Microsoft launches ie6countdown.com

On this day, one year ago, there was a funeral held for IE6. IE6 has been a slow moving browser that many hope to remove from the marketplace. Because of this, Microsoft has launched ie6countdown.com, a website dedicated to the removal of IE6 from the browser eco system.

IE6 is now 10 years old, far to old to be used as a browser to surf the Internet. Besides being exposed to numerous security threats, the technology is outdated and cumbersome. Currently IE6 holds a 12% market share according to Net Applications and Microsoft's goal is to get that down to 1%. Why 1%? Microsoft states:

Why 1%? We realize that there might not a magic number for when web developers and IT pros can drop support for older browsers, but we believe that 1% will allow more sites and IT pros worldwide to make IE6 a low-priority browser – meaning you don’t have to invest as much time in updates or fixes.

With the IE9 launch right around the corner for Microsoft, it is good to see them make a formal push to help remove IE6 and finally put this chapter of the browser novel to bed. IE9 is expected to launch in late March and will bring with it many enhancements.

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When downloading the ISOs from my uni's public download site (albeit for students only), they said that IE 7 or higher is required. IE 6 is not supported and will not work. GOOD!

"How is IE9 outdated?"

Because if you say it, everybody will think that you are cool... it doesn't matter if it's true or false.

Our small family business still runs the desktop boxes with OEM XP SP3, but it's updated on a regular basis and the default browser is Opera 11 with Tamil's urlfilter.ini + ESET Smart Security Business Edition. The only thing stopping us upgrading to Win7 is really the fact we just can't justify the 6-7 licenses for these boxes, which will be scrapped till the end of the year. (A 2.4 GHz Prescott and 1 gig DDR ain't quite 2011)

As for piracy: Even pirated XP can be updated via Windows Update without any problem, just you need to have the proper activation. The same is valid for Windows 7 and can be updated without any hassle, but you need to block http://support.microsoft.com/kb/971033 in order not to get things messed up. The only thing you need is little curiosity to get you separated from the flock.

It's a nice and responsible initiative.
They should do the same with the "extended support" very aging Windows Xp. It's time to put dinosaurs into museums and history books.

Since I only use IE for visiting Windows Update IE6 is what I have. I can't stand IE7's and IE8's interface.
I use Firefox as my main browser.

I removed all my IE6 hacks from my websites.. I'm tired of dealing with it. I do have a msg to upgrade if you are on IE6. Yes, it hurts the bottom line but in the end, I can roll out more sites or direct my efforts elsewhere to recover that.

I used to work at one at the major IT companies (IBM) until January 2010. Back then, their standard configuration was still Windows XP with IE 6!!! IE7 and Firefox were available to install but were not recommended, and not supported by their IT department. If one of the major IT companies can do that, imagine all big coorporations not IT oriented.

IE6 was pretty much the last Microsoft browser that didn't crash.. then came the disastrous IE 7, which prompted me to use Avant's browser because couldn't find a computer that could run the thing. IE 8 was alot better. IE9... outdated.

PatrynXX said,
IE6 was pretty much the last Microsoft browser that didn't crash.. then came the disastrous IE 7, which prompted me to use Avant's browser because couldn't find a computer that could run the thing. IE 8 was alot better. IE9... outdated.

How is IE9 outdated?

I work at a big box electronic store, international chain. We still use IE6.

That is tens of thousands of computers.

Until business stops using XP, there will still be more than 1% IE6 use.

That should read on the site:

Tell your friends:

Let others know that you're doing your part to get Internet Explorer to 1%. (of any version)

I know a lot of people who hate the interface of IE7 or later. If Microsoft would offer an IE6 theme for IE9 it would help a lot. Sure people could just let go of the past and get used to a new interface but many simply won't do that. Besides, being able to actually customize the appearance of IE would be pretty sweet.

sy89 said,
Where is the xpcountdown.com website?

xpcountdown.com will be up in 2020, when XP will still retain 35% market share.

sy89 said,
Where is the xpcountdown.com website?

If they put up xpcountdown, hundreds of enterprise customers may get ****ed off.

alexalex said,

xpcountdown.com will be up in 2020, when XP will still retain 35% market share.

cut the crap

it is already 48% now

when Windows 8 launch at 2012 i suspect xp will has somewhere around 25-30%
while windows 7 has 45%+

damn sure it will be 1% at best by 2020

relly who would use xp computer from 2008/2009 by 2020?
one more change in computer arch and it would be rendered uninstallable(9 years in computer tech is like ....90year!! 0.o) so sure does!

