Stuck on IE6? Gmail's got your back.

Like many companies, the company I work for is mainly IE6. The older machines are running Windows 2000 and some of our clients applications (applications we have no control over) don't work with IE7.

We recently tested Gmail Apps to use for the majority of our agents and one of the biggest problems with the web interface was the lack of features that are available in other browsers. With the newest version of Gmail, this is a problem of the past.

Gmail has been working with IE engineers at Microsoft to fix some of the problems they found with their code and how it works with IE6. In order to see these changes you will need to install the latest updates from Microsoft (or specifically the update described in MS08-022).

New confirmed features for IE6 users include colored labels, invisible mode and Gmail Labs. With Google trying to compete in the enterprise email sector I believe this is a step in the right direction. What do you think about this change?

News source: Gmail Blog

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IE6 is old and has many security problems,it is time to dump it and move on. MS could port IE7 to W2k. IT's that can't keep up are either retarded or are afraid of change, if you need IE6 in your Apps you could integrate it into it and it will work. Also i may not be a fan of IE7 but at least it has tab browsing unlike IE6 which does not and it attempts to help you in some way.Gmail & Hotmail you should support Other Non IE based browsers better like offer the features that you offer to ie users to non ie users.

(soldier1st said @ #13)
IE6 is old and has many security problems

Name one. (that isn't also a problem with IE7)

One reason my company won't upgrade to IE7 is they know how bad it sucks! Same with Vista!

If MS can make IE7 so it works in W2K, there is absolutely no reason for them not to do so. W2K WAS designed for businesses orginally, you know.

Gmail is one of the few sites my company blocks access to also.

Where I used to work everyone was kept on IE6 as the supplier of the GPS system did not make their website compatible with IE7. The IT department were not going to upgrade causing more problems for themselvs when everything works fine as it is. Time is money and why fix somthing that ain't broke?

Coddle flawed software and this is the **** you get.

Stop designing webpages for browsers that don't work properly and, tada, you'll get more browsers that do work properly. It's that simple.

But those legacy system worked fine with the old browser but break with the newest one.

It's the same to say "we will change all the power supply from 110v to 220v because it's more efficient", while is true but it's also a burden for the rest of the users.

the fact is, the best way to force a massive upgrade of uncompliant software is that big corporations (like google) should stop supporting the faulty browsers. Once users (and that includes your boss) start seeing that they cannot use gmail anymore they will be forced to *at least* use an alternate compliant browser on their machines.

There's no better way to wipe out IE6 other than to stop making applications that work correctly in it.
The issue usually lies in the marketing guys fearing users will run and use the competition's product... the fact is, your competition would also like to drop IE6 support and fears the same as you

(gonchuki said @ #10.2)
the fact is, the best way to force a massive upgrade of uncompliant software is that big corporations (like google) should stop supporting the faulty browsers. Once users (and that includes your boss) start seeing that they cannot use gmail anymore they will be forced to *at least* use an alternate compliant browser on their machines.

There's no better way to wipe out IE6 other than to stop making applications that work correctly in it.
The issue usually lies in the marketing guys fearing users will run and use the competition's product... the fact is, your competition would also like to drop IE6 support and fears the same as you :)


Actually, this is where you are wrong. I don't think Google did this for the average Gmail user but for the companies looking to pay for the Google Apps Premium version.

In our case we are currently running Exchange 2003. We are looking at moving the majority of the regular agents (who just use OWA) to Gmail Apps. With the problems IE6 had with Gmail it was a solution that wouldn't work with over half of our user base. This user base uses Windows 2000 and access customer systems using programs like Oracle and Citrix that do not work in FF. The company is not going to invest the money to replace these machines (at least not all at once). At the time they nixed the idea of using Google's solution but now that this fix is out it will be back on the table again.

Looks like the high paid marketing people do half way know what they are talking about.

(Frank said @ #1)
Actually, this is where you are wrong. I don't think Google did this for the average Gmail user but for the companies looking to pay for the Google Apps Premium version.

In our case we are currently running Exchange 2003. We are looking at moving the majority of the regular agents (who just use OWA) to Gmail Apps. With the problems IE6 had with Gmail it was a solution that wouldn't work with over half of our user base. This user base uses Windows 2000 and access customer systems using programs like Oracle and Citrix that do not work in FF. The company is not going to invest the money to replace these machines (at least not all at once). At the time they nixed the idea of using Google's solution but now that this fix is out it will be back on the table again.

