IE 6 End of Life

Recovered from the Wayback Machine.

O’Reilly Radar has a post with graphics related to the recent study of people using older, insecure browsers. At a glance we can easily see that most of the problem occurs with Internet Explorer, most likely IE6.

If Wikipedia is correct, IE6 was released on August 27, 2001. Come this August 27th that makes this browser seven years old, far older than most software supported by most organizations.

If we apply the same longevity to other software that’s been applied to IE6, all those who are using IE6 must still be using Windows 2000, the first release of the Mac OS X, Photoshop 3.x, a dial-up modem, AOL for chat, Yahoo for search, most of your applications are on the desktop, most of your backend processes are on a Sun or IBM mainframe, probably in Java, and probably using the JRE 1.3 or so. If you’re using a database, it’s most likely Oracle 7.x or SQL Server 2000. If you’re developing for the web, you’re most likely still using Perl and CGI, if not Java, or ASP. You might be using some Python or PHP, definitely no Ruby or Rails. If you are developing using Visual Studio, it’s Visual Studio 6, and you’re still not ready for .NET

You do your social networking through Usenet or AOL, Epinions, The Wall, or some other online BBS or forum. You can write over 140 characters. When you publish to the web, you’re hand editing your web pages, or using a freebie HTML editor, Macromedia’s DreamWeaver, Vignette, or some other larger commercial product. You might be using Blogger, though it’s doubtful. You might be using a syndication tool, though it’s doubtful. In fact, it’s doubtful that you would be reading this.

At one time, IE6 was the best there was, but that was a long time ago. We’ve used it when it was shiny and new, and it brought us innovation and delight. We used it through its usefulness, when it became more anchor than step. We’ve used it until we now curse its name. We continue to use it because no one seems to be willing to say, “It’s over”.

We should celebrate what Internet Explorer 6 brought us at one time, by letting it go. I think that August 27, 2008 would make a fine EOL date for this once great browser.

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