Microsoft should have implemented a "silent" auto-update system (e.g. Google Chrome) that required no user intervention.

My first reaction after looking at the website was "Is this website available in mandarin ?", if the answer is "No" then this website is as useful as selling ice cream to eskimos.

Of course China has 34.5% IE6 usage. That's what comes with everyone's pirated copy of Windows XP. Of the people that own a computer, 100% of those are using an illegitimate copy of Windows XP, 34.5% have not yet gotten the word that there are BETTER, FREE browsers out there, and 65.5% are using Firefox, Chrome or Others.

Good they're doing this, but they need to change how IE is deployed to stop something like this from happening again. Shorter develoment cycles, deploy through Windows Update and even alert the user in browser an update is available.

Unfortunatley this will irritate business, so it will never happen.

With more users than IE7 and as IE9 is irrelevant on the PCs runing IE6
,let IE6 be, unless Microsoft is willing to replace these old PCs for new ones with Win7 , free of charge.

alexalex said,
With more users than IE7 and as IE9 is irrelevant on the PCs runing IE6
,let IE6 be, unless Microsoft is willing to replace these old PCs for new ones with Win7 , free of charge.

Going to assume you're not a web dev. If you were, you'd know about the horrors of trying to write code only to have it fail in IE6. Normally it takes a lot less time to create a site that works in everything BUT IE6 than it does to make the same (already completed) site work in IE6 as well. Now you tell me which is more cost-effective?

Still, even if you were unable to upgrade to IE9, that doesn't mean you're unable to upgrade to IE8 at least. IE8 while not perfect does not require hacking CSS and JavaScript to make a site work in it.

alexalex said,
With more users than IE7 and as IE9 is irrelevant on the PCs runing IE6
,let IE6 be, unless Microsoft is willing to replace these old PCs for new ones with Win7 , free of charge.

No, it's as simple as just offering Chrome or Firefox or even IE8. Anything is a better option. Now, I'll be happy when we can start digging the grave for IE7 as well, it's nearly as big a piece of crap.

KenR7A said,
The real question on everybody's mind is:
Can ie6countdown.com be viewed in IE6??
Yes, I had to check!, it would of been funny or at least ironic if it failed.

New Zealand: For a country of 4.6 million people 3.6% is a pretty big number.

Why does this place have to be so backwards!!

The scary thing is that a lot of NHS trusts are still using IE6 as their Browser and have shown no intention of updating IE or using other browsers. It will be interesting to see how this affects them and their response

I'm sure many companies would move from IE 6 if MS paid them for the switch costs.

It's funny how MS are trying to get people to move from their own product.

Northgrove said,
I'm sure many companies would move from IE 6 if MS paid them for the switch costs.

It's funny how MS are trying to get people to move from their own product.

erm , move from their product to another of their own product

they should launch XP countdown site

Ci7 said,

they should launch XP countdown site

+1!
I'm really annoyed to still so many XP installs everywhere. It's a 10 year old OS!

RuuddieBoy said,

+1!
I'm really annoyed to still so many XP installs everywhere. It's a 10 year old OS!

Psst, not everyone throws their computer away every time something new comes along.

TRC said,

Psst, not everyone throws their computer away every time something new comes along.

Har har, you just gave me an idea.
After 4.5 years, computer just must self-destruct.

And new computers should have architectural changes so people won't be able to install dead & dated systems anymore.

That would be a technological delight... dream of sales types. Who cares if you will have to spend another £500 for a laptop. You are consumer anyway. So consume.

Please end this right now I hate supporting IE6 and the many problems attached to the applications that rely on it.

So MS seem intent on getting rid of IE6, thats understandable.

I probably would have backed myself up by saying "Here is a basic version of IE9, its not as amazing as what you might get on Win7 but its up to date and competes with everything FF or Chrome can offer on your PC"

I'll stay with IE 6. Resources-friendly and simple. Working everywhere perfectly. Not going to get all those new bloatwares.

Um... Wait...

It's rather flawed for the article to say:

With the IE9 launch right around the corner for Microsoft, it is good to see them make a formal push to help remove IE6 and finally put this chapter of the browser novel to bed.

When you think about it, the release of IE9 should have no correlation to the PCs still running IE6, as the majority would probably still be running from Windows XP/Server 2003 or earlier and IE9 isn't being released on those platforms. Therefore, Microsoft need an IE8 drive if they totally want to rid the world of IE6.