Looks like the high paid marketing people do half way know what they are talking about. ;)


actually, that's where short minded bosses are wrong. what is so wrong about using IE6 *ONLY* for crippled ancient sites and another alternative (and compliant) browser for the rest of the sites?

All the money the company has to invest is 5 minutes multiplied by the amount of PCs they have. sounds like too much? I bet being stranded with IE6 having no access to advanced web apps is much worse

My company forces everyone to use IE6. For in-house apps only.
Surfing the "interwebz" is vehemently blocked by the corporate firewall.

Whoever needs to do some "research" on the web, there's a single PC isolated from the corporate network. It's got the latest stuff, IE8, FF3 etc.
You guessed it, the only access the user has is the keyboard and mouse, the entire PC is encased in some cabinet that can only be opened by arcane dwarvish language.

Of course, with the new-fangled 3.5G phones and employees suddenly having free access to the internetz, MIS is going to introduce a cellphone jammer soon.

Terrible. Terrible. Where is the information and the technology (read: IT) on a browser that screws up half the web without a billion or so workarounds.

(peachey said @ #6)
You don't need to update windows.... they rolled the changes out to gmail's base code.

From my understanding without the windows update you will not see the changes in Gmail code. The changes the IE team made in this update allows the Gmail code to work properly. I could be wrong but I will be testing this on Monday morning.

(Frank said @ #6.1)

From my understanding without the windows update you will not see the changes in Gmail code. The changes the IE team made in this update allows the Gmail code to work properly. I could be wrong but I will be testing this on Monday morning.

I get the colour tabs and everything that was with their codebase for IE6 on non-updated IE6 machines.

If your stuck on IE 6.0 (a.k.a Swiss Cheese)

Go with firefox MUCH more secure.

yes IE 6.0 may be needed for special internal company applications.

But for everything else firefox should work.

I agree. For a Windows 2000 PC, Have IE6 installed with all the latest updates for IE6-only applications.

But it just makes sense to have another browser installed with it (Firefox is second most popular in enterprise) because IE6 is no longer suitable for general web browsing due to a lot of websites no longer supporting it.

(Quick Reply said @ #5.1)
I agree. For a Windows 2000 PC, Have IE6 installed with all the latest updates for IE6-only applications.

But it just makes sense to have another browser installed with it (Firefox is second most popular in enterprise) because IE6 is no longer suitable for general web browsing due to a lot of websites no longer supporting it.


At least in my situation 99.99999% of the website my users need to go to work fine in IE6. They shouldn't be surfing the web other then the sites they need to do to do their job.

Also, I do not want to hold classes continuously to show them what should be opened up in which browser and field Questions about the differences between FF as well as IE. I will however work on transitioning these users to one browser (IE7) that will be supported by he majority of applications (IE: Oracle, Citrix, etc).

I also have not seen FF installed on any enterprise users install (other then on IT Systems) in any business I have been in. I would however agree that other then IE FF would be the best alternative "Enterprise" browser.

(Frank said @ #5.2)

At least in my situation 99.99999% of the website my users need to go to work fine in IE6. They shouldn't be surfing the web other then the sites they need to do to do their job.

Also, I do not want to hold classes continuously to show them what should be opened up in which browser and field Questions about the differences between FF as well as IE. I will however work on transitioning these users to one browser (IE7) that will be supported by he majority of applications (IE: Oracle, Citrix, etc).

I also have not seen FF installed on any enterprise users install (other then on IT Systems) in any business I have been in. I would however agree that other then IE FF would be the best alternative "Enterprise" browser.

I can see your point - why install it if the users don't need it and it is just more work for you to support it if it breaks.

But I don't agree with the point of having to train users which one to use, or getting IE vs. FF questions...
Lets say that there was a business need for Firefox, for exaple: IE6 SP1 on Windows 2000 didn't work with a business app whereas Firefox did, or another example is that the management would like to allow users to browse the web so long as it doesn't interfere with their work.

For the users who don't know what Firefox is and are unaffected by this need, it is just an extra icon which they won't even use. For users who need it for a business application, an extra shortcut can be made to open it up in Firefox without requiring knowledge of what Firefox actually is. If an employee wants to browse the web, they probably wouldn't use Firefox unless they already knew what it was, so they don't need to be trained how to use it.

