in IE9? At least at a lot of corporate/university computers, it seems that when they all have the favorites bar enabled. Menu bar too usually.

Quikboy said,

I thought the favorites bar is enabled by default even in IE9? At least at a lot of corporate/university computers, it seems that when they all have the favorites bar enabled. Menu bar too usually.


Some OEM builds will enable it by default so they can have bookmarks that they get paid to put there (e.g. on Toshiba notebooks you will find links to Wild Tangent and Norton Security Centre). On corporate machines the sysadmin probably enabled it so that people don't whinge too much.

The Bing Bar will only install if you choose to have it and Bing defaults installed.

So, does that mean that IE9 will be released for XP? Oh wait, XP has less than 600 days of life remaining..... before it dies..... according to Microsoft.....

Z'Loth said,
So, does that mean that IE9 will be released for XP? Oh wait, XP has less than 600 days of life remaining..... before it dies..... according to Microsoft.....

It will die eventually. Microsoft will just stop supporting it in that time. Should have happened a year or two ago.

Z'Loth said,
So, does that mean that IE9 will be released for XP? Oh wait, XP has less than 600 days of life remaining..... before it dies..... according to Microsoft.....

XP's mainstream support ended on april 14, 2009. Right now it is on extended support, which is more like a patient on life support, or in a coma.

eddman said,

XP's mainstream support ended on april 14, 2009. Right now it is on extended support, which is more like a patient on life support, or in a coma.

Yep MS is just waiting for the tests to show that its brain dead so it can pull the plug

Mike Frett said,
Nothing wrong with XP. Works on ALL modern hardware.

Yeah, but the problem is it won't run IE9 meaning web developers such as myself have to spend time ensuring IE8 compatibility with out sites/apps - time which could be far better spent improving the appearance and functionality of sites/apps by using newer technologies/standards found in more recent browsers.

Mike Frett said,
Nothing wrong with XP. Works on ALL modern hardware.

Doesn't support directx 10 and above.
Doesn't natively support internal hard drives larger than 2TB. (It varies IIRC, but it's about that size. Depends on the manufacturer though, I think.)
Doesn't support native SATA mode and AHCI.
etc.

Seriously this is why I can't stand most other web developers.

95% of IE6 "users" are spam bots.

If web developers used DOM object detection to determine which browser was which and NOT the easily spoofable user agent you'd see 20-50% drop in IE market share.

JAB Creations said,
Seriously this is why I can't stand most other web developers.

95% of IE6 "users" are spam bots.

If web developers used DOM object detection to determine which browser was which and NOT the easily spoofable user agent you'd see 20-50% drop in IE market share.


Awww, boohoo. you do know FF and Chrome fake their marketshare too, right?