Zoom7000 said,
It's rather flawed for the article to say:

When you think about it, the release of IE9 should have no correlation to the PCs still running IE6, as the majority would probably still be running from Windows XP/Server 2003 or earlier and IE9 isn't being released on those platforms. Therefore, Microsoft need an IE8 drive if they totally want to rid the world of IE6.

an easier option is just encourage Win7 adoption, by default IE8

signalpirate said,
did china not get the memo?? 34%?? WTF?

Their pirated version of Windows XP they bought for 36 cents wont pass WGA when installing a newer version of IE.

jerzdawg said,

Their pirated version of Windows XP they bought for 36 cents wont pass WGA when installing a newer version of IE.

Actually there isn't any WGA checks for IE8 anymore.

shinji257 said,

Actually there isn't any WGA checks for IE8 anymore.

But because there were originally WGA checks, they've probably long since disabled Windows Update

jerzdawg said,

Their pirated version of Windows XP they bought for 36 cents wont pass WGA when installing a newer version of IE.
wait seriously? they are all pirated copies over there?

Sadly, we still use IE where I work due to all the internal apps that don't work with anything else.
Officially, at least. Unofficially, we have a mixture of Firefox, Opera and Chrome handy as the tools tend to work in at least one (of course, there's always an annoying exception).

Kushan said,
Sadly, we still use IE where I work due to all the internal apps that don't work with anything else.
Officially, at least. Unofficially, we have a mixture of Firefox, Opera and Chrome handy as the tools tend to work in at least one (of course, there's always an annoying exception).

Update the internal apps.

In the long run its more cost effective. If you propose it with a good presentation, you (Kushan) might even get a raise

superbeam said,
Update the internal apps.
In the long run its more cost effective. If you propose it with a good presentation, you (Kushan) might even get a raise

"I suggest we update all of our internal apps to do the exact same thing but with standard compliance. It will cost us XXXXX $, and nothing will change for users."
I don't think that works.

superbeam said,

Update the internal apps.

In the long run its more cost effective. If you propose it with a good presentation, you (Kushan) might even get a raise

It's totally true.
And often totally impossible to explain to the pecuniary minded sales types running the businesses. These people are often on an exercise called "Cost Savings".
Same old tales of "ain't broke, don't fix it", "why should I spend on this, it works" -- short-time thinking.

My current company, a giant multinational, has just prolonged laptop replacement cycle from 2.5-3 to 3.5-4 years.

Cost barking savings. Everywhere.
BORING.

Gaffney said,
Surly it won't cost anything
Yes, it surely will. It's money that should be spent, but it is money nonetheless.

Why would anyone still support IE6? Just drop support to speed up its death. Maybe a simple "IE6 is no longer supported. Please upgrade." and a link to some information.

Narlzac85 said,
Why would anyone still support IE6? Just drop support to speed up its death. Maybe a simple "IE6 is no longer supported. Please upgrade." and a link to some information.

That's fine if you call the people visiting your site users, not cool if they're called customers. Unfortunately "the customer's always right" applies to browsers too...

JonathanMarston said,

That's fine if you call the people visiting your site users, not cool if they're called customers. Unfortunately "the customer's always right" applies to browsers too...

Can still be made to work. Just have a look at the IE6Update jQuery plugin. Add a nice message like: "It appears you are using an outdated version of Internet Explorer. Please click here to upgrade." and you can send a bunch of people on their merry way to update IE6 to something newer.

Narlzac85 said,
Why would anyone still support IE6? Just drop support to speed up its death. Maybe a simple "IE6 is no longer supported. Please upgrade." and a link to some information.

Because you have lazy businesses (i.e. Mercedes-Benz with it's NetStar site) who won't upgrade or test their site with later browsers. IE7 or 8 haven't been tested. Their recommended specs are Windows 2000 with IE6 and Java 1.5.06.

That's why IE6 won't die.

I wish that it would be a forced upgrade via Windows Update, that you can opt-out of rather than it be a optional update you opt-in to.

Panda X said,
I wish that it would be a forced upgrade via Windows Update, that you can opt-out of rather than it be a optional update you opt-in to.

+1

Panda X said,
I wish that it would be a forced upgrade via Windows Update, that you can opt-out of rather than it be a optional update you opt-in to.

Well, Google installs updates automatically below the radar already - you hardly notice it happening...
Would want same to IE9.

Panda X said,
I wish that it would be a forced upgrade via Windows Update, that you can opt-out of rather than it be a optional update you opt-in to.

It already is and has always been this way.

I find it funny that Microsoft is advocating the disuse of it's own browser. Thing is for the most part, IE6 only exists now because of corporations, the slower transition of XP->Vista, and the fact that it wasn't updated for 5 years!

dagamer34 said,
I find it funny that Microsoft is advocating the disuse of it's own browser. Thing is for the most part, IE6 only exists now because of corporations, the slower transition of XP->Vista, and the fact that it wasn't updated for 5 years!

and the UK government!!!