If any questions did arise about the use of IE6/Firefox from a user eg: "SuperPantsXYZWebsite.com is not working because it says IE6 is not supported", then it goes back to being not your problem - it's not up to you to support the internet - why should to help them with something that is not work related; but at least the ability is there just in case they did actually need to use it.

Just putting it out there for a circumstance where Firefox would be needed in the Enterprise still running Windows 2000.

My company also does not use IE7 yet, *officially.*

In fact, when users upgrade to IE7, any problems are therefore because of it, even if the same problems persist on IE6, but that's just the IT department being lazy in our case.

I feel the same way Chugworth. I run the IT department of a large satellite office (850+ users) of a large company. They don't really care what we do with our machines as long as it is legal and it doesn't cause problems for the accounts. Our main office (about 1000 employee's) is mainly Windows 2000. This is where the Google decision will help. They are planning on replacing all of these machines in the next 2 years.

We are working on re-imaging all the machines with a clean slate (no OEM HP crap) as well as rolling out SP3 and IE7 to all machines. We have only found one application (so far) that won't work with IE7. People in IT who don't want to move to newer versions (IE: IE7, SP3, Vista) IMO are just lazy or they are overworked and don't have the time to make the new versions work.

From what I have seen with IE8, soon after the release we will be rolling it out in our offices after testing of all the applications.

This is bad.. no more updates should be offered for IE6. In fact Microsoft should really push users to upgrade to IE7. Google should not be working with microsoft to fix issues in IE6.

This is retarded.

(Nightburn said @ #3.2)
Microsoft can pony up and make IE7 work with windows 2000. From a web development standpoint IE6 cannot die soon enough.
Agreed.

One way or another, it would be either update IE6 with patches, or update IE7 to work in Win2000.

(or just ignore these items and leave it broken, I suppose)

(Nightburn said @ #1)
This is bad.. no more updates should be offered for IE6. In fact Microsoft should really push users to upgrade to IE7. Google should not be working with microsoft to fix issues in IE6.

This is retarded.


On one hand, I agree. On the other hand, this helps users who have no control over which web browser their organization is using.

(markjensen said @ #3.3)
Agreed.

One way or another, it would be either update IE6 with patches, or update IE7 to work in Win2000.

(or just ignore these items and leave it broken, I suppose)


I would love for IE7 to be ported to 2000 but I don't think that will ever happen. This patch wasn't made to just fix Gmail but to address some other issues with IE6 and Java as well.

The company I work for has 2000 machines running Windows XP with IE6. We're ready to upgrade to IE7, however we use many applications from our suppliers which will only operate on IE6.

It's just not feasible for us to upgrade.

The company I work for has 2000 machines running Windows XP with IE6. We're ready to upgrade to IE7, however we use many applications from our suppliers which will only operate on IE6.

It's just not feasible for us to upgrade.

In my experience, it takes very little time to update a web based application from IE6 to IE7. A few minor CSS tweaks here and there and you're done(maybe some javascript changes). Now I'm not saying there aren't more extreme cases but seriously this excuse doesn't fly and really is just more about laziness.

On my companie's Intranet it took us 30-60 minutes to update all of our applications to support both firefox and IE7. This was something like 30 individual web based tools.

Someone else already made this point.... but I'm going to re-iterate it: If you can't keep up with the times and technology then you're in the wrong business. IT Departments should be working with their web application partners so they can roll out the new browsers. It's part of keeping a secure network. It should be part of their job.

(Nightburn said @ #3.7)

In my experience, it takes very little time to update a web based application from IE6 to IE7. A few minor CSS tweaks here and there and you're done(maybe some javascript changes). Now I'm not saying there aren't more extreme cases but seriously this excuse doesn't fly and really is just more about laziness.

On my companie's Intranet it took us 30-60 minutes to update all of our applications to support both firefox and IE7. This was something like 30 individual web based tools.

Someone else already made this point.... but I'm going to re-iterate it: If you can't keep up with the times and technology then you're in the wrong business. IT Departments should be working with their web application partners so they can roll out the new browsers. It's part of keeping a secure network. It should be part of their job.


I think you might have misread his post. He didn't say they had problems with his companies applications but rather his suppliers.

Sometimes when companies partner with other companies or when they use their clients systems they can't control how the systems work or what software is needed to get the job done.

I agree with your standpoint on security and it should be part of an IT professionals job to make sure that updates can be rolled out in their environment but sometimes this can't happen.