According to the website graphics it's South East Asia that's the problem. Maybe we should stop blaming corporations because they seem to have upgraded for the most part.

dagamer34 said,
I find it funny that Microsoft is advocating the disuse of it's own browser. Thing is for the most part, IE6 only exists now because of corporations, the slower transition of XP->Vista, and the fact that it wasn't updated for 5 years!

Yes and no.
In the Western World,
Corporations are the more frequent reason of using IE6.
E.g. my previous company has Siebel, but fails to upgrade it ("does the job", "ain't broke, don't fix" and other similar justifications). It only can work properly with IE6.
So this company rejected Vista and Windows 7, and still installs frickin XP on Latitudes 6410 with Core i5!!!
That means IE9 will never reach them (can't install it on XP) and all the innovations attempt there are successfully derailed by same old IT dynosaurs.
Of course people still want the latest technologies in browsers, so Firefacks and Chrome are ripe there.

IF ONLY IE9 could have an option to display certain domains/hosts in IE6 - all these Firefox/Chrome would have much less leg to stand on...

In 3rd world, the fact that most people are stuck with pirated XP is responsible for IE6. Instead of enjoying the innovations of Windows 7, people stick with XP because they don't know how to pirate 7 properly, and they don't have money or don't have any incentive to pay for Seven.
And people try to build alternate ways to bring innovation to their PCs - that's why Firefox and Chrome are so ripe in these countries, eating away from IE share. Plus in ex-USSR there is a traditional perception that "MS sucks"/"Windows is insecure"/"IE is insecure"/etc. even though it's no longer true long time ago.
So XP means no IE9. And that's a massive problem for MS.

Suggestions:
To gain IE9 and lose IE6,
* Deal with IE6 apps by domain/host lists for auto-compatibility mode. (I know there's a setting "use compatibility mode in intranet hosts", but that's IE7, and we need to run apps on IE6).
* Deal with XP, show the 3rd world (and diehards in the West) the real advantage of using 7.

This could return market share to IE and solve the problem of IE6 ripe out there.

Chrome style (and latterly Firefox style), and it's not like Windows doesn't have Windows Update But it would be nice to see updates propagate much faster.

kInG aLeXo said,
Firefox-style auto updater FTW

Microsoft has Windows Update which updates the browser as well. But quite some companies block the updates because their old web apps aren't ready for newer browsers. And I see most of the usage of IE6 is in the East... Perhaps they don't have enough bandwidth to update their Windows?

RuuddieBoy said,

Microsoft has Windows Update which updates the browser as well. But quite some companies block the updates because their old web apps aren't ready for newer browsers. And I see most of the usage of IE6 is in the East... Perhaps they don't have enough bandwidth to update their Windows?

There is a big portion of people who don't use Windows Update for several reasons, piracy is a major one specially in 3rd world\Eastern countries like China,Russia, etc.I believe its not a matter of bandwidth at all, if its only about updating the browser, not the other tons of driver\windows updates.
Making the browser update separate and enabled by default in the browser itself would allow those to be updated more easily.
Also, Microsoft should be releasing nerw versions\updates more frequently same way firefox and chrome are doing, instead of waiting for the release of new version of Windows.
For the web apps which work only in IE6 mode itsn't that why the compatiblity mode was made for ? AFAIK it automatically detects if there is an error in the app and reloads the page in compatiblity mode automatically.

kInG aLeXo said,

There is a big portion of people who don't use Windows Update for several reasons, piracy is a major one specially in 3rd world\Eastern countries like China,Russia, etc.I believe its not a matter of bandwidth at all, if its only about updating the browser, not the other tons of driver\windows updates.

I'm sorry, but if they're pirating the OS, then they can stay insecure on IE6 and get zero updates for all I care.

TCLN Ryster said,

I'm sorry, but if they're pirating the OS, then they can stay insecure on IE6 and get zero updates for all I care.

And then they be exploited when they visit pr0n and cracks websites, become botnets and be used to perform DDoS attacks, send spam everywhere, be used to hide hacking traces does not worry you at all ?

Futurix said,
Surely it is just as cheap to pirate Windows 7 as Windows XP? So why wouldn't they upgrade?

Because pirating Win7 is harder.

Futurix said,
Surely it is just as cheap to pirate Windows 7 as Windows XP? So why wouldn't they upgrade?

I've just returned from a trip to Russia and Ukraine. Talked to people there about all these "Why's".
Why still using XP?
Why blocking Windows Update?
In a family I've stayed with, there was an ultra posh Asus laptop worth well over $1,500 and a shiny white Macbook with pirated XP installed in place of MacOS.
It's still not perceived wise there to pay $200 for Windows 7 Ultimate even with a laptop worth way over $1500. I didn't believe my eyes when I saw Windows 7 Home Basic installed there by retailer...
It's still not perceived wise to pay for Windows XP at all. People with less money than my hosts, just install a pirated version, which disables Windows Update because of Genuine Advantage coming which would render this version inoperable.
It's still widely perceived that it's incredibly tougher to pirate Windows 7, so people stay on "tried and true" XP. Trying to justify staying with a 9-year old system "because it's old and trusty, and we don't need those bells & whistles of Seven".

Even on this posh laptop, I found a pirated antivirus downloaded from the torrents whose definitions were 19 months old. I explained that this amounts to no antivirus at all, and suggested good and free MS Security Essentials. It worked well with the (genuine) Windows 7, but I'm afraid won't go well with the pirated XP as it checks the Genuine Advantage and detects pirated software.

People who run Internet providers take into account that almost every computer would contain virus or viruses of certain kind. "This is the harsh reality, mate".

Thus what we have? Old software. Pirated. With no updates. Grossly outdated. With more holes than in Swiss cheese. Those on XP won't use the (really great) new IE9 as it won't run on XP - so they use Firefox or Chrome ("these are secure browsers" urban myth). Despite that, due to lack of security patches, all these computers are vulnerable as heck and will be the ground for the Botnets.

I can presume that same happens in China, India and other 3rd world countries.

To make the world a safe place,
- it needs much lower prices for software in 3rd world, to (gradually) bring people from pirated to genuine software there.
- XP needs to be actively pushed out of the market. Make Seven easier to pirate? while still showing advantage of having the real stuff. In fact, Seven still would work in pirate mode, just displays that it's pirated. XP would make life nightmare.
- Enable certain (app) hosts and domains to be run in IE6 mode for corporate networks (Group Policy), while letting people to install IE9 for browsing the sites from the rest of the world. Corporations are the bugbear due to truckloads of old apps requiring IE6 (Siebel, I am looking at you).
- massive crackdown is needed on botnets. They are perfectly decipherable, blockable, and antivirus software can be updated to detect and remove botnet clients.

Just my £0.02p

showing its pirated thing is not so bad idea IMHO, since most of those who pay for Windows are corporations\governments\government watched entities, which would care about it.
And, it would be nice for homes, since they are using either pirated XP or pirated 7 anyway, so it won't make MS lose that much money.

EastExpert said,

I've just returned from a trip to Russia and Ukraine. Talked to people there about all these "Why's"...

You've made some interesting observations. It is refreshing to see a forum response that is 'value-added'. While it can be dangerous to generalize, I enjoyed reading your real world experience, and I feel the wiser for having read it.

Dead'Soul said,
)

However, its not accurate: Look at turkey, purple color with %3? Or s.africa: purple with %8?

That is 8% of the total internet users in that country, not the total users in the world.

xendrome said,

That is 8% of the total internet users in that country, not the total users in the world.


No, he's right. The key says 5-9% is purple but 1-5% is blue. Turkey is at 3% which means the country should be shaded blue. Good catch, Dead'Soul.

Colin-uk said,
NEVAR!


Never? So I guess you like viruses and security holes and a slow browser. The article explains about getting rid of IE6 and you said Never. Even if you use other browsers, you should also update to the newest IE so your computer will be more secure. No one has to use IE, it is just a good idea to update to the newest for better securety purposes. IE doesn't have to be used in order to be compomised with vulerable attacks.

Edited by jesseinsf, Mar 4 2011, 7:31pm : needed to add a few more words

jesseinsf said,

Never? So I guess you like viruses and security holes and a slow browser. The article explains about getting rid of IE6 and you said Never.

He was joking.

jesseinsf said,

Never? So I guess you like viruses and security holes and a slow browser. The article explains about getting rid of IE6 and you said Never. Even if you use other browsers, you should also update to the newest IE so your computer will be more secure. No one has to use IE, it is just a good idea to update to the newest for better securety purposes. IE doesn't have to be used in order to be compomised with vulerable attacks.

He was obviously joking.

lol, I never got any viruses with IE6, even when I didnt upgrade after newer versions were released.

I have this awesome Anti-Virus called "common sense".

I guess a lack of stupidity and using crazy browser instead, helps too.

and yes, I was joking

(partly)